Getting Started / 101
Get Ready For Your First Time
Watch “Step Up,” surf Youtube for cool music videos, or listen to your favorite hip hop music to get you pumped up for class! Try on your outfit before class to avoid any wardrobe malfunctions. It might be smart to walk around in your sneakers ahead of time if they are new so you can avoid any blisters or discomfort. (See the Apparel section for an exact description of what attire is expected.) Just make sure you are hydrated and that you are fueled with healthy food. Definitely don’t eat a huge lunch or dinner and then run off to hip hop class before your body has time to digest. Again, just relax and get excited to work hard, have fun, and learn a lot!
A key part to any dancers ability to perform is the flexibility of the joints and ligaments. Yes, even in hip hop class! Although most styles of hip hop are not going to require you to kick your leg above your head and leap across the floor, there are a lot of moves that can easily lead to pulled muscles if you are not properly stretched. You’ve seen those break dancers on TV! Not a flexible person? Its ok! Flexibility takes time and patience, however if you make a goal to stretch every day you will see benefits in multiple aspects of your life. Stretching has been proven to alleviate aches and pains, improve circulation, improve inflammation, and help prevent future injuries. If you don’t exercise on a consistent basis you might want to begin with some basic cardio and strength training a few times a week. You will definitely be sore after your first class! It’s a good thing and means your muscles are working and adapting to your new activity. A hot shower or bath, gentle stretching or massage, and even hot/cold treatment will help decrease some of your muscular tearing and you will be ready to go full out during your next class.
Relax! Everyone starts at the beginning so you should not feel intimidated or nervous about being lost in class. That’s why there are beginner classes! A beginner hip hop class will be all about getting into the style of hip hop, feeling the music, and learning basic hip hop info. Usually there will be a warm-up, possibly a little across the floor work, and then a choreography combination will be taught center floor. If you are taking class at a well-known open class studio such as The Edge, Millennium, or Broadway Dance Center sometimes it will be up to you to warm yourself up as the choreographer will immediately go into a combination center floor. At first, learning choreography might be frustrating since even beginner classes can seem fast paced at times. Just relax and pick up the dance as best as you can knowing that you will quickly improve in this area. Sometimes it will be a very high energy class and other times it will be more of a chill, groovy style. It simply depends on the teacher. If you ever have a question, ASK! Progress depends on your desire to learn, absorb, and ask questions about the style and technique of hip hop. There are some great videos on youtube that take you through the basic terms and movements if you feel inclined to study up a bit before you get there.
Just know that this is not necessary and you are not required to “do your homework.” At the end of the day, you are just doing this for fun and exercise anyways right?
Beginner Check List
• Hip Hop dance wear/outfit
• Hip Hop shoes
• Hair pulled back unless you have a cut that stays away from your face
• Water Bottle
• Small sweat towel
• Band Aids
• Lock for studio lockers if you have valuables with you
• Make sure to put your phone on silent if it’s in the room with you.
• Small notebook to keep track of the songs played or the terms you learned so you don’t forget them before your next class.
• Great attitude and work ethic!