““No = Next Opportunity” is a mindset that was ingrained in me as a young boy.
When I fell in love with Hip Hop and the art of break dancing I knew my life would never be the same. I was a skilled soccer player and coach, a black belt in martial arts, an avid golf, basketball, volleyball, and baseball player, but I fell in love with breaking. I say without hesitation, breaking saved my life and I am honoured to be at the helm of a movement to bring back Hip Hop to its most real and pure form; when race, class, gender, ability, and economics did not matter.
My passion for dance came from my parents. Every Sunday my parents danced together in our kitchen. Never mind if they’d been arguing the entire week. Sunday was the day that it all would fall to the wayside; and, my parents would dance and everyone would be happy and smiling. Truth be told, it was my mother that encouraged me to pursue dance because she said girls love boys that can dance and I was good at it. Salsa, merengue, popping, locking, breaking; I was, and still am, a great dancer; and I love to dance and it shows.
In the early morning hours, my father would leave our home in Jane and Finch to travel three hours to Union Station, where he shined shoes. He took pride in what he did, and he was the best at it. My father instilled in me that whatever it is you choose to do in your life be the best at it and always give 100%. When you have mastered what you “Love” to do and pride and ego does not impede your judgment, then and only then, do you have power and control over your destiny.
Never would I have imagined that the eldest son of Mexican immigrants would be facilitating a workshop on the topic of “Resilience” for immigrant women, each having experienced some form of trauma and its aftermath – PTSD; or putting on a workshop for autistic children and teaching them how to break dance, the art of DJ’ing and graffiti. Still clear to the day, I remember the sweet sound of a young girl on the mic throwing down some lyrics with DJ DTS on the “wheels of steel” and MC Jaba cheering her on.
I am passionate about the power of Hip Hop as a culture and as a formidable movement. We have a very strong and culturally diverse team of highly skilled creative arts professionals working together to enhance the physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being of children and youth of all ages, abilities, cultural, and ethnic backgrounds. We provide a home and safe haven for them to express themselves through Hip Hop. We execute programming that unites, educates, and empowers children and youth as they perfect their chosen artistic form of expression in one or all of the four elements of Hip Hop – BBoying (break dancing), MC’ing, graffiti, and DJ’ing. The fifth element of Hip Hop “Knowledge” is what we are bringing.
The Toronto Hip Hop Cultural Centre inspires, motivates, and engages the children and youth of Toronto that are often failing in their attempts to navigate the world. We are helping them to make the transition from adolescence to adulthood, often a real-life struggle, less challenging
We are the bridge to get these children and youth to where they want to be. At the very least, we are opening their minds up to opportunities and giving them access to arenas that they may not be able to access on their own. As for myself, a well-respected elder and leader in the Hip Hop community it is my duty to do whatever I can do to push these children and youth up so that they can soar even higher than I was ever able to.
Our ‘success’ is their ‘success’. That said, at the very least, we must try.
‘Together We Rise’.”
Freddy ‘Freeze’ Lopez
For more on this awesome project, check out it’s crowdfunding campaign page: