HIP-HOP HIGH

HIP HOP HIGH

Standing in the wings of the school auditorium stage, watching the finale of her show with 350 dancers performing together, one of the academic teachers asked me, "How do you get them to do that?" I thought a moment and then said, "I never thought they couldn't."

Hip Hop High is about how I and my former students from Andries Hudde, I.S.240 (Flatbush, Brooklyn, 1986-2001) have come together to show how my public school hip hop program influenced them then, and still does.

When I began teaching, the power of hip hop dance in education was long overlooked in the public schools. It is now known that hip hop dance and culture is a powerful educational vehicle for connecting with young people, especially for non-professionally motivated dance students. It is a body discipline and a form of self expression.

It was never my intention for my public school hip hop program to make professional dancers out of my students. The goal of my program was exposure and cultural enhancement to foster a life long respect and appreciation for hip hop, dance and for the arts.

For my dance students, it was always m hope their performing in the school shows gave them a sense of accomplishment and showed they were capable of much more than they believed.