Our Founder

 

Nicknamed Mr. Wave, Tony Draughon Wesley was born and raised in the Bronx NY in 1965. As a child, Tony spent years searching for his “place in life”. After sincere searches for who he was, Tony found himself through the art of dance and was inspired by a true legend— the late Michael Jackson. Jackson’s
performance of his dance the robot inspired Tony to pursue his passion and gifting in dance. As he began to pursue his strengths, the culture and his neighborhood lent themselves to his development. As he Mr. Wave NYC Breakers Beat Street Hip Hop Danceprogressed, this new style of dance—b-boying and breakdance— began to create his now well known title of Mr. Wave. He assumed this name because he created the illusion that his body parts were waving—this was unlike anything anyone had ever seen!

As he began to add his personal twist to dance, Tony became known around the community – at that time as Dr. Electric because of his seemingly electrifying body movements. Inspired by the music of the times, in 1983 his movements offered him the opportunity to become a member of a NYC B-Boy group; The New York City Breakers. The well known dancer, Kid Nice fell in love with Tony’s unique style of dance and suggested he perform at a national, televised event—the 1983 CBS Kennedy Center Honors. That year, dance legend Katherine Dunham as well as Frank Sinatra in addition to other creative luminaries, directed the event. This was only the beginning for Mr. Wave, later he was asked to dance at the White House and was even recognized by Bob Hope who proclaimed, “Mr. Wave
couldn’t possibly have a single bone in his body.”

Mr. Wave’s innovative style of dance and ability to withstand the test of time has cemented him as a living legend of dance. In 2014 Mr. Wave kicked off his “I Never Left” campaign that led him to provide dance instruction and motivational sessions in Paris and Amsterdam. That campaign was the start of his re-branding as a motivational speaker and entrepreneur. Recognizing the impact that sharing his story and struggles had on his young audiences; Wave, wanting to give back to his community and particularly the youngest of the same, launched the I Am That Kid Foundation as platform by which dance classes, motivational seminars could impact the lives of the next generation of hip hop.  Wave in partnership with current b-boy dancers and flanked by his peers, is committed to providing youth of all ages with the opportunity to learn dance, build their self esteem and channel their energies in a positive way while simultaneously getting healthy (fighting obesity) all a little to no cost to them and their families.