When you see or hear krump dancing, it’s hard to not think of the man behind its movement. Ceasare Willis aka Tight Eyez created this incredible style of dance and has used it to navigate his life. His journey from the streets of L.A to the stage of America’s Best Dance Crew and everything in between is truly an urban fairytale.
Tight Eyez, has had many challenges being raised in South Central L.A. Growing up, his father was not in his life and his mother became involved when he was a teenager. He was exposed to violence in and outside of his home and hungered for a way out. His grandmother was solely responsible for him and during a financial challenging time his grandmother had him relocate to New York for a few years. When he returned, the negative experiences began to overwhelm him and he became scared and somewhat of an introvert. He was introduced to music and dance, and immediately he found a new passion. While he began his love for dance, he was drowning in gang violence. His only chance to stay a float was krumping. It literally saved his life. “If I didn’t have krump, I’d either be dead or incarcerated.”
Tight Eyez was featured in the documentary “Rize,” directed by David LaChappelle in 2005. It was the first time krump was introduced to the world. The birth of krump (acronym for Kingdom Radically Uprising Mighty Praise) along side clown dancing was the documentary’s focus. Since “Rize”, he’s has had multiple opportunities and offers in movies, commercials and performing. Krumping has grown internationally and according to Tight Eyez, “It’s more popular over seas and it makes me proud.” He’s had the opportunity to travel to other countries and all over the U.S to perform and teach krump. Recently, his crew Street Kingdom made it onto Season 6 of Randy Jackson’s Americas Best Dance Crew. Their goal was to just show the world krumping on that stage but they didn’t anticipate being there for 7 weeks and make it as one of the final four of the competition. “Now people know us and people who don’t even krump, love it!”
Today, Tight Eyez is still competing and still promoting the positivity that krumping has had in his life. “I want people to see the other side of Rize, because they saw the anger and frustration and now I release spirtual power. I’m not mad anymore. Now I krump in a godly way; krump with a message.” He’s become a Christian and now is dedicated to continuing the legacy he has created through his testimony that is manifested into krump. He has many goals professionally, he would like to produce krump music and open up a school dedicated to the arts. Personally, he would like to find his father and wants to know what he thinks of him.
Tragedy does not define a person. How they prevail when it’s all over does. Tight Eyez has proved that no matter what you may experience, you can make it. “I didn’t graduate, I came from an abusive household and real tough upbringing.” He is a testament to how perseverance can turn tragedy into blessings. Whatitdo!
Article Written By: RAEN