48 THE QUEENS COURIER • DANCE • AUGUST 30, 2018 FOR BREAKING NEWS VISIT WWW.QNS.COM
Look cooler in any hiphop class
BY SHAWN BYFIELD
If you are thinking about taking a
plunge into the world of hip hop dance
there are some things you should know.
Hip hop class is a great outlet to release
the everyday stress of life and learn a bit of
history. Th e class 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.” So here’s some proven tips
to help you rank higher on the cool factor,
no matter what your color, age or ability!
Look And Dress Th e 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 to wear:
• Find some baggy sweats, army pants
• Get a funky t-shirt 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
• 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.
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 knees of yours, and widen
your stance like a football linebacker. Th is
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.
Bring a Positive Mindset
Because we’re humans, as we age we tend
to fear anything new. Afraid of change.
Afraid of anything diff erent. 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.
So tell yourself that you’re here to learn,
you are proud of yourself and you’re
not afraid to make mistakes. Be positive!
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.
Th e same basic process applies to hip
hop dance – and any dance style for
that matter. Be confi dent. Be patient.
Encourage yourself and in time you will
Get Professional Guidance
Lastly, get involved oft en! You will only
improve based on the level of eff ort you
So if you dance once a month, you
won’t get too far. But if you dance two
or three 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 Byfi eld (www.ShawnByfi eld.
com) is an award winning choreographer,
show director and a leading expert
in dance lessons and industry advice.
Our 32nd Year of Fun-Filled Classes
The Exciting 2018 Fall Season
Begins September 10th
Sept. 2nd thru 6th 2:00pm-6:00pm
Sept. 8th 10:00am-2:00pm