Gyu Min’s In-Depth Blog Post Finale: The Journey Through Hip-Hop Dancing!

How is everyone doing tonight? Did you come to this post because I had a catchy image? Even the photo is urging you to click! I hope anyone who has spent their thoughtful time to look through our posts and have online conversations with us through the comments has been enjoying the process so far, experiencing the hard work and exuberating passion of 56 unique In-Depth projects. If you so happened to come across my unique and special post, let me welcome you in with a smile!

Hi! My name is Gyu Min Jang, and I’m a grade 9 TALONS learner at Gleneagle. Welcome to the showcase of my In-Depth Project! Well, maybe “show” is the better term, because my project partner, Indah, my mentor, Kailey, and I will all be taking you through our 5-month process in hip-hop dancing, that comes together in one final dance show performance by the end!

Simply put, my friend and classmate Indah Del Bianco, as well as myself, decided we wanted to learn hip-hop dancing as our In-Depth project for grade 9. I was always passionate about dancing and the simple fact that I could move my body in sync to look so cool (haha), and I wanted to see if I could try it myself. To help us with our goal, our good friend and experienced dancer Kailey Huang took on the role of a mentor during the project. All in all, the experiences I shared during my time with this project will be unforgettable, and I hope you will be able to see the journey that I went on as clearly as I did. So without further adieu, here is our In-Depth project (Kindly edited by Indah):

Gyu Min and Indah’s In-Depth Progress Video + Final Dance (Split Screen vers.)

For those of you who don’t have enough time to view our full progress and final video, I have linked recordings of just our final dance below, please enjoy!

Gyu Min and Indah’s In-Depth Final Dance (One Stage vers.)

Gyu Min and Indah’s In-Depth Final Dance (Split Screen vers.)

Feel free to ask me any questions or share comments during the night, and I will be more than happy to reply to all of them. Thank you for dropping by my project.

Gyu Min’s In-Depth Blog Post #6: Showtime…wait already?

Well, we have certainly come a long way since the first In-Depth blog post; going from a physically awkward beginner dancer to a LESS physically awkward intermediate dancer. I consider that progress if anything! In-Depth night is just a few weeks away, and I am ready to show everyone what I have learned in this journey on Hip-Hop dancing!  

Since my last post, I have met up with Kailey and Indah through ZOOM video calls once a week on Thursdays, to review our progress from the previous week, as well as learn a new portion of our 90-second original dance. So far, the mileage that both Indah and I have been gaining with our dance has been immense in the past few weeks. As of yesterday, May 7th, We have choreographed and learned more than 5/6 of our dance, and are planning to wrap up the routine by next Thursday, giving us plenty of time to practice, refine, and record our dance for the final showcase. If you may have forgotten, Indah and I are choreographing (with the aid of Kailey) and learning a 90-second dance using the song “Finale” by AJR. In addition to our hour-long weekly sessions, Kailey has also brought it upon herself to collect “progress videos” of both me and Indah showcasing how we feel about the routine thus far. As of now, Indah and I have both sent out two progress videos to Kailey, which she would then merge into one complete routine with some video editing. These videos have collectively helped and supported our learning, as we can look back at the merged videos to see how Indah and I might change certain moves or change the timing of a section to make an overall cleaner, more professional dance. In the actual Zoom meetings that we have every week, the structure usually consists of talking about our progress and any questions we had about the dance or In-Depth in general (20 minutes), implementing corrections and clarifications from the last week’s portion of the dance (10 minutes), and learning the new portion of our dance, which includes any questions asked during the mentoring (30 minutes). This format of video calling has been quite effective in our learning, and I hope to continue with this structure for the foreseeable future as well. One notable challenge that was quite apparent with online mentoring is the lack of space and communication when it comes to dancing at home. Rather than the large MPR facility we had prior to Spring Break, I have had to practice and learn our routine in the comfort/discomfort of my own living room. This has proved to be a challenge countless times, as my house has not proved to be the most spacious, especially for explosive dances moves much like the ones we see in hip hop. In addition to the space, communication between Kailey and I have been an obstacle as well, specifically when it comes to learning and correcting dance moves. Because Kailey is not physically here to moderate and comment on our dancing on all angles, it has proved to be a challenge to explain certain moves through examples and verbal speech only. Indah and I have had to adjust to this change and are trying our best to learn the moves as effectively as possible.   

Regarding the final presentation on In-Depth Night, Indah and I have collectively agreed to share our dancing with the form of a recorded video. We will film ourselves dancing to our entire 90-second routine and share that as our final presentation. But with this decision came two options for us to take. Two days ago, BC Premier John Horgan announced that BC would implement its 2nd phase of its 4 phase plan to re-introduce a normal society over the May long weekend. More importantly, this 2nd phase allows people to meet up in small groups for events such as dinners for up to 6 people. With this in mind, Indah and I have an option to record ourselves separately and merge our two films together, or to record our dance in one final take as we meet up together. We have decided that taking both options would be the most ideal, as we can decide on what might look better once finished filming. Once the May long weekend is finished, Indah and I will meet up at Gleneagle Secondary to film our dance both ways.  

In just a few weeks, everyone will be able to see the progress Indah and I have made with hip-hop dancing, and I cannot wait! 

Below is one of our merged progress videos that Kailey made for us:  

https://photos.app.goo.gl/i6nEYR8RXi6Pcrxc8 

 

Ecological Footprint Assignment

For an environmental science assignment, I calculated my ecological footprint and thought of ways to decrease my negative marks on Earth, applying these changes for the span of about two weeks. 

The Plan

After completing the ecological footprint calculator document, I found myself to score a footprint of 8.9 hectares, with higher subtotals in the food and transportation sections, and an astonishing low score in the shelter section. Given that my birthday is on Earth Day (April 22nd), I figured that I was destined to have a low footprint, and you will see the actions I took to achieve that goal. 

As I tried to compare my footprint to those of others, I discovered that Canada’s average ecological footprint was 8.28 hectares in 2014 from an article by the University of Waterloo. Although this was the most reliable and relevant source I could find, I took to my TALONS peers to see their scores. As expected, the scores of my peers were similar to the study done in 2014, with an average score of around 8-9 hectares, with lower scores closer to 6 and 7, and higher scores above 10. 

A handful of actions that are currently increasing the size of my ecological footprint include:

  • Taking long showers. 
  • Buying and wearing brand new clothes.
  • Producing a generous amount of garbage daily.
  • Traveling mostly through the use of a family car.
  • Most often driving in a medium-sized car.  
  • Spending a large portion of my time on a device.
  • Playing activities that require lots of equipment (Skiing, Snowboarding).
  • Not eating local food a majority of the time.
  • Having a lot of meat in my diet (Although mostly organic).
  • Having a lot of dairy products in my diet.

Out of these actions, a few that I would like to specifically target to reduce the size of my footprint traveling by car, doing activities that use lots of equipment, taking long showers, and eating too much meat and dairy. I chose to focus on these five actions to reduce my footprint because I believe I would be able to manage the changes I make regarding these situations for longer than my experiment and because each change could be made and implemented even in the case of the current pandemic. I chose actions that were easy to maintain, easy to adapt to, and ones that were accessible to me during this time. 

To reduce my footprint of traveling by car as my method of transportation, I will encourage myself to take walks to my destination or use public transport if needed. And although I may not have specific destinations to travel to, I will still try and get a walk outside on a daily basis for my wellbeing. As for finding activities that require less equipment, I have already been placed in a situation to use the items I have around me to create means of entertainment at home, and I will continue to implement this change. As for taking shorter showers, I will force myself to get in and out as soon as possible by implementing the use of cold water in my showers, as my body is not very keen on the cold temperatures. Finally, to reduce my consumption of both meat and dairy, which were both very high all my life, I will encourage my parents to buy more fruits and vegetable, and I will try to shift my diet to grain products as well, which I have not been eating as much during my time at home. I will also try to find alternatives to meat for my protein, such as tofu, which is commonly used in our household. 

 

The Reflection

Two weeks have past and it is currently May 1st of 2020, as I write the reflection piece for my ecological footprint assignment. I will admit that it did feel better to know that I implemented changes to reduce my footprint during my birthday 🙂

After trying to implement all five changes in my life, I experience that some shifts in my lifestyle were easier to make than others. For example, during the past two weeks, I was able to take a significant amount of walks due to the nice weather reducing the use of driving anywhere, and I was able to find new activities that required little to no equipment for my entertainment. These activities included dancing in my living room (Practicing for In-Depth), improving my typing speed through online sources, and learning how to solve a Rubik’s cube with the small toy that I found on my desk. 

One change that was definitely challenging to maintain was taking cold showers to reduce my time in the bathroom. Although a good idea at first, as I put my change into practice, I found myself to be turning up the shower’s temperature and continuing to take showers that lasted closer to 5 minutes. In addition, the screaming that my vocal cords experienced during my showers were definitely not on a normal level. Overall, I was only able to keep up the shorter shower times for a couple of sessions. 

On top of my struggles with the shower, another obstacle that I encountered during my experiment was my meat intake in the past two weeks. Beef, pork, and chicken were all an essential component to my diet since I was a kid, and giving them up was harder than I imagined. Although reducing my intake of dairy was quite easy overall (less cereal, yogurt, eggs), it was just too difficult to reduce my meat intake a significant amount. 

In the future, I hope to push myself to continue the changes that I have made and further implement the changes that I was not able to. If we all work to reduce our ecological footprint every day, we can create huge positive impacts in our world, as we’ve already seen with the result of self-quarantine. Each action is a raindrop, and we can create waves. 

TALONS Digital Literacy Assignment

Project #1: “Who’s on First?” Recreation Video

Who’s on First.mp4 

Overview

For a component of my “Eminent” project, in which I researched and presented the eminence of a notable individual (Lou Costello) through a speech and learning centre, I decided to create a video to showcase my learning and add another sense of engagement for people to learn about my project. As I decided to share all about the renowned American actor and comedian Lou Costello, I figured it would be a good idea to recall and recreate one of his classic skits “Who’s on first”, which he performed with his partner Bud Abbott, in my own taste and vision. Starring Myung Joon Cho and myself, this is “Who’s on First? Recreated”.

Creativity, Innovation, Technology Operations, and Concepts

  1. I enhance the impact of my research or presentation through creative use of technology.

Rather than to simply perform a skit countless times within the duration of my centre, I used the concepts and skills of filmmaking/editing to create an easily understandable, entertaining, and original take on a classic comedic sketch. I used the assets of technology to add subtitles to my video, add appropriate music, and to put a film grain onto my finished product, all leading to a much more polished and creative experience. 

  1. I determine and use the most effective medium to present my work. 

As I mentioned before, rather than for me to perform my skit live for guests (which can result in many problems occurring such as acting mistakes, an overload of stress, and a lack of time management relevant to the audience), I determined the best possible alternative that would provide a similar experience and could offer its own perks and opted to go for a video. Not only would I be able to create the best version of my skit through editing, but I could then spend more time talking to guests about my other pieces of work as they enjoy the video. 

  1. I challenge myself to increase my technological literacy by working with apps, software, or mediums that I have not used in the past.

Although many of the apps that I used and worked with for the completion of the video such as Microsoft Word for the scriptwriting, the camera application on my phone for recording, and Wondershare Filmora for my editing, I ended up taking huge leeways with the direction of my finished project and got to experience aspects of Filmora for the first time, especially in the colour/lighting department. 

Digital Citizenship 

  1. My work demonstrates a positive, productive, and empathetic worldview. 

Recreating such an iconic skit like “Who’s on First” not only pays homage to the last several decades of comedic skits through laughter and entertainment even today, but it also promotes hard work and creative freedom in filmmaking with teenagers in today’s day and age. My work inspires the sides of comedy and entertainment, as well as aspects of filmmaking, and demonstrates it all through a positive worldview.

 

Project #2: PTI “Indian Act” Presentation 

The Indian Act Presentation

Overview

Prior to our English novel study of Sherman Alexie’s “The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian”, our class was split into groups of four to research and present about a specific topic around the themes of the book, some of which included residential schools and women’s rights within the First Nations. For this presentation, my group focused on the Indian Act, sharing what it is, how it has affected the First Nations and any current news regarding the act. The link attached above is the pdf version of the Powerpoint that we used to present.

Communication and Collaboration

  1. I respond to the work or ideas of my peers in a way that is compassionate and productive.

Because our presentation was a collective effort between me and three other peers, it was no surprise that we would comment, question, and shares on ideas that we had that could make out overall presentation better. Although the four of us had our own sections that we would mainly focus on, I would often drop by the other slides to make a comment or suggestion either verbally or through the comments feature on Powerpoint.

Research and Information Literacy

  1. I go beyond google and use databases to find scholarly research sources. 

To ensure that I had reliable and specific information for my research, I took the liberty to look beyond Google by using “The Canadian Encyclopedia” for many of my research points, as the website has a large source of information regarding Canadian news that I implemented into my sections. In addition to The Canadian Encyclopedia, I also made sure to check out the Gleneagle online library for other resources that I could use to further improve and expand the content of our project.

  1. I look at controversial issues or topics from opposed perspectives to gain a more complete understanding.

As my portion of the presentation revolved around current news, I worked alongside my peer Myung Joon to research and present two fairly recent and relevant news updates regarding the Indian Act (One talked about sex-based discrimination within the act and the other about a member of parliament rejecting responsibility for the act). In both topics, but more specifically the latter, I had to research both sides of the argument on the current status of the Indian Act and if it should be modified for the advantage of the parliament or the First Nation peoples.

Digital Citizenship

  1. I attribute credit to ideas that are not my own by preparing a bibliography/works cited and by using in-text citations.

At the end of my presentation, there is a complete “works cited” slide that contained all of the research sources that our group use to present our ideas and information in an MLA format. In addition to our research sources, I have also linked the citations for any images that I personally used underneath the photo itself.

Project #3: Midsummer Night’s Dream Vignette

Midsummer Night’s Dream Vignette Script\

Overview

For our final wrap-up project after the reading of Shakespeares “Midsummer Night’s Dream”, I worked with three other peers to create and perform an original vignette that retold an act from the original in front of the class. Filled with props, music, and creativity, we shared the wonderful stories of Shakespeare through our own lens. The link above is to the original script of our vignette, as the recording of the performance could not be located.

Communication and Collaboration

  1. I use digital spaces to plan and execute collaborative projects with my peers.  

To generate our ideas, share comments, and create our script, our group collectively used Google docs to culminate our project into a single document that could be accessed or changed at any time by any of the group members.

  1. I tailor my work to appeal to my intended audience and use language and visual design elements appropriate for them. 

Knowing that our vignette would be performed in front of our class, my group and I wrote our script to be entertaining, easy to understand, and at the heart of our classes wants when it came to our play. With a rap battle segment, over the top accents and costumes, and several one-liner jokes, we made sure that our vignette did not lose sight of the original vision with its story and characters but still had a twist of originality and appeal to our intended audience.

  1. I constructively build upon or synthesize the ideas of my peers.

The overall finished script of our vignette, that you can read above, was not an easy product to finish. From conflicting visions of the plot, a large collection of jokes that were all within the script, and a performance time that was way over the limit, our group encountered several challenges and roadblocks that slowed the progress of our project. We managed to get through all these challenges through communication between the four of us, by building upon the dozens of ideas and changes that each of us thought of throughout our process of writing.

Project #4: Banana Slug Biology Poster

Science Banana Slugs Poster

Overview

For our biology unit within Science, we were given an assignment where we received one living organism from animals to plants as a topic that we had to research and present about through an educational poster. My organism was the banana slug, and I decided to make a digital poster through the use of Powerpoint.

Creativity, Innovation, Technology Operations, and Concepts

  1. I design my work with consideration given to aesthetics and design, such as consistent colour schemes, symmetry or organization of visual elements, and overall layout. 

Because I was aware that a key aspect of a poster was the overall aesthetic and its layouts, colour, and formats, I made sure to keep these factors in mind when creating my poster by using a relevant colour to my topic, adding enough images to not over clutter the page with text, and formatting the text and research into sub-sections that are easy to follow.

Research and Information Literacy

  1. I critically asses research sources for currency, reliability, authority, and purpose.

While I was taking notes on my topic, I made sure to check a wide variety of sources, from videos to articles about the banana slug, ensuring that the information I had was doubled checked from different websites.

Gyu Min’s In-Depth Blog Post #5: The Crunch Time Stretch!

(Disclaimer: The featured image of this blog post is indeed not me but an edited photo with my face. I could OBVIOUSLY stretch my body farther than that.)

See what I did there with the title and photo? The crunch time “stretch” as in extending my skills and putting in the last stretch of my progress, and the crunch time “stretch” as in the physical stretching of my body as I continue to dance! Wow, I am hilarious. All that social distancing has really improved my comedic taste if I do say so myself. But my lack of comedy isn’t what this blog post is about.

Since my last update on my In-Depth project just over two weeks ago, I have had a chance to meet with my mentor, Kailey, research and view more clips of professional hip hop dancing and learn a new “special” move that may prove to be helpful in my final project. Through the video calling platform “Zoom”, Kailey, Indah, and I were able to hold our first online mentoring session that lasted for just over an hour, where we discussed the future of our project and continued to make extreme mileage on our final dance. For our finished product, Indah and I are hoping to film our respective parts of the dance and merge the two videos to look like one smooth routine. Although some of the notable components of a duo routine are not possible through simple video editing, we are hoping to still take advantage of the two of us dancing at the same time to make some interesting moves. As I mentioned in my previous blog post, I have continued to research hip-hop dancing and expose myself to the art with the help of 1million dance studio, the YouTube channel that has kept me in check during times of boredness at home. Finally, I am excited to share that my initial side goal of learning some sort of “power move” for my dance has been completed in my spare time. While I was staying quarantined at home, I had the idea of getting my body moving and active by learning a new skill relating to physical activity. Below you will find a video of me successfully doing the “kip-up”.  Simply put, the kip-up is an acrobatic move where a person transitions from a lying position to a squatting/standing position in one swift kicking motion. I was originally aware of this move from its use commonly in breakdancing, martial arts, and old action films that I used to watch, and I was inspired to have my attempt at the move. With countless hours of practice in my small living room over the span of four days and one extremely sore body, I was able to closely perfect the kip-up!

Kip-up video 

1. What kinds of learning opportunities does the mentor provide to expose you to new learning?

To assist me in my learning and progress of my In-depth project, Kailey has provided me with a helpful video guide of our dance (linked below), so that I may be able to practice with the proper movements whenever I want. This exposes me to learning and perfecting my dances through a screen rather than with hands-on practice.

Kailey’s guiding dance video

2. What kinds of learning opportunities exist to reinforce new learning?

Learning opportunities such as online resources exist to reinforce my learning whenever I want. From countless professional hip-hop dancing videos that help me to understand the art in a more critical and creative sense, to a large array of workouts that can push my physical limitations to ensure that I can continue to progress through my dance.

3. What kinds of opportunities exist that might accelerate learning?

When it comes to the acceleration of my learning and progress with the final dance, there is nothing that beats effective practice. Setting aside a couple of hours each week to purely focus on my dancing is the most beneficial way to accelerate my learning. I have recently learned about and studied the Pomodoro Technique, a time management method that I am quite curious about, and I will implement strategies like such to ensure that not only am I working hard but that I am working smart as well.

4. When you get together what do you talk about?

When Kailey, Indah, and I get together for mentoring sessions, we talk about the progress that we have made since our last meeting, any new comments or ideas we would like to share, questions we have about what Kailey said, and a mixture of many casual conversations within it all.

5. What is going particularly well in your mentoring relationship right now?

As Kailey and I had already established a relationship prior to our mentoring sessions, we were already quite comfortable with each other and could treat our learning space with plenty of leeways to crack jokes and mess around every once in a while. Because of our strong chemistry, the transition to online mentoring sessions with Kailey was not a huge step in our project, as the element of communication between the three of us were still just as strong as they were before. I find myself to be relaxed when I’m speaking to Kailey, and we are able to hold conversations as friends just as well as during her mentoring. Although there is a level of professionalism between us, I am grateful to have a close friend also be my mentor.

6. What are you learning about one another?

As I continue to work with Kailey, I am reminded of the hard work, care, and dedication that she has towards my project, sacrificing her own time every week to work with me and Indah, even in hard times like this. I have learned that Kailey is always willing to step up as a leader as much as she is an amazing listener and that she genuinely believes in the skills and mental drive that we have to succeed.

 

As this In-Depth project continues, I am only learning more about dancing, determination, and myself, and I will continue to put my hardest efforts to complete this project with satisfaction.

Gyu Min’s In-Depth Blog Post #4: Time to get creative!

With the world in a state of worry, struggle, and difficult times, there stands one young boy, watching compilations of hip-hop dancing, eager for the day that he can go out to share his newly found ideas and research to apply to his In-Depth project. It has surely been a tough time for everyone and their personal lives, and me and Indah’s In-Depth project is no different. We had set out at the beginning of the year to learn and practice the skills of hip hop dancing with the goal of performing our own choreographed dance with the aid of our mentor Kailey, but have hit a significant roadblock in our endeavor so far. Due to the current pandemic, I have not been able to meet with Kailey and Indah for a large portion of time, and the progress of our dancing has not been moving as fast as I would hope to. I titled this blog post “Time to get creative” for two reasons. Firstly, the last time Indah, Kailey, and I have collectively met, we were just beginning to choreograph our 90 second hip-hop routine, confident with our skills leading up to then and ready to take on our big goal. This meant that with the foundation we have spent several weeks working on, it was time for us to get creative with the leeway that we have finally reached with creating a dance. Both Indah and I were thrilled to put in some of our own ideas into our dance, and we were excited to see our final project slowly build itself. This, unfortunately, has not yet happened, and we have only begun to very briefly learn the beginning of our dance. Which brings me to my second reason: Spring break is now officially over and it is time for Indah, Kailey, and I to get creative on how we could continue to create and practice our dance even in the space of our own respective homes. This could be through video calls, messaging, or other creatives ways that we will begin to think of and implement in the next coming week. To keep me busy though, I have continued to expose myself to the world of hip-hop. Just recently, I discovered the YouTube channel “1MILLION Dance Studio“, a hip-hop dance studio based in Seoul, South Korea, where thousands of passionate dancers have uploaded dance routines all within the genre of hip-hop. In the past 2 weeks, I have watched several dozen videos from the channel, and have picked up on more and more pieces of knowledge and tips that I can implement into my own dances as well. In addition to my continual exposure to dancing, I have also been keeping my physique and physical well being in check. From doing explosive cardio and core exercises in the comfort of my own home, and maintaining a strong diet, I have ensured that my body is still in a condition to dance in the next coming weeks and months.

1. What has been my most difficult mentoring challenge so far?  Why?

Kailey Huang has been a wonderful mentor in more than one way to assist me in my goal of becoming a dancer. With extremely supportive and adaptive teaching methods, she has continued to push me to keep going and has observed my achievements since the very beginning. The most difficult challenge I have had with Kailey was the unfortunate lack of mentoring sessions in the months of February and March due to both Indah and Kailey being extremely sick for several weeks on end. This is not due to anyone’s fault in particular but has been a difficulty in our mentoring and the progress of our dance.

2. What is working well? Why?

Although the number of meetings that we have had is sparse, the progress and momentum of our learning have been immense every time we have met. This chemistry and strong learning and teaching ethics have easily been the most successful part of our project and has been working extremely well.

3. What could be working better?  How can you make sure this happens?

I hope that within these coming weeks, Kailey could contact both me and Indah as we find alternatives to our mentoring so that we could simply put more mileage on our progress. So far, it has not been a problem of effort or passion, but a concern with time instead. I am very confident in our abilities and am looking forward to how In-Depth will continue forward.

Below is a video of the first few seconds of our final dance, that we learned and recorded in the middle of march, one week before spring break:

Video

Gyu Min’s In-Depth Blog Post #3: Wait, so I put my feet here and then my arm goes…

Body? Sore. Mind? Confused. Determination? Active. Confidence? Growing. Mentor? Co-operative and caring. Dancing? Growing at a rapid pace!

These handfuls of snapshots have summed up my general progress since the last recording of my learning. At this point, I have met with my mentor Kailey Huang a total of 3 times every Thursday, and although those mentorship times may be small, I have gained immense knowledge about dance, and the way my body really moves. With each and every time I meet with Kailey, I’m always learning something new about myself through dance. From noticing how my chest and shoulders can pop open and create a dramatic effect, to understanding how deeply my arms and legs really are connected when moving, these small mental notes have only deepened my knowledge of dance and have slowly helped me build my confidence. Currently, I have been learning some basic techniques and moves that will ease me into the hip hop dancing style and will become the foundation for the routine that Indah and I will create with the aid of Kailey. The next time we meet, we hope to find some appropriate and relevant songs for our project and begin the process of choreographing our dance.

Questions:

1. What went particularly well during your mentoring sessions?

A few notable factors that have been extremely successful in my learning with Kailey includes the high level of chemistry and communication between the mentor and learner creating a safe space for openness, an easy to understand and structured format when learning new moves, and the overall enjoyment coming from me, Indah and even Kailey, who has been thoroughly enjoying the process of becoming a mentor. The fact that Kailey is only 2 years older than both me and Indah, and has both had personal interactions with us before In-Depth greatly increased our ability to communicate and learn right from the start. But not only our prior connections but the style of teaching that Kailey implements is also the cornerstone of our success. With kind and thoughtful responses and demonstrations, Kailey is always willing to help me and Indah out with whatever we need.

3. What learning challenges emerged?

One important learning challenge that I have been facing during my time with In-Depth is my lack of self-confidence. Although it may be growing at a slow pace, I have still found trouble looking myself in the mirror while dancing and looking back at footage of myself. This has greatly impacted my personal growth in dancing, as I have still not reached my goal of comfortability with myself. To help aid my struggle, Kailey has been getting me to slowly look at myself dancing more, both in person and in videos.

5. What three strategies could improve the quality of your mentor interactions?

Strategy #1: Interact outside of rehearsals/mentorship time. This can improve the connection between the mentor and the learner to make teaching and learning easier during rehearsals.

Strategy #2:  Do some relevant studying beforehand. This helps boost the trust and bond that the mentor has on their pupil.

Strategy #3: Try to ask as many questions as you can. The mentor is the expert, and it would only help both sides if questions were being answered.

 

Well, that’s it for me today, I’ll see you guys in a month!

– Professional dancer in the making, Gyu Min

 

Gyu Min’s In-Depth Blog Post #2: Ready? Get set? Go!

“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.

Semester 1 Reflection Post: Eminent Speech

Eminent Lou Costello Final Speech

One project that I completed during my 1st Semester at Gleneagle Secondary was my Eminent final speech. An element of my Eminent Research project for my English/Socials class, I was able to choose any eminent figure that has left a mark on the world with their actions and present a 4-5 minute speech to show this person’s importance. For my project, I chose to educate my class about Lou Costello, a burlesque comedian famous for his infamous skits and movies alongside his straight man Bud Abbott. Writing a speech in the perspective of Bud Abbott, I told the story of Lou from his birth to death in a concise, informative, and creative manner.

With this assignment, I was able to bring in my creative writing and thinking skills, my communication skills, my researching skills, and my skills with public speaking. Wanting to be different more than anyone else, I try to be as creative as possible whenever I am given the leeway to do so. Using my creative thinking, I generated several different ideas on how I could convey my research and facts in an interesting and entertaining way. I would then use my creative writing skills to use my knowledge and convert it into a presentable piece of work, rather than a long list of facts. Finally, I was able to combine my communication and public speaking skills to completely memorize and present my Eminent Speech, complete with loads of enthusiasm, props, and a costume.

A few major challenges or bumps I had along the way of completing my speech included thinking of the most effective ways to capture my audience, finding ways to memorize my speech easily, and cutting down the most crucial parts of my speech to create a concise final product. During all of these struggles, I had to consider many different outcomes and strategies to find the most suitable answers for myself. For example, to choose an interesting hook to my speech, I would ask my peers for their opinion on the matter, and I would take constructive tips to further enhance my writing.

Gyu Min’s In-Depth Blog Post #1: The Beginning of an Idea

In-Depth. Is it simply just another “passion project” that schools offer to give you a flexible block for a learner to do whatever they please? I don’t think so. The concept of TALONS “In-Depth” Project is a learning experience that not only supports a learner’s passions and interests in a much deeper manner than ever before but ties in with the community around them and provides them with countless opportunities to succeed in their field of choice. Being guided with a mentor, as well as tracking my progress through videos and vlogs, all the pieces have been placed on the board for my first shot at the stage. This year, I will go in-depth with hip hop dancing.

Dancing has always been such a high mountain throughout my life. I was able to observe and look up to all of its intricacies and beauties, but would never even dream to climb to such extremes. Inspired by various dancers at a young age, I have always had a special interest in the art form, and have been blown away and humbled at its greatest. The complexity and creativity that dancing provide seemed surreal to me, and I could have never seen myself in a position to move my body in that manner. It was clear that a path of dance was never to be seen in me.

But, much like many other moments in life, I have challenged my own thinking. Through the project of In-Depth, I have re-sparked my ember for dancing and have put it upon myself to execute what is long overdue in my bucket list of passions. As renowned American dancer Marth Graham once said, “Nobody cares if you can’t dance well. Just get up and dance. Great dancers are great because of their passion.” Following this ideology of passion acting as the heart of success, I am ready to launch myself into the world of hip hop to take the lessons I learn and turn them into my pride.

Alongside my fellow TALONS learner and friend Indah Del Bianco, we will be learning and working under the wing of our mentor, Kailey Huang. A grade 11 student and former TALONS learner at Gleneagle, Kailey has been practicing various dance forms for 10 years and is currently the dance captain at Gleneagle’s Musical Theatre Program. A highly reliant and supportive dancer and leader, Kailey is willing to help me and Indah to learn the ins and outs of basic hip hop dancing, for us to hopefully understand the necessary skills and methods to become effective dancers ourselves. Kailey has shown to be understanding, passionate, and highly capable of her task ahead as my mentor, and I have nothing but high hopes. In terms of the when and where of my In-Depth project, Indah and I have had 1 meeting with Kailey on January 9th in the Gleneagle MPR stage from 6 – 6:30 p.m. As of current standings, the 3 of us have collectively agreed to keep that same meeting format, practicing every Thursday for 30 minutes until further notice (rehearsals will most likely extend as time passes).

With all of this being said, I am ready to pursue this new passion and area of interest with all my excitement in a clear and open mind. Let In-Depth become a project where learners of all gifts may learn and travel down a path of their own hopes, as we all hip HOP into our endeavors.

Signing off, up and coming dancer, Gyu Min Jang.