Welcome to Elective of the Week! This weekly column will highlight an interesting or underrated elective. This week we will be putting the spotlight on Hip Hop.
Hip Hop is a brand new class taught by long time dance teacher Ms. D’Anna. The prerequisite for this class is either one year of dance at Blake or an audition, and the course counts as an athletics or art credit.
As the arts school of the Northeast Consortium, Blake is known for having an impressive dance department, but there has never been a class that focuses on just hip hop. In previous years, some hip-hop style has been incorporated into other dance classes, but there never was a class dedicated to the style alone.
“Many students have asked why we have not had a Hip Hop class, so we thought it would be a great idea to have one class dedicated to it,” explains Ms. D’Anna.
Emerging in Black communities in America in the 1970s, hip hop is described as a form of street dance that incorporates elements of traditional African, modern, and jazz dance. It is historically known as a street style, as it has less to do with technical dance training and more so with cultural values. In addition to learning fun, upbeat dances, students who take hip hop learn about the history behind this style of dance, and how it has progressed over time.
“My favorite thing about hip hop dance is the history behind it and how powerful each move has to be hit,” remarks sophomore Naomi Nelson, “You can’t just learn the movements and do them- you have to show the story throughout your dance.”
Students are also able to incorporate popular dance and music trends such as those on TikTok into their pieces, which makes for a lot of excitement. Hip hop class may be physically tiring, but it provides an excellent outlet for creative energy and passion.
“I find that it is nice to have a class for different types of students who might not be studio trained but still excel with this style of dance,” says Ms. D’Anna.
Hip Hop is a fun, high energy class that provides students with an opportunity to express themselves through a less restrictive style of dance. Be sure to come see the hip hop class perform along with the dance department at the Winter concert on January 14th!