Sunday, January 25th, 2009
Hip Hop dance class was off-the-chain. I mean it was dope -- fo-shizzle. (Alright, enough of that. I am pleased to report that the dilettantes were much better at the dancing than at the hip hop lingo. More on that in a moment...)
This class was held at the DC Dance Collective on Wisconsin Avenue (near Tenley Circle). There were 24 people in the class, and it was a great mix of ages, ethnicities and about an equal number of men and women. Our instructor, Gwo, was one of those effortlessly cool guys who had some mad dance skillz (I can't help myself).
Gwo began the class with a bit of a history on the different types of street dance, including breakdancing (breakdancers are called b-boys and b-girls -- now you can drop that into conversation at your next cocktail party) and pop-and-lock (which Dilettante Amanda already knew about being as how she's so "street" from listening to Anne Hathaway talk about this on the Ellen show.) (Interesting aside: Rerun from "What's Happenin'?" was one of the original "lockers".) (Bonus interesting aside: Dilettante Kathleen once served Mr. Run during the summer she waitressed at Red Lobster in Virginia Beach. She remembers him as being gracious and a good tipper, though obviously a horrible judge of restaurants.)
Our instructor referenced "What's Happenin'" and "Flashdance" as pop culture media that showcased some great examples of street dance (though he did this in a way that made them seem like they were ancient history -- like the first 'talkies' or something). He also taught us that the four elements of the hip-hop culture are: a DJ, an MC, graffiti and breakdancing (again, perfect for your next cocktail party).
As I mentioned earlier, the dilettantes actually did pretty well at bringing on da noise, bringing on da funk. We were particularly adept at doing "chest pops" in an intimidating fashion (hip hop is all about the attitude, you know).
By the end of the class, we had learned a routine, which we then did in groups facing each other as a sort of "dance off" where some of us pretended to be robots and some of us pretended to be Sesame Street characters. Or maybe that was the dream I had last night after all the spicy food...
(P.S. The photos below are a mere sampling of the million that we took during our post-class dinner and drinks at the Salvadoran restaurant next door to the dance studio. Too bad the one where Dilettante Amy slurping beer through her grill from a crunk chalice didn't turn out.)
(P.P.S. Dilettante Nicole missed the activity because she was not feeling well BUT SHE IS NOT PREGNANT SO DON'T EVEN THINK THAT FOR A MINUTE, so we'll be presenting her with her grill next month -- and forcing her to wear it while playing the didgeridoo...)