Here’s a recent article you might enjoy! – SB
The Proven Formula to Help You Look Cooler
In Any Hip Hop Class
© Shawn Byfield
So Congratulations! You’re obviously thinking about taking a plunge into the world of hip hop dance. Just so you know, hip hop class is a great outlet to release the everyday stress of life, learn a bit of history, and hip hop dance is a GREAT physical activity and excellent exercise no matter where you take it.
Of course, nobody wants to stand out as “the new kid”, “the bunhead” or “the white guy”… =). So here’s some proven tips to help you rank higher on the cool factor of hip hop class, no matter what your colour, age or ability!
FORMULA TIP #1: Look And Dress The Part
When was the last time you saw a hip hop video and the dancers were in bodysuits and tights? It’s amazing how just looking the part helps you dance and feel better. Here’s what you wear:
- Find some BAGGY sweats, army pants or cargos.
- Get a funky tshirt or top that you feel comfortable and stylish in.
- Find a pair of running shoes that absorb shock. No ballet or jazz shoes!
- Accessorize with bandanas, hats, armbands and belts as long as they don’t distract and prevent you or others from dancing.
- For the ladies, warm up with your hair up, then when it comes to dance, practice with your hair down. No celebrity ever performs with their hair in a ponytail. And lastly ladies… leave your Lulu Lemon pants at home.
FORMULA TIP #2: Bend Yo’ Knees and Get Low
Hip hop has roots in African dance, which is very earthy and grounded. A basic rule for hip hop is, stay LOW to the ground. Here’s how:
- Bend those knobby knees of yours, and widen your stance like a football linebacker. This allows you to transfer your weight quickly as needed in class.
- Center yourself squarely over your pelvis, and “sit” into it, almost like you’re going to ride horseback.
- And no straight backs! It’s not ballet. Bend that spine, curve forward slightly and relax your neck.
FORMULA TIP #3: Bring a Positive Mindset
Because we’re humans, as we age we tend to fear anything new. Afraid of change. Afraid of anything different. Afraid of what others will think. Afraid of how we’ll look. Afraid of making mistakes…
ALWAYS remember this: You become what you think about most of the time.
It’s true: You become what you think about most of the time.
So tell yourself that you’re here to learn, you are proud of yourself and you’re not afraid to make mistakes. Be positive! Think positive thoughts. You’re eager to learn. And remember, you didn’t learn to run overnight. First you had to learn to crawl, then you learned to walk. And finally you learned how to run.
The same basic process applies to hip hop dance- and any dance style for that matter. Be confident. Be patient. And encourage yourself and in time you will succeed.
FORMULA TIP #4: Get Professional Guidance
Lastly, get involved often! You will only improve based on the level of effort you put forth.
So if you dance once a month, you won’t get too far. But if you dance 2-3 times a week, now we’re moving forward. Set your schedule and PLAN to take yourself seriously. Research a professional hip hop instructor or school you’re interested in, sign up and commit to a class, and prepare to have a blast!
* Shawn Byfield is an award winning choreographer, show director and a leading expert in dance workshops, show choreography and industry advice. His extremely fun and high-energy classes are a must for anyone looking to achieve their highest potential through dance. For more information, visit: http://www.ShawnByfield.com