October 19, 2015

Hip Hop Group Launches Workshop for Beginners

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(Haewon Hwang / Sun Staff Photographer) BreakFree hip hop performs on Ho Plaza on April 26.

Dance to Inspire — a program offered by members of BreakFree hip hop for the first time this semester — aims to provide students with an opportunity to improve their dance skills and promote the dance community at Cornell.

DTI, which is open to both dancers and non-dancers, focuses on developing skills and the fundamental aspects of hip hop dance through exercises and tailored choreography, according to Jin Jin Ma ’17, president of BreakFree.

The program is headed by Stacey Kim ’17, a member of BreakFree, who said the team came up with the idea because of the growing number of people who are interested in dance but are not experienced enough to join a team.

“We wanted to develop something that was more personal for each individual dancer and to provide a more in-depth training experience that requires less commitment than a dance team,” Kim said.

According to Kim, the idea was discussed among BreakFree members for about two years, but planning for DTI started in September right after fall auditions.

The workshop launched on Oct. 3 with a turnout of around 30 people, which was greater than anticipated, according to Kim.

Elena Jiao ’19, who attended the workshop, said it was an “uplifting environment” where everyone was “encouraging and judgement-free.”

“I wanted to learn dance in college but am too inexperienced to join a team, so I really liked how this program enables people of all levels to grow and develop as dancers,” Jiao said.

According to Ma, Dance to Inspire is not only the name of the program but also BreakFree’s motto. He said he hopes the program will help further the group’s goal of building bridges within the dance community.

“What I wish for DTI is for the members of the program to learn how to dance for themselves, to find dance as an avenue for creative self-expression and to inspire others to do the same,” Ma said.

Kim said she hopes the second day of the workshop will have an equally successful turnout as the first one.

Day 2 of DTI is being held this Saturday at 2 p.m. in Willard Straight Hall.