Jamee Schleifer prides herself on being the first public school hip-hop teacher in Brooklyn, teaching in middle and elementary school for the DOE for the past 27 years. She holds a BFA from Brooklyn College and an MA in Dance Education from New York University
In 1986, Schleifer was teaching at her Brooklyn training grounds, Miss Phyllis Dance Studio and with Jacques D’Amboise (her mentor for eight years), founder of the National Dance Institute. Shortly after, she was hired at a Brooklyn middle school, where she developed her interdisciplinary hip-hop curriculum. Schleifer started incorporating street styles into her class, beginning with hip hop of the day, then reaching backwards to its roots, leaving room for self expression. Her curriculum aimed for a holistic approach to dance, and embraced a variety of dance traditions and dance cultures—past, present and looking towards the future. Students had fun in a safe and supportive environment, while Schleifer combined technique and dance history into her daily lessons.
Performance, creative and analytical skills were mutually developed and valued whether the students were writing papers or creating/performing dances. Her curriculum provided students with a liberal arts orientation to dance. This approach helped facilitate the development of non-professionally motivated students who may become dance scholars, performers or simply may just seek life enrichment through dance.
Newly retired, she hopes to connect the hip-hop community with the public schools. A former member of Robin Dunn's NYC performance group, Tha Hip Hop Technicians (with Mr. Wiggles of The RockSteady Crew), she is currently performing with Momz N Da Hood, a group of women in their 50's who break, whose motto is, "Anything is possible at any age."