Leyda “Lady Sol” Garcia is a street dance professional from Chicago recognized globally as a Creative Director, Manager, Producer, and Youth Arts Educator. She has worked with MTV, BET, NBC, and TBS, alongside super-stars Busta Rhymes, Wyclef Jean, Cedric the Entertainer, Cham, Lauryn Hill, and Ellen Degeneres. Lady Sol is responsible for bringing Chicago’s Footwork/Juke culture to global stages via the FootworKINGz, who have performed with Madonna, Will.I.Am, Missy Elliott, Willow Smith, Chicago Sinfonietta, IBM, Nike, and Red Bull.
Lady Sol is also co-founding member of Kuumba Lynx, a nationally recognized non-profit arts organization that empowers young people through the cultivation of Hip-Hop arts. She began her career as a passionate teaching artist in 1997 throughout Chicago and the Los Angeles area. Her curriculum, developed alongside Kuumba Lynx, Urban Gateways, and After School Matters, is rooted in Hip Hop’s original philosophy of spreading peace, love, unity, and respect through music and movement. In addition to teaching Hip Hop dance styles, Lady Sol has a long-standing passion for Afro-Caribbean culture and began fusing Jamaican Reggae/Dancehall urban styles into her dance curriculum in 2003.
In 2013, Lady Sol pioneered the start of public Reggae/Dancehall classes in Chicago dance studios; she has also staged choreography at various local culture festivals and concerts. In 2014, she partnered with Jessica Phoenix, founder of FIYAH Dancehall Theater NYC, and co-founded FIYAH Fit, a dance fitness experience that celebrates and empowers women. “I find joy in sharing culture that spreads happiness and promotes healthy living,” Lady Sol said. “I intend to continue preserving urban culture by promoting, teaching, and presenting it both locally and globally.”
Check out Lady Sol’s Urban Gateways students dancing during an Urban Dance residency at Little Village High School.