On the 12th, I went to a waacking dance lesson. It is part of a series of three hip hop dance lessons, organized by Hip Hop Heads Concordia. The other two lessons are lyrical dance and tutting and all three are lead by Ariella Robyn, a freestyle dancer who has a ton of choreographing experience under her belt, something will not be stopping any time soon.
I have never been a hip hop dancer, unless you count doing a two step while grooving to the beat at parties and bars. Further, I have never taken a dance lesson beyond learning simple choreographies as a child, including summer camps, gymnastics (though the one I can think of was more of a gymnastic routine) and my regularly forgotten claim to fame of being in the closing ceremonies of the 1999 Pan American Games (where I incidentally got to meet Fred Penner). In fact, until I learned azonto in 2011, I never did more than a two step, something that I apparently did well because I regularly got comments about my dancing (to be fair, I moved my whole body, not just my feet for the steps). I have not had much time to practice my azonto (and now also alkayida) whenever in school. When in Ghana, I do not find the people I ask for more moves to be very helpful. YouTube for tutorials are either too basic, are not tutorials (although I do love that tutorial) or else are those cartoon ones, which I am not a big fan of. I want to learn from a person, not a cartoon. This leaves me with learning from official and dance videos. I quite enjoy that, as there is less talking, especially when it is videos people made, since the point is to show off their moves.
In the end, all of this led me to do the Hip Hop Heads dance lesson series. Since I love everything Ghana, including dance, I figured taking any dance class could help me with my moves. I did learn one thing quite quickly in the first lesson: I am better at freestyling (even though I tend to get shy and forget a bunch of the moves I know well) than learning a choreography. Despite this, I was pleased with my ease in learning to do each move. Ariella even told me I did a good job and when I said remembering the choreography was difficult with me, she told me this: when she started, she only freestyled, so when she started learning and doing choreographies, she had to learn to learn. This seems fitting for any learning situation, something that I appreciated. Because of that, I will definitely be spending more time learning azonto and alkayida choreographies than moves from now on. Also, I am thinking of starting again with the older stuff. It seems to me that would be prudent, since I not only could not practice very frequently the past few years, but spent the past eight months on my ass, only listening to the music, rarely dancing to it.
Obibini Bruni – Facebook, YouTube
Hip Hop Heads Concordia – Facebook, Enjoygram, Instagram, Twitter