Here I am writing this post for the second time as grade 10 TALONS student. You would think that I would know by now not to procrastinate on blog posts, but one year later and I’m still at it. That being said, in the craziness of the first week I was able to find the time to plan out my second, and potentially last, In-Depth project. Hip hop. I had multiple impromptu planning sessions with Anne and Alyssa to plan out the overlapping components of our In-Depth projects; including, signing up for hip hop lessons, answering certain contract questions, and planning our final performance (see rough outline in contract), as well as many late nights working on my own personal goals. Looking ahead at what’s to come for 2016, I know it will be hectic and I probably won’t get much sleep, but I am stoked for the experiences to come!
Making the decision to do hip hop was not nearly as easy as choosing my grade 9 In-Depth project. Unlike last year, I had tons of skills I was interested in learning, such as boxing, entrepreneurship, hip hop, sound engineering, and more. The night before school started again, I finally narrowed it down to my top two; boxing and hip hop. I knew I had to decide before Friday, and with the pressure of the due date being so near, I made the split decision to do boxing. After some further investigation, and a marathon of hip hop routines on YouTube, I quickly changed my mind. Maybe it’s because I got inspired by YouTube performances, or maybe it’s because my parents weren’t to keen on me fighting others, or maybe it’s because I went to see So You Think You Can Dance Live Tour w/ Anne Yolland (see footage below), but I am confident that I made the right choice.
As I mentioned above, I will be collaborating with Anne and Alyssa during this project. You will notice the structures of our projects are very similar. All three of us will be taking dance lessons together with choreographer Bev Soh, as well as meeting frequently to share what we have learnt. In terms of solo components, we will each be meeting with our own mentors and moving at our own pace. We also each chose our own goals for the outcome of this project based on our vision for the next five months and the areas we wanted to focus on. Below is my monthly schedule, as well as a list of my personal goals for the project.
- Month 1:
Research – History of hip hop/it’s influence (websites)
– YouTube tutorials on basic hip hop moves for beginners
Biweekly mentor sessions w/ Mika Backus (every 2 weeks)
- Month 2:
Hip Hop Lessons – Room to Move Dance & Fitness Studio w/ Bev Soh
– Taken w/ Alyssa Turcott & Anne Yolland
(5 sessions; Tues, February 2nd – Tues, March 1st from 5:30-6:30pm)
Continue Biweekly Mentor Sessions w/ Mika Backus (every 2 weeks)
- Month 3:
Weekly mentor sessions w/ Mika Backus
Biweekly meetings w/ Alyssa Turcott & Anne Yolland (every 2 weeks)
- Month 4:
See month 3.
Choreograph first dance – preparation for final project
- Month 5:
Weekly mentor sessions w/ Mika Backus
Weekly meetings w/ Alyssa Turcott & Anne Yolland
Polish performance – preparation for final project
- Create an inventory of hip hop moves on my blog (5+ moves per post)
- Choreograph my own routine (1-2mins.)
- Learn the basics of hip hop (history + technique)
- Set a workout/practice schedule after the lessons end (month 3 onward) to work on my time management skills
(NOTE: This schedule is flexible and likely to change. Updates will be given in following blog posts.)
You may have noticed the name Mika Backus came up multiple times in my monthly schedule. No, she is not some random person whose house I intend to show up at for dance lessons every week. Mika, otherwise known as Mira’s mother, has kindly agreed to step up and be my mentor for the next 5 months. My biggest worry when choosing hip hop for my In-Depth had been finding a mentor. I spent hours over the holidays looking at different dance studios and hip hop dancers in the Tri-Cities. Most classes were not for my age range nor level, and those that were, were very expensive. I mentioned this in conversation one day with Mira, and she told me her mom was a dancer. One quick text later, she agreed to be my mentor. I later found out that she has been taking hip hop for the past few years at Room to Move Dance and Fitness Studio with Bev Soh, giving her connections to a few different choreographers. I am so grateful that she has agreed to help me along my journey and relieve me from the stress of finding a mentor. I send my thanks!
In conclusion, I can safely say the next five months will be full of fantastic new experiences. One of them being next week. I will be having my first official meeting with my mentor and I am ready to get started. In-Depth 2016 begins!