Well, it’s coming to a close again. It’s been a mix and mash of chaotic events the past couple of weeks but I’ve made some significant progress on my In-Depth and started working towards my presentation!
After my last post, I was able to contact Minlyn about setting up a session to learn a few moves. He was kind enough to work with me during a lunch time last week and he showed me a few pretty cool things! He taught me four different moves that you can use in different ways or scenarios:
- Handstand; can be done stationary or while walking on hands.
- “Pop and lock”; with the arm over your chest and popping your
shoulders and upper body side to side or in other ways.
- One-hand-stand; specifically a kick up with both feet and a grab
with your free hand to the closest foot.
- A “stall”; often referred to as the “baby freeze”, a balance on both hands leveraged on your hips with your feet in the air.
I struggled with most of these moves as they require a lot of strength, and most importantly, practice. They are all breakdancing moves, which is what Minlyn specializes in, and he gave me some tips for practicing them on my own and for how to execute them. For example, with the one-hand-stand, he showed me how you want to enter it from a virtually sideways position like you would a cartwheel. Then it’s just a matter of kicking up as high as you can and maintaining that flat sideways position, not falling to either side or bending over. It was very new for me to try these types of moves but it was a lot of fun because I have always admired breakdancers and their wicked moves. This certainly reinforced the message that it is a lot harder than it looks and this form of dance particularly requires an especially large amount of strength in each individual move.
Breakdancing is also sometimes referred to as “B-Boying” which is a term I heard a lot when I watched So You Think You Can Dance back in the summer/fall! Another cool connection is from a song I heard a lot as a childhood that many people would recognize from Hannah Montanna, an old kids’ show, the Hoedown Throwdown! In probably the most famous part of the song she sings…
Pop it, lock it, polka dot it
Countrify it, hip hop it
Put your hawk up in the sky, move side to side
Jump to the left, stick it, glide
This is pretty cool because I actually know what all of these different words mean now! Pop and lock is basically when you isolate a part of your body in movement while the rest of your bod stays “locked” in place. And gliding is a form of footwork in hip hop or breakdance where you have your weight distributed on your feet so that you can move one of your feet with it looking like it is “gliding” over the floor, almost like anti-gravity.
I have also watched a lot of online videos and picked up quite a few other new moves, many of which are quite complimentary to the tricks Minlyn taught me, or vise versa. I also learnt about the popping, locking, and gliding that I talked about above in these! I’ve listed a few of the moves I learned below.
- Lower Body Isolation; turning on your heels either with or without your upper body at the same time, creating a robotic movement.
- Head and Neck Isolation; a stepping down or up movement of your head separate from your shoulders, you can add different arm movements or positions to it for more emphasis.
- Arm Roll; the classic, I’ve always wanted to properly learn this so now I have, although it is very difficult as you want to really emphasize the different parts of the motion. You maintain a straight line with your arms that is only broken when the wave arrives at that section.
- Arm Popping; tensing and releasing of your arm/s for an instant to create a locked position almost like you are being electrocuted.
- Glide Footwork; I’ve known the basics of this for a long time it turns out, but the tutorials gave me some ideas of how to use it in different ways to move around. You use different weight distributions between your heel and toe to move in circles or just from side to side. I’m definitely excited to apply this move in some cool ways in my performance!
- and many more…
These have helped me a lot in preparation for planning my performance and they have given me a lot of ideas for some different things I can include! A lot of these are also a more ‘raw’ style of hip hop, as opposed to a more ‘feminine’ type which was what our class was focused on, so this has been really fun getting to try a different sub-genre, so to speak!
I have also just started to plan for my performance! I’ve gotten it down to about five songs but I’m going to leave it for the night for you all to find out as there will be a little bit of a surprise in the music I’m dancing to!
Lastly, our group, Elyssa, Alyssa, and myself, are going to be starting work on our group routine this Sunday and we plan to meet quite a few times over the next few weeks. We will likely also put in some time at school to practice things together. Hopefully this Sunday we can get out song “locked” down and start some choreography together! This will also be a great opportunity for us to share some of the things we have been working on and give each other some support and feedback. We’ll be able to help each other a bit in preparing our performances which I think this will help when it finally comes time to step on that stage and break it down, as I am starting to get pretty nervous about that. It is sure going to be nerve-racking being up there all on my own, but I think if I just focus on having fun and I’ve prepared well then it will turn out fine. Plus, we will be able to practice in front of each other lots to get more comfortable.
So, that’s where I’m at. Hopefully I can “glide” right into my performance without getting “locked” up anywhere. Although if there are some mishaps, which there are sure to be, I’ll just have to find a way to “roll” through them! So for now, until my performance, best wishes to you, and I’ll be hip hopping into the hype of the show!