Everybody Dance Now: Nathan’s Class

Nathan is one of DTP’s teachers, going out and taking the work of Nobulus’ Out Of The Shadow, alongside hip-hop dance classes to schools around the UK. We spoke to him about one of his sessions so far.

“So the day started with meeting everyone in the foyer area of CAST. It was great to see so many people turn up for the session. Even more heartwarming was the age range of the people involved and watching how they interacted with each other. You could tell they were more than a dance crew….they were a family. The first half of the day saw me teaching them advanced techniques in locking and bboying. This was a response to previously reading an email that outlined their hopes/expectations of the sessions. They have a decent understanding of the foundation of hip-hop techniques which was great to see. It was great to see and hear their excitement when they learnt new moves or finally had breakthroughs on moves they had been working on for a while.

The second half of the day saw me really push them creatively. I got them to split up into 5 groups and to write a poem in each group. They were slow to start but after 10 minutes their creativity started flowing. There was definitely a recurring theme/through-line between groups. The problem was it was quite a morbid theme. A lot of the poems were about ghosts, life after death and hatred. This was surprising as all of the kids are positive souls. Next I got them to think about how they would vocally deliver the poem in terms of pace, rhythm and word emphasis. I then got them to create choreography to the poetry. There was some great choreography that came out. The group showed one another their choreography to poetry and voted for the top 3 pieces that they would like to develop and combine for their upcoming performance. It was great seeing them make such mature decisions that they felt would truly benefit the group rather than their friendships. My only reservation is that although the choreography was good it was very “commercial” and they didn’t us any real hip-hop technique. Over the course of the day I came to notice that the group use real hip-hop technique when working individually but when working as a group they favour commercial choreography. So at the end of the session I sat them down and explained to them the importance of using real hip-hop technique when choreographing dance.

My plan for the next session is to create with them a section of choreography that utilises strong hip-hop choreography. This is a really promising group and I feel both excited and honored to work with them. I can’t wait til next Sundays session BOOM!”

Thanks Nathan, we’re looking forward to hearing what you get up to next week!

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