Hip-Hop Hits Big Red Zoom

Yee Xin Cher '22 from LCR3W hosted a hip-hop masterclass of her own choreography on Zoom as part of an Inter-Arts Council initiative this past Saturday from 8:30 to 9:30 PM.

Yee Xin Cher '22 from LCR3W hosted a hip-hop masterclass of her own choreography on Zoom as part of an Inter-Arts Council initiative this past Saturday from 8:30 to 9:30 PM. An experienced dancer and a new choreographer, Cher composed her dance to AJR's "Bang!" and taught it to members of the Lawrenceville community.

Cher began her dance career when she started to learn ballet at around five years old. After coming to Lawrenceville, she has been an active member of dance on campus, partaking in many opportunities such as the Lawrenceville School Dance Collective, Lawrenceville Dance Team, LCR3W, and the Spring Dance Concert.

LCR3W, a hip-hop dance club which Cher taught on behalf of, became active again this year with the help of Kajal Dongre '22 and Cher. They wanted to share their passion for hip-hop and make it more accessible to the community. On the topic of how they changed LCR3W, Cher said, "It was a more exclusive dance group but we're reshaping it to the way we like to learn hip-hop, which is not necessarily to prepare for performances, but really just to learn the choreography for fun and to train and work out."

When choreographing "Bang!," Cher described how there was "a lot of trial and error," and that she had to "replay the song over and over again." Cher has always been interested in choreographing, but she has never gotten the chance to choreograph until now. "Choreographing was honestly pretty hard. I'm used to just learning from a teacher so to have to come up with the steps yourself can be pretty intimidating. However, I try to make sure that I like it and that others will too," she said.

With Cher being in Malaysia, one of the challenges in organizing this masterclass was the time difference; she had trouble getting up at 8:00AM because many of her online classes ran late into the night. In regard to other challenges while teaching the class, Cher said, "I was just nervous because I've never taught a class in real life, let alone...virtually, so I was worried that I might go too fast or too slow...But it turned out it was really fun. I think watching video dance lessons helped. I picked up on some tips professional people made like cutting the piece down to sections, connecting the choreography to music, and giving more specific tips with movements."

Concerning her future plans in dance, Cher said, "I want to continue to grow as a dancer, take classes, learn more combinations, explore more genres, and hopefully get more chances to choreograph for individuals, pairs, or groups-for anyone really."

Reflecting on her experiences in her first virtual hip-hop class, Yendi Foo '22 said, "I felt like there was a lot of positive energy, even when people weren't speaking and focusing on dancing." As someone who has experienced dance classes at Lawrenceville, Foo compared learning hip-hop to other styles of dance, "In [some] dance classes, you don't get to learn dances immediately because people focus more on technique…With hip-hop you can just jump in and try it out."

Kate McCann '22, who is new to the style, agreed, "I was surprised at how fun it was and the way everyone came together to learn the choreography and figure things out…It was so fun, I would definitely go to another class."

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