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Street Dance & Commercial Hip Hop workshop

Street Dance & Commercial Hip Hop workshop

14 March 2011

The DFR Faculty presented a Street Dance & Commercial Hip Hop Workshop

Sunday 16th January 2011 at St. Paul’s College in Sunbury on Thames. This clip presents some highlights - for a copy of the full DVD, please contact the DFR Faculty.

The first job of the New Year for the DFR Faculty Committee was to present a workshop to support the launch of their new, eagerly anticipated, Street Dance & Commercial Hip Hop Syllabus. The day, Sunday 16th January 2011, was held at St Paul’s College in Sunbury-on-Thames, Middlesex. It was attended by over 75 teachers, both Dancesport and Theatre trained, all keen to get a taster of the sort of work which would be suitable when entering students for examinations in these styles. The DFR Faculty Chairman, Yvonne Taylor-Hill, welcomed everyone and introduced Samantha Vale and Dennis Victory, who would present the majority of the work throughout the day, both of whom have helped in compiling the new syllabus and with work on a Glossary of Technical Terms.

After the customary warm-up, Samantha and Dennis encouraged everyone to stay on the floor to go through some of the fundamental ‘old skool’ actions such as Popping, Locking and Breaking, before Sam taught some introductory routines suitable for under 12s and teenagers. Her clarity of explanation and attention to detail, coupled with an obvious enthusiasm for the work she was presenting, was a joy to experience and made even the slightly more mature teachers amongst the group keen to join in, including the Vice Chairman of the Imperial Dance and Dancesport Faculties Board, Mr Richard Hunt!

Next, Amanda Hughes took us through the Syllabus Outline, highlighting the value and commercial benefits of the medal system, which was of particular interest to those teachers from the Theatre Faculties who were more accustomed to the graded examinations. An open invitation was given from the DFR Faculty Committee to any teachers from the Theatre Faculties who would like to attend the DFR Congress on the 25th September 2011 to find out more about the world of Disco Freestyle and the opportunities it can offer. I hope to see many new faces there this year!

Sam then continued with work aimed at the Silver / Gold level, including a Locking duet which will be great fun in class. Then it was time for lunch and an opportunity for teachers to ask any questions which the DFR Faculty Committee were on hand to try and answer.

After a short limbering-up session, it was the turn of Dennis Victory to take us through some newer Commercial Hip Hop and MJ Style routines. His energy and passion, along  with an amazing definition of body line and action, made the work readable and achievable, and included some intricate Tutting combinations and some pointers on performing ‘baby freezes.’ Sam was also on hand to suggest some very useful analogies to use when teaching the actions, as well as a female perspective on executing ‘freezes.’

Cat Fuller took the last section of the day, teaching a routine very much on trend and current for 2011, which was particularly enjoyed by those young and young at heart teachers who took part.

Sam and Dennis concluded the workshop with a very necessary Cool Down, and it was an opportunity for everyone to show their appreciation to them for what had been a fantastic day, full of ideas and guidance on how to make the most from this ever-changing and incredibly popular dance form.

Well done to the DFR Faculty Committee for once again being at the forefront of dance development and I look forward to many more specialist workshops exploring other areas of your work in the future.                       

Jonathan Reed                       

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