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Hip-hop class provides new focus for kids

Staff writer

In the past few weeks, Studio 23 started a hip-hop class taught by Tabor junior Juan Pigott, to increase involvement among male students.

Before Pigott took an interest in dance five years ago, he didn’t think of it as an activity for men.

“I started to see more guys doing robotics dance,” he said. “It takes a lot of muscle movement, which got me more interested in men’s dancing.”

The importance of muscle movement makes Pigott’s physical therapy major an asset because he understands the body’s limitations.

“I know how certain joints rotate and muscles work,” he said. “Boys and girls are different in their shape and their build, but there are other things that have to be incorporated as well.”

Beyond the body, understanding the difference in attention spans is important with a wide range of students, Pigott said.

“Boys always want to be doing something, while the girls like to sit and learn slowly,” he said. “Age difference is difficult because some older kids want to learn different things than the basics. They want to learn more technical things.”

The class has three girls and six boys, going from 4 years old to as old as 16. It has been so successful since its start at the beginning of February that a second class is already in the works.

“I think we have a lot of kids who have had that desire to do hip-hop,” said Krista Matlock, owner of Studio 23. “For boys and girls who think ballet isn’t their dance of choice, this has given them an outlet to be able to express that.”

While she is always looking for more children to join, Matlock encourages them to use all resources available, like using available scholarships, and trying a free class first.

For the students who attended the first three practices, Pigott has already seen improvements in their involvement and his teaching.

“The second one I was a little more confident and we just rolled with it,” he said. “As long as there are kids smiling and happy to come to class, then I’m happy.”

When starting out, Pigott focuses on precise moves to give students a learning base.

“The more you understand how your body works with little movements, the more you can incorporate them into bigger ones,” he said. “Then you can move into other genres of hip- hop.”

Pigott learned how to dance from online videos, so teaching classes has deepened his appreciation for the basics.

“I never got into fundamentals,” he said. “Now that I’m learning more fundamentals, little things here and there, it’s even teaching me in a way. It really does help with the breakdown of moves and creativity.”

Teaching experience isn’t needed for his major, but Pigott views the experience as a life skill.

“These are things I’m going to have to know at some point or another,” he said. “It’s good to be able to relate to kids.”

Last modified Feb. 27, 2019

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