New York City (USA) - harlem/ THE Bronx

(English/ German)

Artist Biography "Kid Terrific" - Pioneer and old (true) school Electric Boogie Dancer

- Künstlerbiographie "Kid Terrific" - Pionier und old (true) school Electric Boogie Tänzer - 

Darby James Torres – as known as Kid Terrific – is born in Harlem New York City on July 31st in 1966. He belongs to the very old (true) school Electric Boogie dancers at age seven in the Bronx. After having tried out Graffiti, Dj’ing and some floor moves he finally enjoyed Electric Boogie the best. Citation Kid Terrific:

I enjoyed dancing and how fluent it can be almost like a visual mind manipulation.

Besides he liked the fact that electric boogie has the potential to transform itself. To improve his dance he watched TV- Shows on Saturday morning like Soul Train (video1, video2) with its dancers, American Bandstand (video3, video4) or other shows with dancers like „Rerun“, „Good-me & JJ Walker“ or the awesome Michael Jackson and the „Jackson five“. Because the gang would pick him anyway, he and his friends had no choice to join one of them. It was more a matter of survive due to the violent community they lived in than just wanting to be a part of a group. Thus in the beginning to dance was about to get a good reputation in the neighbourhood – performing came later. He and his friends practiced all the time. They lived to dance (pic 1 (1979), pic. 2 (around 1981)). Back in time this dance was called Robot, which later went on in NYC to be called Electric Boogie. The same goes for the name of Hip Hop. In the beginning there were house parties in abandoned buildings or in someones crazy apartment that would permit kids to wreck it. These were the places where bboppers (i.e. puerto rican- gang membres from the 50ies and 60ies like the "dragons", "vampires", ....) would meet, drink, dance and play music, so called jams or block- parties. The record industries called it later Hip Hop.

In 1977 he joined the „Rockwell Association“, which became his first official crew. Kid Terrifics Graffiti- name in the subway was "Tee2", unfortunately in the "Rockwell Association" there was already a "Tee", so they called him Kid Tee. Later on Kid Terrific started to do his own thing or together with his dance- partner X-Tro. His breakthrough as solo artist came after he won a dance contest in 1983 at the Pier in South- Manhattan New York City. There he got discovered by the "Tin Pan Apple Management" and they started to promote him (pic.3). Charles Stettler – a swiss guy based in New York – was the founder of that Management and became later the promoter of the rap group "The Fat Boys", which he toured in Europe. It was Stettler who gave Kid Terrific his name. He asked him what the "Tee" – in Kid Tee – stands for and invented immediately "Terrific" out of it [1A]. Arthur Bisig from Zurich/Switzerland – one of the owner of the Jazzeria dance school in Zurich ([2][3], pic. 4) – read an article in a swiss magazin about Stettler who hangs out in the NYC local Hip Hop scene [4]. Before flying to NYC Bisig contacted Stettler with the intention to meet local Breakdance- and Electric- Boogie- dancers. The latter showed him around and presented him a lot of people, which was really helpful on Bisig's "mission". Among other things Bisig ended up at this dance contest at the Pier and saw Kid Terrific there (pic.5). Short after he met X-Tro and invited both of them to Zurich to teach Electric- Boogie- and Breakdance- classes in the Jazzeria  dance school (pic.6, pic.7, 1B and 1A]. But they also performed in Clubs, i.e. in "The Big Apple" Club in Zurich  (pic. 8), in the streets and they toured in other swiss, german and austrian cities. Two Swiss TV- Shows have been resulted out of their stay in Switzerland [5]. When they returned from the old continent Kid Terrific went solo  again and began to teach in a school in Connecticut. Besides he did also some Electric Boogie dance shows in movies like "Portfolio" with Julie Wolfe > see min.25 sec.57  (Thoremca Productions inc., 1983) or danced in music videos with Laura BraniganA little later he toured with „Short Circuit“ South America and joined „Electric Company“ under MrWiggles and Fable. Finally he connected with „Short Circuit“ and had become a part of "the incredible breakers" (pic.9 > left: Kid Terrific, right: Bryant, Leader and President of "the incredible breakers") ever since what was around in 1986. He never opened a school for dancing by himself nor did he go to a school of dancing. 

In NYC most breakers would go to the „Fun House“, „Danceteria“ or "the Roxy". Back in the day you just go to the block or the street, you knock on doors, ask others that you are around, whistle et cetera. There was no smart phone or beeper in those days.

The original spirit of the Hip Hop art and culture movement is, citation Kid Terrific:

Expression know that in all negative there is positive, expressing the positive so other may learn and enjoy.

He is absolutely convinced that that spirit still exists all over the world, which he finds amazing. Final citation Kid Terrific:

Hip hop to me took me out of hell and placed me in a place where I was able to express to my friends and family and finally the world that all life matters. Yes, life is not perfect but we must find a path may that be through the arts of signing, rapping, dancing, breaking, education, becoming a doctor, a lawyer, a teacher, anything is possible when you do not give up and remained focused. Never let any one take your happiness, no matter how tough your struggle maybe. Commitment hard work it is not easy but it will benefit when it is all said and done.

God bless and thank you Carrie for this interview.

Kid Terrific

Bronx NYC [1A]

Check out the social media network of Kid Terrific:

Facebook, YoutubeTwitter, Instagram. 

the german translation is in progress .....


Sources/ Bibliography


[1A] Interview, Kid Terrific & Carrie for HHMS, December 21st in 2018, Bern- Switzerland/ The Bronx- NYC (USA), coll. HHMS, 2018. 

[1B] Email- correspondence, between Arthur Bisig & Caroline Montandon for HHMS, January 15th 2020, coll. HHMS, 2020. 

[2] Dagegen ist Rock'n Roll ein müdes Gehopse, Anonymus, Carina - swiss woman magazin, publisher: Burda, around 1983, coll. Bisig, 2019.

[3] Interview21i, "Aufstieg und Fall... ist die Breakdance- Welle vorbei?", Omid Bürgin [unknown swiss magazin], before Eastern- around 1984, coll. Bisig, 2019.

[4]  Aus der New Yorker Hip- Hop Bewegung..., Anonymus [unknown swiss magazin], 1983, coll. Bisig, 2019.

[5] 1st Show: New Yorker Street Dancer, Kurt Aeschbacher,, in: "Karusell" (921), SRF in- house production, 28.09.1983 (DRS), Swiss Federal Archive and Telepool Zurich. 2nd Show: Breakdance- Boom ausgelöst durch den Film Staying Alive mit John Travolta, in: "Click das Unterhaltungsmagazin auf DRS", 28.10.1983 (Broadcast: October 31st 1983), Swiss Federal Archive and Telepool Zurich, december 2018/ january 2019, > FaroWeb.


pic 1: Kid Terrific to the left, in the middle Pop, Blaze to the right, color photography, 1979, coll. Kid Terrific, 2018.

pic. 2: Kid Terrific to the left, color photography, around 1981, coll. Kid Terrific, 2018. 

pic.3: Kid Terrific, Management Tin Pan Apple, New York City, 1983, coll. Kid Terrific, 2018. 

pic. 4: Design (Logo) "Jazzeria Dance Studio", hand made, Arthur Bisig [Jazzeria], early 80ties, Zurich, coll. Bisig, 2019. 

pic. 5Breakdance Contest, Pier- South Manhattan, New York, black and withe photography, Arthur Bisig, 1983, coll. Bisig, 2019. 

pic. 6: Kid Terrific & X-tro, pose 1, Jazzeria dance school, Zürich, 1983, coll. Bisig, 2019. 

pic.7: Kid Terrific & X-tro, pose 2, Jazzeria dance school, Zürich, 1983, coll. Kid Terrific, 2018.

pic. 8: Kid Terrific, Big Apple Club, Zurich, October 2nd 1983, coll. Kid Terrific, 2018. 

pic.9: Kid Terrific & the incredible Bryant (president and leader of "the incredible Breakers") , Photographie, New York, 2018, coll. Kid Terrific, 2018. 


Kid Terrific: Kid Terrific, electric- boogie dance, youtube- Kid Tee Electric Boogie EST.. 1977, 2019, coll. Kid Terrific,, December 2019.

video1: Soul Train, line dance to jungle boogie (1973), youtube- ClassicSoulRadio, recommended by HHMS, 2019.

video2: Soul Train, soul train line 1973, youtube- MyRhythmNSoulTV, recommended by HHMS, 2019.

video 3: American Bandstand, American Bandstand 1970s Dance Partners Debbi McKay & Fred Vuittionet, youtube- ABdancers, recommended by HHMS, 2019.

video4: American Bandstand, dance contest, youtube- discolarry124, recommended by HHMS,, December 2019.

Rerun: Best of rerun, youtube- DBow2011, recommended by HHMS, 2019.

The Jackson Five: Michael Jackson - American Bandstand 1970 HD, youtube-  AlexyzJacksonHD, recommended by HHMS, 2019.

Rockwell Association: Big Break Dance Contest, youtube- Kid Terrific Rockwell Association, recommended by HHMS, 2019.

Fat Boys: Fat Boys, LP "Fat Boys", Sutra records, 1984,

see min.25 sec.57: Kid Terrific Electric Boogie Dance Show, 25' 57'', in: Portfolio (Thoremca Productions inc. 1983), youTube- Double Denim Days, 2019.

Laura Branigan: Kid Terrific & electric boogie dancer group, in: Videoclip, Laura Branigan, Self Control, (All night Fuji), 1984,

Fun House: The legendary NYC FUNHOUSE Disco, New York City, youtube- Alfonso Purpura, recommended by HHMS, 2019.

Danceteria: Danceteria -New York in the 80ies, youtube - Lollipop Events, recommended by HHMS, 2019.

The Roxy: Break Dance Contest Live at the Roxy 1983 (Historical Oldschool), youtube - Dracula Lee, recommended by HHMS, 2019.

Social Media





MA phil. hist. I Caroline Montandon, December 2019