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Skywalkers

Formed in the eighties, the Skywalkers are a breakdance collective based in Leicester, still thriving under the tuition of father figure and multi-talented artist Jedi. Throughout their history, they have nurtured a variety of members, toured the world and competed in some of the toughest dance offs in the history of hip hop. The evolution of the group has been a fertile breeding ground for successful DJ’s, producers, rappers and performers, with previous contributions from Kevin Baptist, DJSS, Paul Thomas, Steve Chambers and Goldie. 

The Skywalkers began their journey in 1981, drawing together dancers from across Leicester.  Highfields-born Jedi (Sean Bailey) was one of the group’s founding members, whose Afro-Caribbean background steered him towards the breakdance spotlight. “I was bound to become a dancer,” he says.  “I never went to dance school, but I learned some of my earliest moves from my family and on the street. I was dancing seriously from the age of ten.” 

The Skywalkers spent their formative years making impressive moves at venues such as Leicester’s Palais and Nottingham’s Rock City. Their soundtrack drew inspiration from James Brown and other seminal artists of the jazz-funk genre, as well as various hip hop anthems.  Word spread and pretty soon, the Skywalkers were dancing all over Europe.  Jedi describes the highpoint of this success as performing as part of a United Nations showcase in Strasbourg, Leicester’s twin town since 1960. Together with other artists from their hometown, the dancers wowed an audience of dignitaries.

As their confidence grew, the Skywalkers started competing with other dance collectives.  In 1986, this energy and focus spurred them to team up with dance groups nearby, including the Rock City Crew, to form The Midlands Allstars.  Together, they took on the formidable London Allstars as part of Fresh 86, a massive hip-hop convention.  The newly formed Midlands Allstars triumphed.

Most of the group’s original members have gone on to follow their own creative paths, but Jedi still works with local young people to produce performances under the banner of Skywalkers.  Jedi has also made a name for himself in music production, teaming up with artists such as Mark Morrison and contributing great things to Leicester’s urban music mosaic.

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