Hip Hoppin’

From jazz to poms to hip hop, dancing is popular at South


Members of the varsity Patriot dance team move with the music during a recent competition.

There are many different styles of dancing, from jazz to poms, or ballet to tap. But a couple of students at Parkway South High are involved in hip hop dancing.

Hip hop dancing helps people broaden their creativity and express themselves, freshman Lauren Dandino said.

“I started hip hop because I enjoy it and it’s a good way for me to express my emotions. I really love stylized hip hop because you can have your own rhythm and be more free with your movement,” she said.

There are many different types of hip hop dancing. But all of them have two main things in common: they’re both sports and art. Hip hop dancing can get very competitive but it is also a good escape for some people.

Hip hop takes a lot of time and dedication;most people practice about  2-4 days a week, sometimes even more. Sophomore Azura Tiggs said. While it does take a lot of time and effort it’s all worth it, because people are able to work with their peers or get inspired by others to grow.

Tiggs said  a dancer who inspires her is her instructor Jasmine Nicole. Who teaches at Coca Creative Arts Center, Kode Red, and many other places. Tiggs practices with her at Rjs dance studio.

“Ms. Jasmine taught me not just how to dance choreography, but how to also be creative and turn those movements into an art piece,” Tiggs said.

Coaches and instructors have a very large impact on their dancers, just like any other sport. They help guide and teach them how to be themselves through expressing their passion.

Coach Tess Boyer, head of the Patriettes dance team at South, said. “I love coaching dance, it’s a huge passion of mine. Don’t get me wrong, I love jazz, pom, lyrical, contemporary, tap, ect. But hip hop is who I am. I love coaching hip hop because I love seeing the ‘aha’ movement for a dancer when they finally ‘get it.’ I adore assisting dancers in their pursuit of musicality,” Boyer said.

Boyer said coaches like her are really proud of their dancers and look for that motivation within their students to push them. 

“I love watching the stands and seeing my team’s peers mouth ‘wow’ because they didn’t know they could dance ‘like that.’ I love coaching a style that puts on a show! Plus, who doesn’t want to sit on the sidelines and shout ‘AYYY’ when your team kills the competition,” she said.

Dancers have to have a good attitude, good work ethic, and a good energy. Hip hop is a very upbeat style of dance that really works your mind and your body. Many hip hop dancers are confident or learn to build confidence as time goes on, freshman Delaney Bell said.

“Some advice I would give to a new hip hop dancer is to work hard and learn how to take constructive criticism. Don’t take everything to heart and make sure to always pay attention, even if it’s not about you,” Bell said.

In the world of hip hop dancing, it’s very important to respect others and to remain strong. Hip hop dancers must have motivation and dedication so they can be their best, Dandino said.

“A hip hop dancer must have motivation because it is not easy. Dance is a sport, and hip hop is no exception to that phrase. In hip hop you’re not just having fun hitting big movements, you’re doing tricks, skills and choreo, all while staying in the pocket to a song that might be all over the place. Hip hop has become even more trendy the last 5-10 years. If a hip-hop dancer wants to stay relevant and on top of new moves and dances, they have to be in shape and continually practice,” Boyer said.