HayWyre Making and Dancing Waves
Tey’ray Hale, 18, also known as HayWyre, is a young and talented dancer now making waves in the Chicago dance community. With only four years of experience, it’s quite extraordinary how much knowledge the young dancer has picked up in the few short years he’s been dancing. From waving to popping and tutting, HayWyre is mastering animated dance simply by giving it his all, giving it his best, and watching lots of YouTube.
Urban Dance Movies that Started it All
HayWyre does not have the typical story of an aspiring dancer. This young Chicago native decided he was interested in dance when he was 13-years-old after watching the popular urban dance movies, “Step-up” and “Stomp the Yard.”
About the two movies he said, “They were dope. Only problem was I had no clue on how to dance.” For HayWyre, dance piqued his interest and he was ready to learn. Although learning dance would be a new endeavor for him, music in itself was certainly not new to him. After all, he grew up in a musical family. He already knew how to play the guitar, his father is a popular emcee and his grandmother had a dance studio. But, it was something about dance in particular that was beginning to get a lot of his attention.
“I thought it was cool seeing what people could do on beat,” he said. “I was trying to figure out how I was gonna go about learning.”
Discovering His First Teachers
The aspiring dancer didn’t feel comfortable going to his grandmother’s studio because hip-hop classes were rarely offered there. Instead, he maneuvered and got hands-on training from two South Africans who transferred to his school. Still definitely a neophyte himself, they were what he considered phenomenal at dance.
It was at a school dance, just two days after the pair transferred in, that HayWyre saw how talented they were. “They snapped,” he said. “And after they finished snapping I said ‘teach me everything you know.’”
Tutting and Isolations—HayWyre’s First Lessons Begin
HayWyre was hoping to learn a few techniques from the pair. He wanted to learn isolations, the art of moving one body part at a time which HayWyre says can look “kind of robotic.” The second one is tutting which dates back to Egyptian dancing. This particular dance allows you to make different angles with your hands. Tutting today is more animated and has more expression than in past centuries. Lastly, he wanted to learn how to wave. This popular dance technique is the art of making your body emulate an actual wave. According to HayWyre, this dance can be difficult or easy, depending on body structure.
South African Teachers Depart
So two days a week at recess, HayWyre and his new dance teachers were practicing. He was finally learning dance. The only problem was, the two south Africans, although extraordinary did not have the same desire to continue pursuing dance as he did. Transferring to the school, they thought that dance would put them on the map and make them cool. Unfortunately, what was big at their school was not dance. Instead, rapping and fashion were more popular. So, the two south Africans quit and HayWyre was left to fend for himself. Unfortunately, the young dancer believes that at the time he still had a long way to go before becoming what he considered to be a “good dancer.”
“At this point, I couldn’t wave that well,” he said. “I could wave in but [my] waving out looked kind of weird.”
Youtube School of Dance
HayWyre took his passionate pursuit of learning dance into his own hands. With his laptop and smartphone in tow, YouTube became his best friend. The very popular dancers, Les Twins, known for dancing with Beyoncé and BluPrint, a popular animated dancer, became his teachers.
“I would be amazed and thinking ‘how is your body moving like that,’” he said about watching his favorite YouTube dance gurus. “How are you able to make your body vibrate like that but make your arm wave? How is that possible?”
“Korrupted System” is Born
With ignited passion, HayWyre continued to learn until he was ready to battle.
“I constantly kept watching more and more videos and ended up going to dance battles and watching other dancers.” Attending battles and practicing made HayWyre recognizable in the dance community. By the age of 17, the young dancer had his own crew called “Korrupted System”. The group included dancers from all around the Chicago area. He added new dances to his repertoire including popping, bone breaking, and gliding. With each new dance, HayWyre was improving.
Battling with His Own Crew
With a new crew and new duties, the animated popper felt a greater sense of accountability for his newly formed team. He kept his group focused and tried his best to teach them and help them succeed. As some group members came and went, HayWyre experienced times when some dancers were unaccounted for or would not show up to practice. As the leader of the group, although young, he still managed to keep his composure and stand in the role of leader. He continued to push his members and himself to do well. This was especially hard when other dance groups wanted to battle in non-constructive ways or would accuse them of stealing their style.
“There was this group called Pop Patrol and they would accuse us of biting their style,” HayWyre recalled. “But I ended it before it became this Meek Mill and Drake type of thing.”
Being in Control as the Leader
HayWyre believes that as a leader it is important to control yourself and your actions.
“Thanks to my father and mother for teaching me leadership values,” he acknowledged. “When you’re in charge of something, you don’t let yourself get out of control. You have to have a certain disposition about yourself to say ‘I’m not going to entertain this.’”
“Korrupted System” has been a part of exhibition battles and performed at Lyric Fest. Not only is HayWyre the founder of the group, but he also manages the group, finds and books gigs for “Korrupted System” as well as orchestrates his own battles.
Like Simba in “The Lion King”
HayWyre feels his age is a factor in why he grinds so hard.
I kind of think of it like in the “Lion King” when Simba was getting chased by the hyenas and they thought Simba’s roar sounded like Mufasa’s,” he explained. “That’s how I picture it, if you’re younger you have to make something stand out about you.”
“I let my intelligence and my maturity speak for me,” he added.
Respect in the Dance Community
Due to his maturity, talent and ambition, he is respected in the dance community. He recognizes when dance battles are rigged and when they are legit.
“They see me at every battle, and they see that I’m making good calls,” he said. “And I’m very mature about it.”
So fa,r HayWyre along with dance partner Brandon, another member of “Korrupted System”, has won two major battles. “Me and my partner Brandon, we practiced all the time and we have the same accomplishments,” he asserted.
For HayWyre winning these battles are gratifying. “It’s kinda like a stamp on a report card,” he said. HayWyre can be seen performing on Michigan Avenue, known internationally as Chicago’s “Magnificent Mile” shopping district.
In the future, HayWyre hopes to travel the world like his favorite dancers Les Twins and BluPrint.
“They’re doing videos and people are paying attention to the dancers but I’m looking like ‘is that France.’” he said. “I know they’ve earned it from battles and got their rep up.”
HayWyre plans on taking his talent to Los Angeles where he hopes he can build up his reputation and land a gig that will take him international.
“I want it to be one of those things where I get to see the world and do it while doing what I love,” he concluded.