Buddha Stretch, hailing from Brooklyn, New York, was influenced by his father, Emilio Austin Sr., who instilled discipline, inspiration, and motivation, guiding his career. This foundation has supported Stretch, now a father himself, personally and professionally. He has made significant contributions to the dance world by bridging the gap between what was known as “Ol’ Skool” and “New Skool,” drawing from all aspects of Hip-Hop culture, music, and dance to create his freestyle hip-hop style.
Stretch’s unique style gained popularity during the early days of music videos and live shows. His first video appearance was in Eric B & Rakim’s “Eric B for President.” After meeting its members at a music video audition for Diana Ross’s “Working Overtime, he formed his first dance crew, Mop Top.” They later formed Elite Force, which appeared in documentaries, music videos, live shows, and countless projects overseas.
Stretch’s choreography work started with Joeski Love’s “Pee Wee Dance,” and he went on to work with well-known artists such as Rosie Perez, Will Smith in “Men In Black” and “Miami” videos, and Michael Jackson’s “Remember The Time” video (his most memorable experience). His choreography work has been nominated for two MTV Awards for “Best Choreography” in Will Smith’s videos, “Men In Black,” “Gettin’ Jiggy Wit It,” and “Miami.”
Stretch’s versatility is evident in his participation as a dancer and contributing choreographer for the Dance Theater crew Full Circle and co-artistic director of the Dance Theatre Company MiddleGround. His trend-setting style keeps him in demand as a choreographer, dancer, teacher, and performer. His passion for dance is evident in every experience with his work.
“Music is the universal language; dance is its interpreter.”Buddah Stretch
Stretch believes that “music is the universal language; dance is its interpreter.” In addition to his dance career, he is an MC and writer and continues to make music today. Buddha Stretch’s significant contributions to the dance world and his unique style continue to inspire and influence generations of dancers and choreographers.
Stretch’s impact on the dance world can be felt through his work and the countless artists he has influenced and mentored over the years. His legacy continues to inspire dancers and choreographers worldwide, and his name is synonymous with excellence in the world of hip-hop dance.
Buddha Stretch’s contributions to the dance world have been nothing short of remarkable. His unique style and innovative approach have helped to push the boundaries of what is possible in dance, and his impact on the industry will be felt for generations to come. We celebrate his life and work and look forward to seeing what he will achieve in the future.