“A dream doesn’t become reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination, and hard work.”
This quote by Colin Powell, a former U.S. general, sums up my mindset and progress since my last blog update. Within this month, I have met my mentor Kailey Huang just once to start my path towards hip hop dancing.
Kailey, a grade 11 learner at Gleneagle Secondary, is a highly experienced dancer that has been learning, creating, and performing dances for many years now. Proudly willing to take me and Indah under her wing as a mentor for our In-Depth project, she is more than prepared, qualified, and capable of teaching me the world of dancing. Kailey enjoys hip hop dancing very much and respects the art for its hard work and payoffs while learning. Although what many of the performances Kailey does are very advanced and tiring on the body, she continues to express her passions through her dance classes and her role as the dance captain of the musical theatre program at Gleneagle Secondary.
Like I previously stated, I was only able to meet with Kailey once during the duration of the past month, but I believe my once practice with her gave me an immense basis of knowledge and inspiration that will only drive me further into the next few months. From helpful body and core building warmups and stretches to learning some simple routines and moves, I was able to experience what it was like to dance using my body for the first time. A notable routine I did learn during my rehearsal was called the “kick-step-back-step” move, a simple 4 step movement that gets your whole body moving in a rhythmic fashion for extended periods of time. A perfect start to my learning, Kailey focused on my progress and my rate of learning, adjusting her teaching accordingly for my success. I found this extremely helpful in several different ways, as I was able to follow Kailey’s movements slowly and continuing doing moves with her until I built my own feeling for it as well. This strategy of teaching by following the pace of the learning is something I will continue to make note of with Kailey, and an idea that I may input into my own teaching as a mentor. Throughout this 40 minute rehearsal, I found myself to be out of breath, sweating, and weak in my bones constantly, only proving to me how difficult dancing really is. But although I am aware of these obstacles that will come my way, my passion and determination for dance only use my challenges as fuel to carry on with my goals.
Kailey explains that hip hop is only an umbrella term that houses many different styles of dancing, showing just how wide the world of dance can be. With this same ideology, I hope my In-Depth project can become an umbrella for all of my improvements in the coming months. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have some kick-step-back-stepping to do.