Thursday, October 29, 2009

Music That I Like to Dance To

The music that a person dances to greatly affects the performance. Personally I like to dance to upbeat, fast tunes. I find that my dynamic style greatly benefits from fast rhythms. Furthermore, I enjoying dancing to songs that have distinctive sound effects that clearly mark the tempo of the song, so that it is easy for me to stay synchronized with the music and possible for me to emphasize my movements on certain beats to match the rhythm.

A list of songs that I have performed a hip hop routine to, or that I would like to perform to, include:

ü Walking on the Moon – by The Dream

ü Freeze – by T-Pain

ü Nobody – by Ne-Yo

ü Potion – by Ludacris

ü Yeah – by Usher

ü Forever – by Drake

ü I Can Transform You – by Lil Wayne

ü You’ll Find a Way Remix – by Santigold

ü Sugar – by Keri Hilson

ü On to the Next One – by Jay-Z


Throughout my blog, I have mostly written about the styles of hip hop that intrigue me. However, after recently witnessing certain dances that makes me question the future of hip hop, it inspired me to write a blog post about the styles or trends of hip hop that I absolutely abhor. Feel free to comment if you disagree.

Jerking – this new style of hip hop that has come to life in the last few months deeply disturbs me. Frankly, I don’t think it can even be called a dance. It simply involves one repetitive and overused dance step, which gets extremely tedious after a while. This dance was invented by “the New Boyz”, and was first introduced to the public through the music video of their hit single, You’re a Jerk. Click here to see what it looks like.

The "Souljaboy Dance" – Most people are already familiar with this dance, and as it was such a popular phenomenon, I understand that I will not receive much support on my opinion. Nevertheless, I am not afraid to say that I absolutely despise this dance. Invented by “Souljaboy Tellem’” and introduced to the public through his hit song Crank Dat, it is an unattractive style that disgraces hip hop, in my opinion. To get an idea of what the “Souljaboy Dance” is, click here.

Yes, I have often claimed to share an interest in all forms of hip hop, however these two dances are my exceptions. I believe that dances like these are the reason that hip hop is not taken as seriously as the other forms of dance. Again, for the viewers of my blog, feel free to leave a comment if you believe that I am mistaken. I value your opinion.

Styles of Hip Hop Dance - Breaking

B-boying/Break dancing

Another form of hip hop dancing that I really enjoy doing and watching is break dancing. B-boying or breaking, commonly referred to as breakdancing, is a style of dance that evolved as part of hip-hop culture among Black and Latino American youths in the South Bronx of New York City. The popularity of this form of dancing peaked during the 1970s. It is danced to both hip-hop and other genres of music that are often remixed to prolong the musical breaks. The term used to address a person who breakdances is called a b-boy, b-girl, or breaker. Although "breakdance" is a common term, "b-boying" and "breaking" are preferred by the majority of this style’s practitioners.

Breaking's intense popularity started to fade in the late 1970s, but in the following decades it became an accepted dance style used in commercials, movies, and print media. Parties, disco clubs, talent shows, and other public events became typical locations for breakers. Instruction in breaking techniques is now available at dance studios where hip-hop dance is taught.

This impressive form of hip hop was what first caught my attention and drew me towards hip hop. Before I learned how to pop, I used to breakdance. I have always admired this form of dance, however due to the difficulty and danger involved with it, I was not able to go too far into it. The one move that I have always wished to master was “the headspin”. This b-boy move involves the breaker spinning on his head like a top, like so.

One breaker that I have always admired is Ryan Conferido, an American b-boy who is most popular for being a part of the Quest Crew and finishing top 10 in So You Think You Can Dance Season 1. If you wish to see what advanced breaking looks like, check out this video of Ryan Conferido doing his thing.


Misha Gabriel

This week, the choice of my favourite dancer is Misha Gabriel. This astounding hip hopper has worked with the best of the best, choreographing for pop culture icons such as Usher, Justin Timberlake, and even Michael Jackson. In fact, Misha was supposed to go on tour with Michael Jackson just before he passed away. Now living in L.A, he resumes his career by teaching at several workshops and choreographing for many other hip hop stars.

Believe it or not, Misha Gabriel is actually a friend of a friend of mine. Several of my performances have been choreographed by Misha and taught to me through our mutual friend. Although these choreographies were very difficult to learn, it has been most enjoyable to master the techniques. I find the challenge highly invigorating.

Amongst all the solo dancers of today’s world, Misha Gabriel is undoubtedly my favourite. His talent is a continuing source of inspiration for me and drives me to work harder on my technique. If you wish to see a snippet of one of Misha Gabriel’s choreographies, click here.

My Current Status on Dance

Since the end of the 2008-2009 school year, I have been generally inactive in the hip hop community. As the start of summer marked the end of my school hip hop team, there have been no occasions where I could perform. Since then, I have patiently waited for this day; the first tryouts for the 2009-2010 school hip hop team.

Today I auditioned for my high school dance team, and I’m glad to say that I performed well. The tryout included learning four counts of eight of choreography and being able to master it for the judges. The choreography was done to “Walking on the Moon” by the Dream, and was taught to us by the leader of the hip hop team. I found the dance to be lively and highly entertaining. I have high expectations for this year’s team and from what I have already seen, I have no doubt that these expectations will be met. I really hope that I make the cut. For all my readers, I request a favour—pray for me and wish me luck!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Styles of Hip Hop Dancing


"Krumping doesn't start with your moves or your character. It starts with your heart. It starts with what you feel. You gotta’ tap into this... It's more than just throwing arms out there on a certain beat, stomping on a certain beat. It has to come from somewhere."

—Ceasare "Tight Eyez" Willis

As I have already mentioned, my main style of hip hop dancing is popping. Popping is what I specialize in and what I deeply enjoy doing. However, a new style that has recently sparked my interest is the exquisite art of krumping. As it gains excessive popularity in the hip hop world, I become more and more determined to master it.

Krumping is an urban street dance form which involves free, expressive, and highly energetic moves involving the arms, head, legs, chest, and feet. The root word, Krump, is an acronym for Kingdom Radically Uplifted Mighty Praise. Ceasare “Tight Eyez” Willis, the youth who created krumping, grew up in South Central, Los Angeles, a place where crime and gang-violence were very big issues. Willis saw the dance as a way for him and his peers to escape gang life and other negative influences in their neighbourhood. Since the year of 2000, when Tight Eyez first introduced the brilliant style to the world, krumping has grown to become a major part of hip-hop dance.

Much like other styles of hip hop, krumping is entirely freestyle (improvisational). It is rarely, if ever, choreographed and is danced frequently in battles or sessions. Krumping includes four primary moves: wobbles, arm swings, chest pops, and stomps. In my opinion, krumping is the style of dance that requires the most amount of energy, which makes it one of the hardest to master. It is very difficult to practice over long periods of time without pushing yourself to absolute exhaustion, which is why I myself am struggling to perfect it. Currently, I am trying to teach myself through various tutorials posted on the internet. If you are interested in learning this exciting style of hip hop, click here for a beginner’s tutorial. Once you perfect those moves, you can move on to this tutorial for the more advanced moves. These are the videos that I am currently teaching myself with.

Hopefully in the near future, I will be able to master this unique style of hip hop. To catch a glimpse of what krumping looks when it’s nearly perfected, click here. My goal is to one day be on the same level as the remarkable dancers featured in the video.

Other Interests

You may think that I am not open to other forms of dance due to the fact that I am specifically blogging about hip hop dancing. If you believe so, you are incorrect. I deeply enjoy all other forms of dancing, specifically tap, jazz, and yes, even ballroom. Although my passion for these forms of dance may not compare to my undying craze for Hip Hop, I still entertain myself with them by attending the dance recitals of my comrades who take tap, jazz and ballroom lessons. I find their performances to be a breath of fresh air after months of strictly indulging myself in hip hop. If I had the time, I would love to explore these other forms of dance in greater detail.

To be honest, after hip hop, my favourite form of dance is tap. I can only imagine the amount of skill it must take to perfect the unique art of tap dancing. The combination of the complex rhythms and creative movements in this form of dancing never ceases to intrigue me. I was first introduced to the art when I was a small child, before I even knew what the words “hip” and “hop” meant. The attractive sounds that were made by the soles of the shoes instantly grabbed my attention. After expressing my interest in tap, my parents enrolled me in my very first dance class at the age of 7. Sadly, I did not possess the talent and skills necessary to continue with the lessons, and after several weeks, I quit. After this, my interest in tap died down and I began to learn about hip hop. From that point on, my passion for hip hop never died down.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


This week, I have chosen to inform you about another one of my all time favourite dance crews, which apparently is one of America’s all time favourites as well. If you didn’t enjoy my choice for last week (the Electric Boogaloos) whom some of you might have found to be retro or outdated, I’m sure you’ll be fond of this week’s choice. Popular for their riveting style, their unique swagger and their success in the very first season of MTV’s America’s Best Dance Crew, my choice for this week is none other than the legendary JabbaWockeeZ.

The JabbaWockeeZ is a popular hip hop team that originated in California in the year of 2003. The 10-man group started out with appearances at local showcases and club events in San Diego and Los Angeles. The group had their first taste of publicity by appearing on the second season of America’s Got Talent. Later on, they entered MTV’s very first televised hip-hop competition, America’s Best Dance Crew, and took home the championship. It was after this event that the group took off and became known to most hip hop fans. Out of all the champions of the four seasons of America’s Best Dance Crew, the JabbaWockeeZ have been the most successful, appearing as guest stars in many shows, including: Live with Regis and Kelly, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, America’s Next Top Model, the 2009 NBA All-Star Game, and many more. They have also made a cameo in Step Up 2: The Streets, toured with New Kids on the Block, and established their own clothing line.

The JabbaWockeeZ have been renowned for their elaborate synchronization and the intricacy of their dance moves. Personally, it is for those exact reasons that I absolutely adore the JabbaWockeeZ. Their style of hip hop is very unique, as they incorporate miming into their dancing which is highly uncommon. In addition, their costumes just top each performance off and have set them apart from all others. In each performance, all members wear the exact same attire as well as white gloves and masks to produce the illusion that they are all identical. This, added to their flawless synchronization makes each performance legendary.

If you yourself are interested in witnessing one of the greatest dance crews doing the thing they do best, click here.

Ben "B-Tek" Chung
Chris "Cristyle" Gatdula
Kevin "Keibee" Brewer
Rynan "Kid Rainen" Paguio
Jeff "Phi" Nguyen
Phil "Swaggerboy" Tayag
Eddie "Eddie Styles" Gutierrez
Saso "Saso Fresh" Jimenez
Randy "DJ Wish One" Bernal
Joe "Emajoenation" Larot

If you are interested and want to find out more about the JabbaWockeeZ, please visit their official website: < >

Rhetorical Devices used in Print-Ads

The rhetorical device used in this advertisement is very obvious. This print-ad for Pepsi uses personification to appeal to the audience. Personification can be described as giving human attributes of form, character, feelings or behaviour to an animal or an inanimate object. In this case, the lime has been given human form as the lime peels form arms and legs that reflect the human figure. Also, the lime is given the attributes of human behaviour (urinating in an upright stance). Through personification, the advertisement suggests that the lime is adding a touch of its flavour into the Pepsi.

In this advertisement, the rhetorical device that is used is called a hyperbole. A hyperbole can be defined as a deliberate use of exaggeration for emphasis. In this case, the sharpness of the advertised knife is exaggerated greatly. The picture suggests that the knife is so sharp that when you’re simply chopping carrots, the knife is capable of cutting through the wooden object holding the carrot as well. Through this hyperbole, the main message of the advertisement can be easily depicted—the knife is very sharp, so it requires less force and energy to use it.

The rhetorical device used in this picture is more difficult to identify right off the bat. This advertisement against smoking metaphorically conveys the message that those who choose to smoke tend to occupy more space in the graveyard. Metaphors are rhetorical devices that compare two objects, ideas or concepts without using “like” or “as”. This advertisement metaphorically compares any regular non-smoking area to an empty space in a cemetery. This conveys the message that those who choose not to smoke are healthier and generally live longer.

The rhetorical device used in this advertisement for Burger King is fairly obvious. By putting band-aids on the corner of the person’s mouth, the advertisement exaggerates how wide a person must open their mouth to take a bite of a burger from Burger King. They suggest that the person was forced to open her mouth so wide to eat the sandwich that the corners of her mouth stretched and tore open. In this way, the ad uses a hyperbole. This hyperbole effectively communicates the main idea of the advertisement, which is the fact that the burgers from Burger King are very large and filling.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Why I Blog

I choose to blog about my passion because I believe that blogging is one of the most practical ways to express myself. Personally, I like to advertise my passion for Hip Hop, and blogging is a highly effective way to do it. Through blogging, I can share my feelings without being censored and without my writing being changed or edited. It is a way to directly share my very own thoughts with the public. Furthermore, through blogging, it is possible for me to share my ideas and communicate with other people who have the same interests as I do. In this way, I can connect with the public and receive useful feedback on my personal thoughts and ideas.

In addition to being a great way to express myself, blogging can help me learn more about my passion and the various opinions that the public has about it. I can go and visit another person’s blog and compare our views and preferences of hip hop dancing. I can discover new dance groups that I have never previously heard about or possibly a brand new style of hip hop. In this way, my thoughts and ideas will be constantly evolving and I will be able to expand my knowledge and perspectives on hip hop.