So, as I mentioned briefly yesterday in my post about some of the music being used, I am once again taking a Hip-Hop studio-based class. My good friend Abby Zbikowski (read more about her company, Abby Z and the New Utility, here), is teaching, and this term she’s asked us to keep a journal in lieu of other writing assignments.
I’ve decided to use this blog to journal. Now, I generally use (or don’t use, as the case may be) this space for analysis of already made representations of popular dance and movement. But as I begin to narrow my research focus I’ve realized I’m really interested in the training, labor, and strategy of the practice of popular dance. As such, ‘journaling’ about my embodied experiences and those of my classmates can help shape my research.
I’ll be breaking things down into observations, successes, and disappointments, which will be about my personal experiences, teaching popular dance, and teaching of popular dance in the university setting.
There are a few categories of students in our class (and most elective technique classes at a university). At the most basic there are
- people who know how to move their bodies/where they are in space
- people who don’t
Complicated by the binary of
- people who have experience learning from a ‘formal’ teaching setting
- people who don’t have the knowledge of how to be in a studio class
- +/- a sense of rhythm and musicality
- +/- willingness to just try something even if you’re gonna look bad
- +/- awareness of differences in quality of movement (do you hit that movement, or do you approach it? Is it grounded or bouncy? What is the pathway through space of your hips, does that look different?
We began to work on some krumping techniques/movements, and Abby asked me to demonstrate for the class. (squee!) One day I will be as awesome as these guys: just kidding, I’ll never be able to do it like that, but it’s fun to try.
I had to stop in the middle of doing tricep pushups. My shoulders are really messed up, and I need to work on stretching and strengthening so I can have greater mobility. While we’re at it, also my knees are kinda crappy…
Stay tuned for Week 2!