Men of RACE is RACE Dance Company's male group, primarily focusing in mainstream and old school hip hop and break dancing. Although their focus is hip hop, the Men of RACE train in contemporary, jazz, ballet and tap with the rest of RACE Dance Company. The Men of RACE is directed by John Ariete and Brandon Graves.
Jesus Martinez has been dancing with the Race Dance organization since 2013 when he joined the JR Race program. After graduating high school, he auditioned and was accepted into the Men of Race company. When not performing, Jesus teaches break dance at Everything Goes Dance Studio and guest teaches at JR/Teen Race Dance.
Chris Shepard is a four year member of the Men of Race company. He studies Dance performance at the University of Central Oklahoma. While he is not in school he teaches Hip Hop at Movement Innovations Dance Studio, Gravity Dance studio, Dance Unlimited and performs around the metro area.
Chris trains in all aspects of the arts including acting and singing. He has performed with Rhythmically Speaking for over sixteen years and also has worked on stage with the Pollard Theatre. He cherishes being in the company to not only train with his “brothers of race” but also show others around them in his community that you have the chance to succeed as long as you are willing to put in the work to get there.
Jeremiah Lee Walton has been member of Men of Race for 5 years. He is also in his third year teaching at the Metropolitan School of Dance. Jeremiah started dancing at 11 years old and teaches at public schools, zumba classes, and dance studios. He trained in ballet, modern, jazz, and contemporary dance, but attributes hip-hop as his first love. Jeremiah has also trained under many well known choreographers such as Brian Puspos, Jaja Vankova, Derrick Caldwell, Wilberto De'Jarnetti, and many more. Jeremiah loves performing and choreography equally and searches for music that makes him want to move!
My name is Eric Ding, and I come from San Francisco, California. My style is very West Coast, rooted in community hip hop. I've been dancing for 11 years now, since I was 12 years old. I started off with breakdancing, and hip hop fundamentals, but soon found my home with hip hop choreography. In college, I was president of BreakFree Hip Hop, the biggest dance company at Cornell University. My interpretation of music is a mixture of lyrics and the instrumental beats in the song.
I teach at RACE The SPACE on Thursdays at 6:00pm as well as at the Modern Dance Arts studio in Norman, Oklahoma.
I am born and raised in Moore, OK, with a life long passion for dance. I began training at the age of 4 in all styles and quickly found my niche in hip-hop. I have dance for RACE for 3 years now and have created a family of dancers for myself in the company. I have been the Nutcracker twice in the company's Hip-Hop Nutcracker and have been a part of several other shows. Growing up, I developed a strong foundation in popping and was given the nickname Poptart. I have been blessed enough to grow up training and traveling the country taking from some of the biggest names in the industry. I have learned the foundations and fundamentals of popping and breaking from the original innovators of the styles and techniques from other choreographers of other styles as well. I currently am finishing a business legal studies degree at UCO and enjoy developing the business and knowledge aspect of dance. I value the history and knowledge of dance just as much as the physical execution. I live my life on the quote "Live, don't just exist" and further my dancing on the quote "dance is a shared knowledge".