After a couple of delays ... well, actually about three hours to tell you the truth, Hip-Hop in Arctic Bay has taken off. This week (Tues-Saturday and then a Bonfire on Sunday night) youth here in our community will be taking part in and learning some new hip-hop moves courtesy of The Canadian Floor Masters (CFM) and BluePrint for Life. This team, traveled thousands of miles and almost got snowed out of Arctic Bay (they were on the last plane that landed here ... we haven't had a plane since Saturday).
While they are here in Arctic Bay they will be teaching our youth hip-hop moves, scratching, beat creation and graffiti art. As well as discussing with them the imagery associated with the hip-hop culture and how it is not all about thugs and bling-bling. There will also be a lot of healing going on while students are in the workshops, and many discussions about life and sometimes the hardships that come with it.
I spent pretty much all day downstairs in the gym with the crew (other than the 40 minutes I had to race upstairs to teach my grade 2 group). Watching our students trying these moves, helping each other out, listening to Buddah and the other CFMs and concentrating on what they were doing was just amazing. I have never seen a group of students so intense before. It was mind boggling. While students were learning these new moves, I was running around nabbing pictures and talking with Buddah learning more about the program and hip-hop itself. I will admit here and now, I have never been a fan of rap or hip-hop mostly due to its content (as much of it is not really ... well.. how do I put this ... very nice). My views on hip-hop and it's whole culture have been given a little shake up. It's not all bad - you just need to find the good amongst the bad. And when I wasn't running around taking pictures, trying to hunt down A/V equipment or sucking back a cup of coffee my students were trying to teach me some moves... it's not as easy as it looks (I am sore!)
The highlight of the night was watching everyone participate in the Cypher (the Breakdance Circle - sadly my camera battery decided to give out before this, so I will have to get photos of it tomorrow night) and seeing huge smiles on faces of some that I have never seen smile. Seeing everyone cheer for each other and offering a friendly slap on the back. Hearing the encouraging yeahs and the cheers of awesomeness when someone did a headspin or a backflip (or something that would undoubtedly put me in traction if I tried it). And the best part of it all - no one was putting any one else down, there was no booing, or walking away from performers. Everyone was someone tonight. Students who are normally shy in the classroom, were out there in the cypher front and center showing off their moves. This was their night to shine.
Tomorrow is going to be another day filled with new moves, more music and a chance for a couple of other students to shine. By the end of the workshops we are going to have some jammin' b-boyz and b-girlz here in Arctic Bay!
*** pictures to follow ... need to charge the battery first so I can get them off of the card ***
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