By Molly Burke
The Hip Hop Club brings dancers from diverse backgrounds together to innovate and explore the art of hip-hop dance.
The club’s president is senior photography major Courtney Blair. She said hip-hop is a genre with technical roots, but a variety of movements.
“Jazz and ballet are the foundations of hip-hop. It’s hard hitting and fluid motions, so the whole thing isn’t just all in your face. You can have those little spot moments where you have more of a fluid slow dance part,” Blair said. “There’s a lot of different tricks that go into it, so we’ll have tumblers do their tumbling skills and stuff like that.”
Blair also said the team works together to choreograph routines, rather than having one person in charge.
“We don’t have an actual choreographer. We come up with [the routines] ourselves to make it more us. Sometimes we will split up into groups. Somebody will come up with an idea and maybe it will bounce off to somebody else,” Blair said.
Junior criminal justice major, Sabra Nicopolis, is the club’s vice president. She said there is both a performance and competition team in the Hip Hop Club, each with different roles.
“[The competition team] travels to other competitions and then versus their other hip-hop teams or dance teams,” Nicopolis said. “[The performance team] does a bunch of campus stuff like Penguin Preview Day, [and] Homecoming.”
The club is preparing to host its own competition at Youngstown State University this year and has been invited to travel to competitions next spring semester.
The dancers in the Hip Hop Club come from many different backgrounds. Nicopolis said her background in cheer inspired her to try out for the club, but anyone can audition.
“I cheered my whole life and then I found out about the Hip Hop Club. I tried out and fell in love with it,” Nicopolis said. “You don’t have to have any dance experience at all, it’s just if you want to dance anybody is welcome.”
Kathleen Brunner, a senior forensic science major, is the treasurer of the organization. She said she was able to reconnect with her hip-hop background in the club.
“I’ve been dancing since I was three. I actually grew up in a studio that was mostly hip-hop. I knew I wanted to try dance in college because it took up a huge part of my life,” Brunner said. “Even though I wasn’t a dance major, I still wanted that in my life. I was able to reconnect with hip-hop when I started here.”
The Hip Hop Club holds auditions every fall semester. Brunner said she encourages anyone interested to try out.
“It’s a good space if you like to dance. It’s a group that just likes to dance. It’s not a huge time commitment, so it’s not really interfering with school. It’s good to stay active, too. I’ve made a lot of new friends from being on the team,” Brunner said.
For more information on the Hip Hop Club, email Blair at [email protected]