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So you teach hip-hop....Can you teach me to dance like Beyonce?

Posted by mstiffy on June 13, 2010 at 6:17 PM

Hip-hop dance and video dancing (or what I would like to call "booty dancing") are always mistaken for one another.  As a hip-hop instructor, I always have parents say, "Now will my daughter be dancing like those girls in the music videos?"

 

No.

 

Want to know why? Let me tell you.

 

What those "girls in the music videos" are doing is not, I repeat, is not hip-hop dancing. Shaking your backside to a hip-hop song does not constitute as hip-hop dance or even dancing period. There is so much technique and training that goes along with hip-hop. Everything from lowering your center of gravity to proper body placement must be achieved before pulling off a hip-hop routine. Not to mention the rich history that goes along with the genre.

 

To read more about the history of hip-hop dance check out past blog entries in the sidebar.

 

Sometimes I feel that hip-hop dance isn't taken seriously. I feel like a lot of people try to pass themselves off as hip-hop instructors and choreographers without doing the proper research. You wouldn't teach a ballet class with no training, right? Why should hip-hop be any different?  Taking your normal jazz class and tweaking it to add a few funky moves does not make it hip-hop either.

 

In this economy, flying up to New York to take a class from the masters is pretty much out of the question for most of us, but that doesn't mean that proper training must be sacrificed. I have found that Youtube has plenty of resources to help hip-hop instructors teach proper technique. Also, Dance.net has a whole hip-hop forum filled with information about history and pretty much anything you need to start your journey into hip-hop dance. The good thing about hip-hop is you don't have to have a degree to teach it, but you do have to understand the genre and it's sub-genres.

 

What do you think?

 

Keep in mind this is only my opinion, and I would love to hear yours. Also, any topics that you would like to discuss please post them!

 

Stay tuned. More topics to come!

 

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2 Comments

Reply kdavis17167
10:01 AM on June 15, 2010 
I agree with this post. Dancing is an art and a craft and you must perfect your craft. Why would you want an instructor who does not understand, know, and love their craft? Would you let someone perform open heart surgery on you that does have an understanding of how the body works? Then why be taught dance by someone who does not understand the rich culture and heritage behind hip hop dance? Anyone can shake their booties (I see babies and old people wiggle their booties all the time), but it takes a true passion and understanding to teach hip-hop.

Thanks for this post. Very good article.
Reply mstiffy
12:35 PM on June 15, 2010 
kdavis17167 says...
I agree with this post. Dancing is an art and a craft and you must perfect your craft. Why would you want an instructor who does not understand, know, and love their craft? Would you let someone perform open heart surgery on you that does have an understanding of how the body works? Then why be taught dance by someone who does not understand the rich culture and heritage behind hip hop dance? Anyone can shake their booties (I see babies and old people wiggle their booties all the time), but it takes a true passion and understanding to teach hip-hop.

Thanks for this post. Very good article.


I completely agree and I'm glad you see where I'm coming from. I take my profession seriously, and to see some instructors throwing together a routine to pass off as hip-hop (or any style for that matter) really upsets me. If you haven't trainied in it, you shouldn't teach it.

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