Students learn street styles with Urban Dance Grooves

For a high-energy workout that incorporates modern dance and style, the Campus Recreation Center (CRC) offers Urban Dance Grooves among its selection of instructional GIT FIT classes. Students can learn a range of hip-hop techniques to take anywhere from the club to the streets.

Urban Dance Grooves is a total-body fitness program for students looking to get in shape and practice the latest moves. Teaching rhythm and physical coordination, participants can work up a sweat learning techniques that have evolved from mainstream and alternative hip-hop culture.

“I was looking for some kind of on-campus activity that would incorporate dance and workout. It has helped me maintain my endurance too,” said Johnna Sheu, a second-year GEML major.

For several of the students participating in the class, this was their first formal dance instruction. The program provides an energetic exercise experience with a variety of benefits.

“The dance aspect really interested me. Larry’s a great teacher, and [when it comes to fitness] it definitely challenges me,” said Alyse Taylor, a third-year EE graduate student.

The Urban Dance Grooves program instructor discovered street-style dance after his teen years, pursuing the interest and finding an opportunity to share his knowledge by teaching students at Tech.

“I’ve been teaching for almost five years now […] I’ve always wanted to be a part of the gym [environment] and once I started dancing at the gym I went with it and I thought, now that I’m doing this maybe I can teach a class,” said Larry Brown, the Urban Dance Grooves class instructor.

With campus in the heart of a metropolitan area with thriving dance community, Tech students learning hip-hop and other dance styles can find a number of popular venues and an assortment of opportunities to choose from in Atlanta when honing their skills outside of class.

“There are plenty of locations for anybody who’s just starting up and doesn’t have a great confidence level yet with their dancing to find something. There’s a niche for everyone here,” Brown said.

Students at all levels of experience are welcome to participate. Instruction begins with the basics and progresses to more advanced techniques.

“The way that I teach my class, it encompasses everyone from all walks of life and backgrounds […]even if you don’t have any dance experience,” Brown said.

Learning to dance with confidence takes regular practice and instruction, but as it is with all things, motivation on the part of the student is the best way to improve their abilities. Beyond the expertise of the instructor, personal objectives for the program are an important part of the learning process.

“I think that it’s all about what the students’ goals for the class are. I like to have my students meet me halfway […] a lot of instructors think that they just have to inspire them to be a part of the class as they’re teaching them the routine, but if they meet you halfway then I feel like they come motivated themselves,” Brown said.