Heartland Hip Hop director shares love for creativity and dance

  • Video shows Heartland Hip Hop studio and practice.
  • For this story, Marcus Payne was interviewed. He’s the owner and director of Heartland Hip Hop. Camille Tines was also interviewed. She’s a part of Payne’s competition hip hop class.


Almost every day, you can find music blasting at Heartland Hip Hop. Moving to each rhythm, dancers all share a love for hip hop.

“I very much was influenced by boy bands at a young age,” Marcus Payne, owner and director at Heartland Hip Hop said. “Their choreography, I just loved it so much and was just trying to learn to move like that. That kind of transitioned in to hip hop choreography.”

Payne spent several years teaching his groovy moves all over the country. But, he decided it was time to come back to Nebraska. He opened his all hip hop studio in September.

“I feel like this place really allows kids, adults even, to come in to feel accepted. They are allowed to be themselves, trying something new,” Payne said.

Fourteen-year-old Camille Tines found her love for hip hop through watching family and friends dance over the years.

“It may look challenging, but if you really just put your heart to it and groove with it… It’s a lot of fun,” Tines said.

Moving and grooving to every beat, Tines is a part of Payne’s competition group. The many practices she attends is to prepare for the 2024 competition season.

“Dance is the only thing I have been doing. I love that I’ve been doing it for so long,” Tines said.
“….They’re like my family. They like let me be me, and let me be myself.”

As 2023 comes to a close, Payne is grateful to share the love for his creative outlet.

“It always means something to me when someone takes a slot at 7:30 on a Tuesday. And they’re like ‘I’m going to spend it with you at the studio.’ It’s humbling. It feels great. It makes me want to continue to push for more,” Payne said.

Anyone is welcome to test their dance moves or just learn a thing or two. To learn more, click hereto head to Heartland Hip Hop’s website.

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