I came to this class for the first time a couple years ago - maybe more, after a good friend had started teaching informal queer-friendly hip hop classes. I'd been bellydancing for 5 years already, ballroom and swing dancing for ten, salsa dancing, line dancing, tap dancing, hula dancing, since I was 5. I thought I knew my stuff, and I thought that my stuff was fun, but also Business.
Little did I know, hip hop was Just Fun. When Em taught it, it was a bit challenging because I didn't "get" the style; I'm used to flow movements, level movements with accents... not BAM BAM tut tut ta-ta-ta SHOOP bah bah BAH bah-bah-bah.
Yes, this is how hip hop is instructed.
All hip hop classes I've ever taken have at some point gone from "right foot left foot 2-3-4" to phonetic representations of body parts HITTING some placement in an exact and syncopated moment.
So, thank you Durante. You've reminded me that I may know how to dance, but hip hop is a completely different skillset and style than anything I've been able to conquer. You've also reminded me that I can spend an hour doing something I can't do, get terrifically sweaty at it, and smile the whole way through.