McQueen of dance now back as painter
In the 1980s she shot to fame as the UK's first female breakdancer, her amazing moves appearing in hit music videos and adverts.
And 30 years later Hanifa McQueen-Hudson is making a name for herself yet again – by incorporating painting into her impressive dances.
The talented mother of two spends her days spinning around her home covered in paint and creating works of art that have been valued at thousands of pounds.
"I call it 'b-boying on canvas' – b-boying being the original name for breakdancing," says Hanifa, from Newhampton Road West, Wolverhampton.
It was 1982 when a 12-year-old Hanifa saw her eight brothers practising on the kitchen floor of their home.
She developed a talent for it, and a year later she starred in the UK's first breakdancing music video Electro Rock. She became part of dance troupe 'The B Boys', and was sponsored by firms including Adidas and Puma while they took the performing world by storm.
"People thought girls should be more ladylike and because of that I had to stay home and cook and clean," says Hanifa.
"When I finally got my big break it was amazing, and from that moment on I entered loads of competitions and won medals.
"In the late 80s breakdancing died out and that was when I started doing workshops teaching youngsters how to do it.
"But then in the 90s it became popular again and before I knew it I was being asked to perform again."
She eventually had two children and the dancing became less frequent, but Hanifa then came across her unusual new talent by accident.
"I came up with the idea for Art Breaker, which incorporates art and breakdancing, after scuffing my friend's floor with the black soles of my trainers while showing him some moves and making a pattern," she says.
"I used to be a graffiti artist when I was younger and I am familiar with paint, so it just came to me. Also, when my son came home from nursery with paint on his hands I used to think, 'I wonder what it would like if I had paint on my feet?' So I went to get some paint."
She's developed various techniques – either submerging her feet in the paint and breakdancing on the canvas, or putting the paint down first and dancing over it. "Every piece is unique," says Hanifa.
She started her art project in 2006 but more are hearing about her skills and are asking her to design pictures for them, with one item of work being valued at £5,000.
For more details on Hanifa's work, call 07999 066829.
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