AFAS 218 – Introduction to Hip-Hop Dance
This beginning level hip- hop dance class combines straight lectures, lively discussions and problem solving with actual movement practice with the objective of equipping students the relevant cultural, historical and practical knowledge of hip-hop dance and cultures in general. This course takes off from the premise that hip-hop dance is a vital component of wider hip-hop cultures which contain both global and sub-national constituents. As such, it adopts a historical approach to explore the beginnings, influences and parallels of hip-hop dance in continental African, Caribbean, Latin American and local US cultures. The course proceeds to examine the different hip-hop dance and movement styles, techniques, vocabulary and cultures emanating from particular geographic regions especially the East Coast, West Coast, Midwest and the Deep South in the USA as well as hip-hop dance's current state of global popularity, cross-cultural appeal, production and consumption. The ultimate objective is to challenge and encourage students to create final dance projects where they apply knowledge acquired throughout the semester to demonstrate their understanding of the cultural, historical and practical knowledge of hip-hop dance and cultures in general. Most importantly, the course examines how hip-hop dance expressions and representations challenge and/or reinforce social constructs of race, gender, and class. As a combination lecture/studio class this course will focus on both theory and practice. Where possible the course will take advantage of Hip-Hop dancers and scholars residing in or visiting Arizona to deliver guest performances and workshop. Students are not required to have prior dance knowledge to enroll in this class and will participate at their ability levels. The class culminates in a research paper and an option to do a performance or a digital project.