Spin Around – In-Depth Post #5

Hello again! Well I hope you all had a wonderful break either at home, or away, with friends or family, or on your own. I had a nice get away to refresh myself and I’m back at it for the conclusion of this improvement.

I’m at a bit of a turning point in my project, hence “Spin around”, okay sorry, that was not really even a good pun. Well I finished off my last dance class right before I went away wherein I got to be a part of the video of the dance we have been working on all along! So without further ado, as I’m sure you’re all curious, here’s the link to the video, edited by our instructor Bev Soh, of our dance to the Demi Lovato song Confident!

I’m not in quite as many clips as some of the other dancers as I was not there the first day of filming however it was great that I was able to be a part of this and have this to document what we’ve been working on!

In addition to this over the break I did practice a few times just messing around with some different moves and watching a few videos and trying them out! One particular session, I had a little personal dance workout earlier this week to the musical Hamilton, that many of you have probably heard about, while listening to it for the first time for Social Studies. That was a lot of fun, and it was actually really good practice for some of the different moves that I have seen and just experimenting on my own! I will now be looking to get into a regular practice schedule of at least twice a week for an hour on my own now that my classes with Bev have ended.

This is  not the end of my mentoring however, as I noted at the beginning of this project, I am now on the search for a mentor to guide me through my development in the last couple months of the project or possibly another class that could supplement this role with some extra individual sessions on the side. I have already spent some time looking into some local classes but I am really trying to find an individual who is willing to be my mentor on a regular mentor for these last two months. If you know anyone who might be right for the job please comment below, and I was also recommended a few people recently who I will be trying to contact this weekend.

So for the sake of this week’s blog post I’ll be reflecting on my mentoring relationship with Bev and looking forward to what comes next for me.

What kinds of learning opportunities does the mentor provide to expose you to new learning?

With Bev it was mainly a teaching focus with her at the front of the room and going through the various steps and then the whole dance multiple times as a group. Something unique she used in one of our later classes was peer feedback. This was when half our group performed for the other half without her leading and we gave them feedback, and then we switched.

What kinds of learning opportunities exist to reinforce new learning?

Bev was very good, as I’ve mentioned before, at sending us a video of our most recent rehearsal every week so that we could follow along and practice the dance on our own. This was very useful for reinforcing individual learning because I was able to replay certain parts that I really struggled with and just watch that part closely until I got it. Bev was also supportive and always offered for us to come early to class, especially on the performance(filming) days for extra assistance and review if we needed it.

What kinds of opportunities exist that might accelerate learning?

Some things that are really going to help me know as I try to do more on my own are online tutorials and thus personal practice time. Another opportunity I will be taking advantage of is a fellow classmate who is very skilled in hip hop and breakdance and has agreed to help me out in my project, Minlyn! I will be setting up a session with him for sometime in the next couple of weeks likely as an extra learning session.

When you get together what do you talk about?

Well as I was participating in a class our mentor-mentee relationship was a little different. We didn’t really talk in a one-on-one setting or develop a more personal relationship. I am hoping that this type of individual connection and support is something that I will be able to have with my soon-to-be-unknown mentor.

What is going particularly well in your mentoring relationship right now?

Well, for our classes, I’m done! Not so much that, but rather, I performed! Now it was in a slightly different form than a normal performance but I did have to dance in front of the rest of my class at times and put myself on the internet. This is definitely a good step towards stepping on the stage in my final performance at in-depth night, which, by the way, is not worked out yet, however I believe the three of us are planning on at least a bit of a group dance and definitely live performances in general!

What are you learning about one another?

This is again also something that I didn’t develop much for from my relationship with Bev as I didn’t get to know her very closely. However, I will say that as I mentioned earlier in the project, something that I have learned about Bev is that she is very passionate about dance and that is one of the very important and special things in her life. She is always ready to go and fully energized for our classes and she even brought extra materials for our last class to make sure everyone had accessories that fit the group theme. Not to mention she is the one who takes the time to edit all the clips and angles together to make sure everyone is in it and everyone looks great!

Overall this was a very fun and positive experience for me as my first formal dance training in a while, and it was a great way to introduce me to hip hop and get me going. I hope that I can build on this in the next few weeks and also I will definitely incorporate some of the moves and skills that I learned from this class into my final performance in May!

Have a great week, and remember, there is nothing wrong with being confident!

A Hip, Hop, and a Jump into In-Depth – 2016

Well, another year has come and gone and here we are again at the start of another adventure. It seems such a long time ago that I was flipping up crêpes on In-Depth Night in May last year. I have so many good memories from that project and night and I hope that I can create even more during my new journey this year!

When deciding my project last year, though I did so somewhat hastily and unknowingly, I made it my goal to do one in-depth project in the “presenting” format, and one in the “performing” format. So, as due course, as last year I presented my fresh baked goods at a table for all to enjoy, this year I challenged myself to choose something wherein I would conclude my study with a performance in front of all the guests. With this in mind, there were a couple different ideas that popped up  throughout the course of my decision. I thought of drumming, as I enjoy music and had fun when I got a small taste of the art last year in Beginner Guitar 11. I thought of song-writing, as I had been considering it for a while as something that I want to develop more, along with my guitar playing skills. Then finally, I decided on  hip hop dance.


Hip Hop is something that I have wanted to try for a very long time, way back to when I did musical theatre outside of school in grades three and four and heard about some classes. I also figured that all my other ideas would be things that I would likely be willing to try on my own more later in life, whereas hip hop I thought I might need this extra push and tight support group to get me going. So off I went!


Though I wouldn’t consider myself well practised or experienced, I have danced a little, on a spur the moment basis from time to time, and I have a lot of fun when I do so. My mom has reminded me that I did in fact take some dance classes when I was just a little girl. I participated in the “Tiny Tutus” Ballet class at a studio and also took some tap classes for a little bit. However, those weren’t really my thing, or at least those types of dance weren’t, and I drifted over more into sports.

Over the years I have wanted to go back and try some new types of dance, and see what might or could happen if I really went for it and felt confident about myself trying it. So, when I thought about this project, I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to give it a shot, and try something that I really want to and think I will have a lot of fun doing! I was still a little nervous about this though as I’m really stepping out of my comfort zone so I asked around to see what other people were thinking of doing. Turns out, two Alyssa and Elyssa both wanted to do hip hop too!

Thanks to some connections from a classmate the three of us had ourselves signed up in a beginner hip hop dance class where you learn and create routines in a music video format. Ultimately we film the product instead of performing it in front of an audience. The class will be starting at the beginning of February at Room to Move Dance and Fitness, and that will be my primary base and starting point of learning for my project. From there I hope to build in different areas of hip hop as the project goes on.

Bev Soh, credits, Dion Farrell

At this point, my main mentor will be my dance teacher Bev Soh. Bev is highly experienced in dance and choreography and was recommended as a very nice teacher for beginners! Our class will be taking place with Bev for five Tuesdays, over the course of which we will learn and then film a routine to the song Confident by Demi Lovato! You can check out Bev’s info on her website here!

Leading up to this class, I plan on watching a few online tutorials and videos of hip hop and trying some out on my own, just to get a bit of a feel for it before I jump in the deep end head first. The group of us may also meet a few times to try out some things together.

Following the class, I will work continuously with a different mentor, whom I will find prior to the conclusion of the sessions, until the end of the project. I also plan to meet with some other friends and possible new experts who can help me out with some moves in certain styles of hip hop. I hope to learn more about what some of those different genres are throughout the project and incorporate them into my final performance on in-depth night! A couple styles that I am particularly interested in trying, even though they are extremely difficult, are called animation and krump.

I first heard of and saw these styles on an online video in the late spring last year of a contestant auditioning for the TV series/competition So You Think You Can Dance. I was absolutely blown away by what the contestant did in her routine and so I had to follow up and watch the whole season. She ended up making it to the final round and came second place overall, which I was very excited about!

Credits alhakam tefour on YouTube

Now this show, does a tour, for all of the top ten dancers, all across the United States and Canada. Originally I had a conflict with the performances in Vancouver, which were last weekend, but at the last minute I realized that I was now able to go as I no longer had the conflict! This I was also very excited about.

So naturally I asked my fellow hip hop in-depth dancers if they wanted to do with me, along with some other friends who I thought might be interested. Fortunately, Elyssa and I were able to get tickets only a couple days before the event and we attended the show last Saturday night in Abbotsford!

We were able to capture a couple(low quality) clips of the show on my phone which I have uploaded two of my favourites of to YouTube for you to see!

Here is my favourite, Jaja Vankova, the krumpist! This was her solo, sorry for the bad quality, and also don’t mind me cheering enthusiastically at the end of the clip!

And here is another hip hop clip of one of my favourite intense routines from the season which they performed at the concert as well! This one includes the two contestants Virgil Gadson and Eddie “Neptune” Eskridge, who, like Jaja, were all a part of the Street Team on this season’s “Stage Vs. Street” format!

This outing turned out to be a great introduction to my in-depth project as it got me very excited about dance and especially hip hop again after watching the season earlier in the year, and inspired to go and get going myself! It was a very fun evening as I hope this project will be, and also something very new for me, as if you can call this a concert, it would be my first (other than WeDay).

I hope this is the start of a very fun adventure with lots of new things and challenges too! So now, here I go, hip, hop, and jumping into my next in-depth journey!