Hype, hip-hop make perfect pairings in class


Shelby Haskett

Juniors Madison Doan and Ashlyn Gilhooley stretch in a dressing room before taking their hip hop dance class.

Shelby Haskett and Ellie Bynam, Contributors

“This Is How We Do it!” blared through the studio as dancers grooved between two lines of students.

The song, made popular by artist Montell Jordan, set the perfect mood for the Soul Train line that started the class. As the line continued, students and teachers laughed and encouraged one another with cheers. 

Students described this classroom as an “incredibly supportive,” nonjudgmental community, where they hype each other up.

The class, “Classic Hip-Hop Dance,” was created by cheer coach Jessica Hawks and dance teacher Danyale Williams. 

“The biggest goal of the overall class is that they have a new sense of confidence and they can move and have fun and be creative through dance,” Hawks said. 

The teachers accomplished this by having high energy and creating a welcoming environment, making students more comfortable in trying new things, said junior Hope Haynes.

Lauren Byrd, junior, said that the class is great for those who are “willing to be uncomfortable.” 

Smiles spread throughout the room as students broke into groups to create choreography. Some moved into the lobby, others into the dressing rooms.

They began to create short dances based on the moves they learned the day before to perform in front of the class to a song of their choosing. The songs varied between different hip-hop artists from the ’80s and ’90s, such as Salt-n-Pepa and Run-DMC

Students also watched a video, “Grab The Mic: A Hip Hop History,” which discusses the artists who helped to establish the hip-hop dance culture and the significance behind it. They also interviewed pioneers in hip-hop culture such as Snoop Dogg.

Not only did students have a good time and learn many impressive dances, but they also learned so much more. They were almost hysterical at trying these new things and failing, but that didn’t matter.

“Everything transcends in the class, including race and gender. You’re just a dancer,” junior Mason Thenor said.