Every year in the Twin Cities there is a Be girl Be Summit held by Intermedia Arts. This summit is a weekend celebration of women in hip hop. Along with this summit held, there are also performances done weekly by a dancer and choreographer by the name of Amy Sackett. Most of these performances are held in South Minneapolis on Lyndale ave. The summit is designed to be a family friendly show and allow the community and young girls to participate.There are dancers of all skills levels present at the event giving them the opportunity to perform as well as network and/or connect with potenial mentoring prospects. This summit also serves as a chance to show positive female role models in the hip hop scence, showing a stark contrast to the popular vision of sex driven music videos.
This summit is an empowering event for hip hop women across the nation, because in history and in the popular media men have typically dominated the hip hop scence. At the summit women are in the spotlight and the main attraction. One thing I admire and found very interesting was that Amy Sackett prefers to be taught dance moves by female instructors, because they know how the female body moves. This is such a phenomenal event that allows women to define who they are in hip hop apart from their male counterparts. The intermediate arts location is a great place for hip hop feminists to create a culture surrounded around hip hop that does not contain sexist or racist ideals.
When reading about this summit and about hip hop feminism and what it entails it really hit home that women in hip hop have been overly commercialized to be sexual figures in rap and music videos. Amy Sackett gave a quote saying. "Hip-hop is a rose that blossomed out of the worst situations. People needed a way to escape the hardships they were dealing with in a positive way," Hip hop for young girls needs to be learned in a positive manner a part from what society has idealized it as. Society should not be teaching young girls to dance as sexual figure, dancing should be looked at as an art form or as a way to express emotions. The way hip hop is sexualized gives the wrong impression about why women are participating and want to be a more pronounced artist and dancers in the culture of hip hop.
Dancin to the b-girl beat
Here is a video from the 2006 Be girl Be Summit with Choreography done by Amy Sackett!