Teaching hip hop to young children couldn’t be any easier! Here are 3 easy steps to add hip hop to your youth dance program:
- Choose the right teacher. Most studios think that they need to find a hip hop specialist to teach hip hop to their younger dancers. This couldn’t be farther from the truth! In my experience, it’s easiest to first look for teachers who are comfortable and confident in working with your tiniest stars. Dance – In a Box provides tools to train those teachers in what to teach and how to teach it. The early stages of teaching hip hop to kids is pretty much the same as your ballet program. Work on the basics…keep it simple, lots of repetition, and most importantly, have fun! Many hip hop specialists aren’t comfortable working with young children, and they have a difficult time simplifying their content in order to connect with the dancers. On rare occasion, you’ll find someone who is both a hip hop aficionado AND a fabulous kids teacher. When you do, hold on to them and treat them well!
- Get with the program! Many teachers and studio owners see hip hop as something “fun” and “extra-curricular” for their students, when, in fact, if done correctly can be a valuable asset to your overall dance education program. Dancers who are well-versed in many types of dance styles are more likely to succeed in a professional dance career, so it’s important to start early and treat your hip hop classes with the same respect that you have for your other classes. Dance – In a Box provides the first structured and progressive program to get you started on the right track. Having a studio-wide game plan will give you a cohesive and organized product to present to your clients…which takes us to #3…
- Get your clients on board. Let admit it, there are a few obstacles to cross when it comes to hip hop. Parent’s number 1 concern is content. Inappropriate lyrics and gestures seen and heard in the mainstream aren’t exactly kid-friendly. It’s up to you to present your hip hop program in a POSITIVE light. What does that mean for you? Choose family-friendly music (check the lyrics at any of the online websites…don’t forget to check urban dictionary for terms that you don’t understand) and, for the love of God, please do not have your 7 year old dancers booty-popping and twerking. There are over 60 song suggestions in the Hip Hop made Easy Teaching Guide, and 150 kid-friendly dance steps between Hip Hop In a Box and 1-2-3 Dance.