Hip-Hop Dance Fitness Class For Youth
There are many problems facing today’s youth, not the least of which childhood obesity as well as being in the viselike grip of an apathetic technology. It is not enough to buy your children yet another diversion from the real world, such a Wii Fit, or to try and interest them in an activity that holds little charm against the instant gratification of a computer screen and a bag of Doritos. There has to be something that will not only hold a short attention span, but is uniquely positive, not only to build a physically fit body, but also to build a sense of confidence and character as well.
While you cannot deny the physicality of hip-hop dance, most people would not consider it a exercise regime, but when put all your preconceived notions aside, what better vehicle could you think of to get your kids off the couch and moving? Such a class has been created by Geborah Stephen for the City of Dayton Recreation and Youth Services. She has designed a program that not only teaches teens between the ages of thirteen and eighteen the fundamentals of hip-hop (which incorporates a lot of elements from jazz, step and even ballet.), but also subtly guides the youth into having more self confidence to raise their self esteem. Having dealt with dance/fitness instructor Geborah Stephen before, I can personally vouch for her talent, her determination as well as her positive spirit. We were able to have a lengthly discussion about the class and what she hopes the teens will take from the experience.
J.T.: What kind of things does the class encompass?
Geborah: The Hip-Hop Dance Class entails movements that range from jazz and into some more modern dance movements, like pop and locking, but on a little more faster pace.
J.T.: What do you hope that the kids will get out of this?
Geborah: I am hoping that with the experience that I have, I can naturally encourage and empower the youth that attend and I hope that they can walk away with a better grasp of hip-hop, range of motion and general dance movements. I want them to have a better outlook as far as their self esteem and a pride in their inner talents.
J.T.: Do you think that this could lead them to pursue other forms of dance?
Geborah: Yes, absolutely! Hip-hop stems from jazz and modern movements and even some ballet movements. I think that this would be a really nice transition to other classes and types of dance. You don’t even necessarily need to be a dancer. You can use dance as a way of expression using it during your own free time or as a fitness tool. You don’t have to use what you learn to become some type of entertainer. So, yes, it could take several different avenues, but all of them are positive paths.
J.T.: With the issue of childhood obesity being in the forefront of news reports, would this type of activity help them get moving and active?
Geborah: Absolutely! I think that hip-hop is an excellent way to get youth involved in fitness. I think that it is something that they can relate to and so I think that it is an easier way to get them active. It’s a very enjoyable form of exercise and kids love to jump around and express themselves through dance. With a lot of the youth having issue with their weight and trying to stay healthy, I think that my class will be a good tool to possibly get them on track and keep them on track.
J.T.: Well, it’s has real world applications whereas there are not too many instances where you can break out an exercise ball outside of the gym. Do you think that it will get the kids out there for more social interactions instead of in front of the television or the computer?
Geborah: Hopefully, but kids today are really into technology, so I’m hoping that it might spark an interest in getting up and moving more, but I think that technology will always hold sway, unfortunately. Hip-hop dance is evolving and it’s definitely becoming a bit more mainstream and I think it is a very good tool, especially for. I just think it is going to be a really good thing all the way around for the youth in Dayton to get involved in the hip-hop classes.
J.T.: If these premier classes go well, what could you see this thing branching into?
Geborah: Well, hopefully my class takes off in the community. I definitely see myself in the future running my own program that will involve hip-hop dance as well as some jazz movement in an atmosphere where youth can build their self esteem and character through dance and also incorporating some life skills and different things like that. I do have my own ultimate vision for a major project in the future, and I do want to produce and promote more projects like this.
The classes begin on January 5th, but you can sign up anytime as it is a ten week course running every Wednesday and Friday until March 11th. The cost is $25 for Dayton residents and $35 for non-residents and the price includes classes plus a recital and a final showcase at the end of the program. For more information or to find out the times for sign ups, call (937) 333-8336. The classes will be held at the Dayton Bomberger Teen Center located at 1306 E. Fifth St.