About a year ago, I ventured from social dance classes into hip hop class at Stanford. I signed up for History of Waltz with Richard Powers and wasn’t sure if it was a dance class or a history class, so I also signed up for Hip Hop with Ronnie Reddick to make sure I was really doing some dancing. (Spoiler: History of Waltz is a dance class that teaches different Waltz from the past 200 years and includes very practical variations that can be used for social dancing in the real world.) It turned out to be a great combination that allowed me to dance every weekday.
I enjoyed how Ronnie’s classes started with a 10 min stretch because my legs really needed it when I’m dancing five days a week. In fact, I liked the stretch so much that I recorded it on video so I can stretch on my own time.
I also learned new dance techniques, particularly isolations — exercises that move only a single part of your body — which came in handy when learning Blues-Fusion at South Bay Fusion. These isolations were then put into our warmup routine, so we can warmed up the muscles we would be using for dancing later and prevent injuries.
There are other social dancers who found Hip Hop to be useful in exercising different “dance muscles.” Lewis also first started hip hop with Ronnie Reddick at Stanford:
Social dance places a very strong emphasis on how things feel, but working on an individual dance like hip hop provides and doing some serious mirror work forces you to consider how things look and adds another dimension to body perception.