‘Hip Hop for Kids’ workshop encourages young dancers

By Wally Robinson - ReminderNews
Stafford - posted Fri., Mar. 18, 2011
Austin Dailey shows the kids how to incorporate a little attitude in their dancing at a workshop sponsored by the Stafford Arts Commission. Photos by Wally Robinson.
Austin Dailey shows the kids how to incorporate a little attitude in their dancing at a workshop sponsored by the Stafford Arts Commission. Photos by Wally Robinson.

The Stafford Arts Commission sponsored a “Hip Hop for Kids” workshop for children ages 6 and up at the Ben Muzio Town House on March 12, led by hip hop instructor Austin Dailey.

“Hip hop is a highly-personalized amalgam of dance, gymnastics, martial arts and even cheerleading,” Dailey said. “There are clear categories such as break-dancing, waving and robotics, but the idea is to blend elements of each into routines that include free-style and party moves.”

“Where did hip hop get started?” one of the kids wanted to know.

“There are a number of opinions about that,” Dailey smiled, “but the prevailing view is it got started in New York City- the South Bronx, actually. A ’60s-era DJ may have coined the phrase to describe the dancing that evolved along with rap music.”

Dailey demonstrated the various forms of hip hop as the infectious music blared from his stereo, and he soon had the kids getting into it. “Party moves are unique to everybody and can come from other kinds of movements that we do in everyday life, like combing your hair or soaping up in the shower,” he said, miming the movements. “The idea is to just have fun with it… there’s no competition involved and I’m not passing out homework.”

Dailey holds a degree in physical rehabilitation and disability research. After graduation, he worked with inner city kids and his appreciation for hip hop - which he’d loved since he himself was a kid growing up in the Guilford area - grew to the point where he decided he wanted to teach it. “It’s my full-time job now,” he said. “I’m also involved with a performance team, which is often booked as the opening act for music concerts. It’s a fun way to make a living, man.”

For information on upcoming Stafford Arts Commission events, call 860-684-5211.


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