MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Ricky White is poetry in motion, be it at warp speed.
The lyrics of his young life unfold in his flight.
“I always thought of myself as painting or drawing with my body like the dance floor is my canvas to dance left dance right up and down so its like putting every little detail into my movements,” White told CBS 4’s Michele Gillen as he showed her some of his favorite moves on the dance floor. It’s easy to see that Ricky is in love with dance.
“I see it as a blessing,” White said.
White is a scholarship superstar in the hip hop world and now, at age 21, he is an idol to the hundreds of children he teaches. In their eyes, he sees himself, at seven-years-old, it felt like he lost everything, when he lost his dad.
Traumatized by his father’s death, Ricky lost his desire to speak and went silent.
“Loosing my father was really hard for me at a young age at seven,” Ricky said.
But through dance and music he discovered a new way to communicate with his body. It allowed him to feel and release the pain.
“Pretty much after my father’s death is when I really took it seriously,” he told Gillen. “I feel I got all that like creative, I called it creative depression because I needed some way to let it out so right when I let it out was when I knew that this was a better alternative to let it all out.”
Now, he is a superstar guided by a hip hop mentor, teacher and director, Suzy Stone, founder of Hip Hop Kidz.
“Ricky was one of our scholarship kids, we give over $30,000 in scholarships to underprivileged kids every year and we were so proud to give it to Ricky,” said Stone who is one of his biggest supporters. “He represented everything that our company is about. Our mission statement is ‘No drugs, no violence, just dance’ and Ricky exemplifies that in every step of the imagination.”
“In the program he was a dancer, then an artist, then a teacher, then a choreographer and now he’s my assistant and it’s amazing to know that this next semester he is going to be teaching in the fall and will inspire new kids which he’s been doing all along but he will now be paid for it and they will honor his talent makes me feel really good ,” Stone explained to Gillen.
Up until he met her, White taught himself all his moves never wanting to ask his mom for a penny for lessons.
“Yes, lots of time, lots of time, knowing that some people pay to learn about this stuff, I go on the Internet to learn, YouTube, I see a move I like, I will close myself in my room and start practicing over and over and over,” he said.
In the end, he said it’s all for his mom, who sees him as her biggest hero.
“I think he is amazing and part of this is because he never really asked for anything. Being able to see him flourish is all that I would ever want for him,” she said.
“I’ve always looked at my mom like super women,” explained Ricky. “I’ve always seen mom get home from work, cook dinner and seeing as I didn’t want to add more, I don’t want to stay stress, she would say as long as you’re doing something productive and keeping up with your education I’m fine with it,” said Ricky.
But his dream is not just dance, but someday to use his voice, that is often compared to singer Barry White’s, for a career in radio. He told Gillen there was one man in the world he wanted to meet–Freddy Cruz, the legendary DJ and host of The Quiet Storm on Hot 105.
“At night, always driving on my way home me and my mom always listen to Hot 105, The Quite Storm and I always would say ‘one day I’m going to take his job I really want his job,” exclaimed Ricky.
Just a kids dream, but it was his dream. What appealed to him?
” Being that I was always a shy, quiet person, I would do a love hour because of the voice . Everything slows down and is calm. That’s what I feel I would be better with,” he told Gillen.
What he really wanted was to meet this legend.
And so, Gillen put in a call to Mr. Freddie Cruz and without hesitation he agreed to meet White at the Hot 105 studios the next evening.
The young man who so idolized him and long kidded about wanting to someday have his job, arrived at the radio station with butterflies and a wide, warm smile.
As Gillen, White’s mom and Stone looked on, it was a supercharged adventure.
The on-air teams welcomed him with open arms and advice. Exceeding any expectations, Cruz introduced White live on the air and invited him to introduce several love songs. While he never had a radio course, White jumped right in, and while his heart was beating fast, handled it like a young pro.
For Ricky, Freddy Cruz will forever be a mentor and larger-than-life celebrity who gave White his first shot at having a “voice” on national radio. Cruz was a gracious host who gave Ricky great confidence. Before leaving the studio, the young man asked ” may I say good-bye to the listeners?”
“Of course!” infused Cruz.
Then White took the mic, to thank his hero Cruz and all that got him to that moment from Gillen and CBS4 “for the opportunity of being of live on the radio” and to his dance mentor and director Suzy Stone.
For the CBS4 Super Kid team, all hope the spotlight will help put a little extra bounce in this talented young man’s step and opportunities in his future.
Hip Hop Kidz is the brain child of Suzy Stone and it has helped guide thousands of young South Floridians. Several have made it to national dance shows and concert tours.
If you would like more information on Hip Hop Kidz go to, www.hiphopkidz.net
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