Watch how hip-hop choreography can get kids to behave


Getting dozens of hyper kids to behave is usually the job of a teacher.

Recently, though, two leading hip-hop choreographers who go by the name of Nappytabs took an unlikely stab at the daunting task.

Nappytabs husband-and-wife duo Napoleon and Tabitha Dumo organized students into functional dance crews for, a subscription-based early-learning site used by parents and teachers. The site commissioned Nappytabs to create a commercial featuring more than 100 young dancers trying to help one girl ease into school. The idea was to show her just how much fun learning can be.


“It was this little girl, and she gets off the bus, and she’s a little nervous and a little frightened,” said Tabitha Dumo. “Everything feels overwhelming and there’s all these new people -- but then you begin to see this world in a different way. Everything becomes a rhythm. The bus, the zippers on the backpacks. Then we use these sounds to create the sort of soundtrack that’s in her mind.”

The choreographers enjoyed working with their untraditional crews. “These kids on the set of this ABCmouse music video were ridiculous,” Napoleon Dumo said. “We could start up five dance crews with the kids that were there and they would probably give a run for the money the best crews in the world.”

It wasn’t all that hard. “They were super professional, listened all the time -- and they just wanted to dance,” Napoleon said. “They just want someone not to say ‘Sit still!’ And that’s how we feel that kids learn better.”

The project was a departure for Nappytabs, which recently helped choreograph and produce the revamped show “America’s Best Dance Crew: Road to the VMAs.” They have also choreographed for “Dancing With the Stars,” “So You Think You Can Dance,” Cirque du Soleil, Madonna and “American Idol.” is an online early-learning educational tool complete with a curriculum devised for ages 2 through 7. According to the site, was created by education technology company Age of Learning, and it has seven levels and more than 500 lessons, and is used in more than 50,000 classrooms.

Those stats, in addition to testimonials, are part of what drew Nappytabs to work on the commercial. Tabitha and Napoleon Dumo also have their own little one: their 3-year-old has been assessed through the site and uses the program.

“It was a big eye-opener for me. I didn’t think that they learned that much at that age,” Tabitha said. “It’s not like, ‘It’s learning time. Sit down!’ They need to almost have the driver’s seat sometimes.”

As for the kids involved in the video, many of them are already online experts. One of the young performers on the video, a girl dancing to the Taylor Swift song “Bad Blood” during a break in filming, had her Vine video go over 2 million pretty quickly -- earning the oft-used hashtag #taylorswiftgirl.

“It’s a testament to how awesome they are and how much energy they have on set,” Napoleon said.