Hip hop camp!

Moomin’s been going to dance camp the last few weeks and he loves it. For years we’ve noticed this club, Community Street Jam, in the local parades and downtown performances, standing out from the crowd as they dance well and have a great time. It turns out that in their unpretentious looking gym in the strip mall next to my office building they really are a fantastic community, living up to their name. The kids are hanging out, teaching each other, taking the dance classes, in a warm atmosphere that encourages creativity.

This week Moomin participated in the downtown “jam”. Along with performances and dance lessons where the crowd was invited to join in, there were a bunch of informal circles where people were doing freestyle. So as people felt like it they’d jump into the middle of the circle and do some dancing. Moomin loves to dance and is good at it, but is a little shy. I was so proud of the way he jumped in and of all his dancing!

Here, Moomin jumps in around the 1 minute mark – you can see his blue hair. He’s interested in doing handstands and spins like some of the other kids his age.

All the dances and performances were great! And especially how the audience joined in and everyone felt comfortable.

This was the finale, with all the kids participating, and very impressive and cool!

This was my favorite dance, choreographed by one of the older boys in the club, Francisco, for himself and two little kids about 6 years old. They work together beautifully and the triangular formations they get into impressed me. I also liked their choice of music, making something old really fresh.

One thing I noticed across many of the kids’ performances was the style of starting off with one song, then abruptly switching music, not blended together like a DJ or a mashup might, but just jumping tracks. Once I got used to it, it was interesting and made me think. My expectations would go one way with the first bit of the song, and then I’d get a jolt and have to adjust how I was watching the dance! Very cool!

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