Saskatoon, Treaty 6: Stefaun Tingley, aka B-boy Omegaflow
(Photos by Jennifer Sparrowhawk, Intro by Taylor Tshering Swanson)
Trying to introduce Stefaun is as difficult as trying to convince people that some fantastic story is absolutely true. I hope the effort you see below lends me persuasive power.
Ally of all, this beautiful bearded breakdancer has come crashing in to my cosmos from Cowessess, bringing his contagious character of compassion and daring do-good. Delightedly, I discern his dedication to doing right, and I elate when he expresses excellently sage advice upon some sod, often I, who’s come to the wise Stefaun with his petty personal problems. From a far-flung corner of his fact-fat mind, he founts a great gallon of goodness and love. Humbly, he hangs his hats in Saskatoon, where he hip hops and hangs out. Happily, he helps the hapless sod, heaping upon a heavy-hung heart incredibly invented advice. It’s interesting, isn’t it? Just as a jabbing javelin may pierce a heart, justice and love may, too. Joyful and jubilant, kids come to the kindly Boys and Girls Club Coordinator, leaping for the lessons this learned lad. Many more make their way to my main man’s main pad, wherein he drops lessons on the numerous nuances that need mastery in order to maximize majesty when occupying the dance floor with the outrageous personality persistent in his hip-hop stage presence. Quite keen to never quit his not-so-quaint quest, and the quintessence of a status quo rival, not-even-rarely will racism, or any other “ism,” render Stefaun silly; instead, he surely and shortly spins the societal slap back towards the thimble-minded twerp who thought to tempt this tempest. Understanding the ubiquitous nature of such unpleasantness, Stefaun is voracious in his vendetta, veering away from the vacant vox populi, instead vexing villains and vindicating victims virulently. Wherever his wise soul winds up, whatever way he goes, and whomever he crosses, xenophobia becomes (platonic) xenophilia. Hate becomes love and understanding. … Zebra.
Stefaun lives fully and gracefully in the worlds of both the wise old man and the playful child. He loves easily but with meaning and significance. He thinks carefully but always has a bright new perspective. He endeavors to become the best Stefaun that he can be, and he’s careful to forgive himself for his mistakes. He cares for people in a way that makes them want to be better for him, and they are all better for having known him. He is my best friend and I hold him in the highest esteem.
KC: What kinds of projects are you involved in right now?
Currently I teach evening breakdancing classes at a studio off of 22nd street in Saskatoon at the Saskatoon Conservatory of Music. I have been renting space here and teaching youth about the fundamentals of breakdancing for just over two years. I am also frequently performing at events and teaching workshops along side my fellow Concrete Mentality crew members. Concrete Mentality as a B-boy crew only came into existence less than a year ago and it feels like we have accomplished many things. Within the last couple months our crew has finished two 5 week dance workshops with youth in Fishing Lake First Nation and Saskatoon’s Pope Jean Paul School.
KC: What’s your day job? What do you like about it? What’s challenging?
My day job entails being an after school program Coordinator on Saskatoon’s west side. The program is offered through a non-profit organization called the Boys & Girls Clubs of Saskatoon. Now that its 2016 this marks my third year with the organization. What I like most about this position is that I am able to implement program planning that I personally feel will enrich youths’ perspective. Being in a mentor type of position with the youth that make up our Confederation Park program allows for a great sense of fulfillment at the end of each day. As for challenges, I feel that while I do my monthly reports it can be challenging to recall all the activities and successes we experience here at our program. Recently I have gotten into the habit of writing down those memorable moments after they happen so that they are much easier to recall.
KC: What’s important to you?
In the wide scheme of things, a collective global understanding of each other as human beings is important to me. Community is a word I’d like to insert here, we need it, everywhere. Learning and reconciliation would be two things that I feel are necessary for this to be achieved.
On a more personal level I would have to say that practicing physical, emotional and spiritual positivity is important. Also learning everyday, from the past and for the future, from youth and from elders, and from each other. Loving your “self” is incredibly important as well, unconditionally. Friendship. Family. Music. Dancing. Dancing is very important for me because I feel it encompasses all of the above, and then some.
KC: What do you like most/least about Saskatoon?
The land. This particular area of Treaty 6 reminds me of my home community in Treaty 4, Cowessess. When I was younger, I grew up near the water, right beside a creek, which was also in close proximity to two lakes and a river that connected them. I feel that being near water creates a vibe for me, a flow if you will. Having that here in Saskatoon allows for a presence that keeps me grounded. I also appreciate the hilly style of the land, although the territory is not as hilly as back home in Treaty 4, I have feels for it. What I least like about Saskatoon is that it seems like the city is always physically developing and expanding. I don’t like how natural areas have become cemented into more neighborhoods or touristy attractions. It feels unnecessary. .
KC: What is your impression of Regina?
I was born in Regina, attended my first year of University at the U of R, and know many great people who currently reside in the “Queen City”. Aside from that, I am having trouble thinking of a reason that would draw me to visit Regina if it weren’t for having friends and family there.
KC: How do you survive the winters?
When I’m outside during the winter these things are essential for me. A hoodie, a zip-up jacket over the hoodie, neck warmer over the face, a pair of gloves, long johns and music playing through my headphones.
When I’m inside during the winter these are some things that help me cope with the cold, in no particular order, coffee, music, open space to dance, and food. Books are good as well.
From the Proust Questionnaire: What do you most value in your friends?
Honesty. I feel that when we have friends that are honest with us, we are able to learn and grow from them, and vice-versa. I think as people we feel respected or valued when people are honest with us, we tend to feel that our friends are looking out for our best interest with the advice they are offering. It is kind of like they are protecting your heart, mindset and your future by being straight up. It is an incredible trait to reciprocate.
Facebook page dedicated to the dance classes I offer in Saskatoon www.omegaflow.ca
Boys & Girls Clubs of Saskatoon article http://www.bgcsaskatoon.com/about-us/feature-friday-a-caring-adult-tracy-office-administrator/stefaun
Youtube video playlist featuring my dancing https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLrligY-fIGGnqOwrmzz3g9o2Zt4QBr4zn