Hip Hop

As featured in Dance Studio Life Magazine.

Wildwood Dance and Arts Hip Hop Program

Philosophy: Our goal is to help spread a greater understanding of the hip hop culture throughout the St. Louis area. Our instructors teach with such enthusiasm and passion that the students cannot help but get caught up, soak in, and immerse themselves in steps and art of hip hop.  Extremely important and central to our program is teaching the students about the "4 elements of Hip Hop": Deejaying, Breaking, Emceeing, and Graffiti Art.  With these basic elements in tact, hip hop has grown through new exposure on television and pop culture.  It has been fused with jazz, funk, and different styles of street dance. We focus on the initial elements, basic skills, and help the artist and dancer find "their voice"! We study all forms of "hip hop"; popping, locking, waving, tutting, breaking, housing, and more!  We continually strive to offer outside training to our program as well; Hip Hop Workshop with Dave Scott-sponsored by Wildwood Dance & Arts in partnership with the Rockwood School District Community Ed Dept June 2010, we take groups to Monsters of Hip Hop, The PULSE on Tour, and other workshops and dance conventions.  We host breaking workshops, special choreographers, and anything we can do to better serve this community and its understanding with the dance form, its roots, and its evolution.

·         Deejaying:  Hip Hop deejaying, or turntablism, is a comlex art.  It consists of turntables, audio mixers, and original recordings.  With these, the deejay performs techniques such as mixing, scratching, cutting and sampling to create an entirely new piece of music.
·         Breaking: The breakbeats of hip hop deejaying also gave birth to the dance form known as 'breaking' or 'B-boying'.   It's a high-energy combination of complex footwork, spins, kicks and 'freezes'.  The heart of breaking is the battle, where individuals or crews compete for dance supremacy.  The character of breaking is sharp and short movements with flowing and wave-like motion, along with difficult floor acrobatics structured on balance techniques, and spinning on body parts such as the head, shoulders, and stomach.
·         Emceeing: It's the Emcee's job to entertain and keep the crowd going.  Many people associate emceeing with rapping, but rapping is only one Emcee technique, others are 'beatbox' and 'call and response'. The poetry of hip hop is 'rap'. (lyrics)
·         Graffiti Art:  This art exploded around 1971 when an article was written about a young 17 yrd old who tagged his way around the New York subways.   The 'tag' is the writers signature.  There are 3 main types of graffiti art:  the tag, the throw up (more evolved tag- colors and style), and then a 'piece' (a full masterpiece of art- and must consist of 3 colors).  Graffiti Art is a public art form, often incorporating political and religious themes.

Hip Hop Dance Classes

Kids Hip Hop (5-7yrs)

This class will introduce the student the elements of jazz funk and  hip hop choreography.  We focus on rhythm, bounce, musicality, basic dance steps, and beginning hip hop terminiology and flavor. Age appropriate music and costuming always kept into consideration!!

Youth Hip Hop (8-12yrs) This class will introduce the student the elements of jazz funk, and dive a little more into hip hop choreography.  We focus on rhythm, bounce, musicality, basic dance steps, and beginning hip hop terminiology and flavor. They begin Top Rock, Up Rock, Waving, Locking, Popping and such. Age appropriate music and costuming always kept into consideration!!

Teen Hip Hop (13yrs+)
This class will introduce the student the elements of break dance, and hip hop choreography.  They will also be introduced Hip Hop steps such as Top Rock, Up Rock,, Popping, Waving, House, Tutting, Locking and Freezing.  This class is designed for the student that has no experience or has come through the Kids or Youth classes, but is not technically ready to move on to the "advnaced" courses.  This class accommodates for the majority differences by the time they reach this age and their physicality.

Advanced Hip Hop  (7-12yrs, & 13yrs+)
Prerequisites: assessment required by instructor, graduation through previous levels...
This class will touch on many aspects of hip-hop dance but will focus on popping, locking, waving, gliding & freezing.  Students will continue to work and fine-tune their skills in Top Rock, up rock, and 6-step. Choreography intensifies with increase in steps and speed.  Focus on "performance" skills begins more here as well. It is recommended that the B-boy/B-girl Floor work class be taken as a companion course to this class.

Breakdance Courses: (7-12yrs) & (13yrs+) B-Boy/B-Girl Floor Work
This class serves as an intense workout and greater understanding of what it means to breakdance.  The dancer will learn different styles of floor work, top rock, up rock, freezes, and most importantly focus on freestyle.  B-Boys and B-Girls will also be asked to pratice "battles" in class.  It helps with confidence in their dance skills and increase awareness of cultural roots.

Other Recommended Courses to help enhance your Hip Hop dance experience: Acrobatics (strength training/conditioning, core strength, balance inverted, back flexibilty, upper body stregnth, Tricks- flips, handsprings, hand stands, head stands, and much much more); PLUS ballet, modern, and jazz offer greater control over their posture changes, isolations, understanding of where movement initiates in their body and how to control it, and more!

Hip Hip Summer Intensive Camp: During this camp we are able to explore more of the history and artistic side of the culture. Each hour brings a different style for the students to dive into. They will learn about Grafiti Art; its history, uses, legality, future as an art form, and produce a piece of our own to bring home as well. We will at times bring in proffessionals from throughout the area to demonstrate and teach Deejaying and Emceeing, or they will watch clips from documentaries and films depending on availalibity of artists.  They will also learn a combination M-Th to take home. :)  This combination will also be used in AUDITIONS for CREWS which are held at the end of camp.