Being a Dancer and Introduced to Hip-Hop

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As a dancer, I began being surrounded by hip-hop music much more frequently as I aged. The first song I remember hearing that introduced me to hip-hop music was 1, 2 step by Ciara and Missy Elliot. Yes, its old school hip-hop don't laugh at me, but I remember vividly the moment that my dance teacher turned it on in my dance studio and told us that we would be performing to this unfamiliar music. I was so foreign to the rhythm and beat of hip-hop because I was raised dancing to ballet, jazz, tap, and lyrical music. Not only was the music strange, but the movements of dancing to it were too. I was not used to the style of dance and felt completely awkward and felt as though I stood out like a sore thumb in my dance class. Although it was new to me, I loved how the songs beat allowed me to instantly feel as though I could feel the tempo and begin to dance to it. I felt like a complete outsider to hip-hop music and culture when I first had heard it, because I was not used to it and had never heard it before. I was used to hearing either the music I usually danced to or the pop music I enjoyed listening to on the radio.

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It's interesting to hear the perspective of a dancer that started out completely different from me. I did not start dancing in the traditional disciplines, but rather started with hip hop dancing. For me, it was really hard to go back to the "basics" of other styles I didn't know such as the pliƩ, and many of these basics ended up becoming super important in hip hop dancing. I sometimes feel discrimination in the dancing community because of the way I started out. I'm glad to be reminded that I'm not the only one feeling out of place and that many traditional dancers feel equally awkward when being immersed in something that is new to them. I think we all just need to band together and support each other rather than ostracize those who are only trying to understand and be a part of an unfamiliar culture.

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This page contains a single entry by matth328 published on September 10, 2012 3:57 PM.

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