Wannabe Dancer

An adult’s discovery of dance of all sorts.

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Location: Sacramento, California, United States

A bona-fide cat lady, homebody, wanna-be writer, and faux extrovert. If I'm not gardening, I'm rehearsing for a local theater production.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Hip Hop, Sept 15

Thursday hip hop is at the fitness center at work. Matt also teaches this class. Today, there were only four of us in class; three of us are regular attendees. Although Matt denied it, I think he took advantage of the small class size and our familiarity with his style and gave us a more challenging routine than usual.

I’ve described the difficulty I have with the movements of hip hop, but neglected to mention how complex the music is. Again, I must compare it to ballet. Ballet class music is generally 4/4 or 3/4 time. Most movements are on a full beat, with the occasionally exception. I can’t even guess at the beat structure of hip hop. I can recognize phrases and the dominant beat, but the half beats and syncopation give me fits. Matt choreographs to the music, and often to the song in particular, so the moves often fall on these odd beats. Hip hop, more so than ballet, requires that I listen.

I have trouble paying attention to the music because I don’t really like hip hop. I don’t listen to it on the radio. I own no hip hop CDs (with the exception of a Blackeyed Peas CD – is that hip hop?). I don’t go to dance clubs. I do not have cable, and hence no MTV. I’m only exposed to that type of music in class. Because I don’t like it much, I tend to tune the music out, and then have trouble with the counts.

Some of it I like less than others. We’ve used a live CD and I found the background noise to be very distracting. Today we listened to Sha, a Cincinnati native whom Matt is choreographing for. I didn’t like that song either. I’m worried that if I don’t develop at least a liking for the music, I will have trouble progressing in class.

Maybe it’s time to force myself to broaden my musical tastes. I’ve stepped outside my comfort zone by beginning these hip hop classes. Perhaps I’ll try listening to hip hop on my own to try to develop a liking for it. It’s so popular with everyone else that it can’t be too bad.


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