After NAIT’s recent Clubs Showcase on Feb. 7 and 8, the Hip Hop Dance Club [HDC] ranked first in the People’s Choice Award. The President of HDC, Allyson Hamor, says that it’s nice to get recognized. “I really wasn’t expecting much but we did get First Choice in People’s Choice and it’s really nice to know that we had such a positive impact on the students.”
The club started around the end of October in 2016. “It was technically around 2016, I think, but the club had to close down because of COVID. I started it back up with our VP of Finance, who’s not here right now, Mylene… and Colin and Allana joined to help out,” said Hamor.
The VP of Communications of HDC, Allana Ramirez, states that inclusivity is one of the main goals of the club. They aim to “provide a safe space for everyone and make sure it is a community to people like be able to express their emotions through dancing,” said Ramirez.
Currently, the HDC is not fully involved in activities outside of NAIT. Still, Hamor’s team hopes to perform throughout the semester and year in and out of school. They are also looking for opportunities to strengthen the bonds within the group and outside. “We do have some plans on doing performances with other dance clubs within the community, such as MacEwan’s Dance Club and U of A’s Open Styles Dance team. So, we are looking forward to some activities and some performances with them,” explained Art Colin Rejano, VP of Operations.
The HDC is not limited to NAIT students only as everyone is welcome to join HDC. They have a separate performance team to ease the pressure on other members wanting to dance. Their goal is to show the choreography to the rest of the community. The performance team where members hone their skills as a dancer and gain leadership skills.
One of the performance team members, Sam Francisco, who studies at the University of Alberta, expressed, “As for my experience, I think it’s a pretty good experience. It’s a really nice place to meet with people to grow my dance skills and just learn new things, too … It’s a pretty good community, I really love it!”
An RSVP is required since there are limited spots for people to join. Guests must go with a Hip Hop Club member and have a Guest Waiver Form signed on their Ooks Life events page.
The drop-in classes are on Mondays from 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.; following that is the practice for the performance team until 7 p.m as well as Thursdays from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at NAIT’s studio in S112.
Guests and instructors also teach at the drop-on sessions. The club is anticipating a former exec and NAIT Alumni to lead the dance on Feb. 27th.
Ramirez leaves a message for those wanting to join but can’t make it to the practice. “I feel as if dancing can be anywhere at any time but at the same time, obviously, with balancing life, personal, and work… I feel as if you can always find a place and find a time for you to actually enjoy yourself alone and dance for yourself. And not only with other people but as yourself as well because that is the most important of all.”
HDC is active on Instagram and Discord. For more information, check them out on Ooks Life.