You may have heard the unreasonable stereotype that white girls can’t dance – especially not hip-hop. This article is inspired by the idea that although this may be true, this should not mean that aforementioned white girls should not be allowed to try to dance hip-hop if they want to. Equal Opportunities for all, ok! Viva!
Take this tried & tested advice for astonishing results:
Step One: Join a hip-hop class with a bunch of your girlfriends. It can be a bonding thing.The less collective knowledge you have about hip-hop dancing the better, as this will help you accept one another’s fumbles during the class.
Step Two: Go to a party the night before your class. Stay up late, oversleep and wake up just in time for the class. You will be in such a rush to get there that you will forget all the anxieties you had about dancing, and burst on the scene like you own it. It’s all about confidence girl!
Step Three: Look around to see how other people in the class are stretching. Copy them, surreptitiously. Copying stretches is like copying dance moves in slow motion. It’s a good place to start.
Step four: Your teacher will start breaking down the first 8 bars of moves for you to learn. The teacher will do a move and you will watch. You will then inform your body to copy that move. Your body will do something other than what you tell it to. You will try again but the same thing will happen. Next time you look at the teacher they will be doing new moves you don’t recognise at all. Don’t lose heart. Tell yourself that your body isn’t good at following instructions because it is a unique and uncorrupted vessel that channels your own special form of creative movement. If this doesn’t make you feel better (and it certainly won’t help you learn how to dance hip-hop), move on to step five.
Step five: Start pretending. Count clearly in your head. Even if you have lost the plot completely in terms of the details, you can at least move your body in time to the music. Once you get the hang of this, you can even try to move your body in roughly the same direction as everybody else. Fake it till you make it!
You may find that this experience triggers positive feedback to your brain. This is because a hip-hop class is like a shoal of fish, or a field of grass or a flock of flamingos or anything else collective – when it moves as one unit it just seems so damn right. Being part of this glorious unit is something you can feel proud of (go girl!) and the more you feel this, the more attitude you can bring to your unique white-girl interpretation of the moves.
Step six: When you are done dancing in roughly the same directions as everybody else, you are likely to feel exhilarated and out of breath. This feeling may be interpreted as euphoria for what you have achieved, but is more likely to be plain old exhaustion. Just remember, be kind to yourself and hip-hop will be kind to you. You all are beautiful!
Roffey Kleinschmidt writes from personal experience