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How to teach hip hop classes that have an impact

Oct 11, 2021

As dance professionals and educators, there’s nothing quite like seeing our students improve.


From the looks on their faces as they start to master a move or nail down a beat to the cheers from friends in the audience, it’s a powerful moment for everyone.


We’re often asked by other studio owners the best way to get to that point. The truth is that getting students to where they feel successful after their showcases doesn’t happen by accident.


That growth comes from practice, and that practice happens best when hip hop classes are well-implemented and thoughtfully produced. In that kind of safe, supportive environment, students can learn and grow and hip hop classes can have the biggest possible impact.


We gathered a few of our favorite strategies for ensuring hip hop classes have a positive impact. Check them out below!


1. Create A Welcome Space

At Little Groovers Hip Hop, we want our students to feel safe and secure. We know that when you’re learning something new, especially something like dance which involves your whole body, those first few efforts can be a challenge.


We work to make sure students feel supported. With certain classes, we ask that parents not watch over because it can create extra pressure for the student to perform.


Instead, we let the parents know we’ll take pictures and videos to share later. That lets the students focus more on their classmates and the movements of the dance.


2. Stick To A Schedule

Outline your class beforehand and do your best to commit to that schedule. By creating the same rhythm for introductions, warm-ups, instruction, and practice, you’ll make it easier for your students to stay in the moment.


A nice touch is to also wind down each class with the same finish. It could be a favorite song the class picks together, a group dance, or even something quieter like having the group sit in a circle and share.


3. Get Moving

Hip hop dance offers plenty of benefits to young learners, but one of the most important is the chance to get kids active. This movement is not only great for their physical health, but their mental health as well.


It may go without saying that a hip hop dance class will have plenty of movement, but it’s an important point to emphasize. Some teachers may spend a little too much time on the instruction or demonstration portions without realizing that 5 or even 10 minutes have passed since their students were active.


Our recommendation is to find a way to make each moment in your class active. From the roll call in the beginning, to instruction through mirroring, to group dances at the end.


4. Practice, Practice, Practice

Hip hop dance is filled with lots of new moves and songs that your students may not be familiar with. As such, it can be tempting to go far and wide and give your students a taste of everything.


What young dancers need, though, is structure. It’s better to pick just a few moves to focus on in a session and practice them again and again. That feeling of mastery they get - from going from knowing nothing to being able to do the move well - will be the motivation that keeps them coming back from class to class.


And when their class attendance is high, that end-of-class performance will be even more fulfilling.


5. Create Together

As a dance form, hip hop is one of the most creative. It pulls in elements of art, music, fashion, and more. Expose your students to this early on and you’ll help to make this dance class something more in their eyes.


They can collaborate on costumes together. They can make props. They can even work together to build some of the backdrops for the performance.


By working together to create, they’ll be able to achieve more than they could on their own. When you remind them of this point, you’ll really start to see the impact these dance classes are having on them.


Start teaching your own hip hop classes today

Hip hop dance can be one of the most rewarding styles of dance to teach young students. Looking to start your own hip hop class? Need help designing the schedule? Reach out to our Little Groovers Team

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