By Erica CawAgas

At the NAIT hip hop dance club (HDCNAIT) you can learn how to pop, lock and waack every Friday at their free drop in class in room S112 located in the main building.

individual people dancing

Photo by Erica Cawagas

HDCNAIT was founded in 2016 by only a small group of dancers who wanted a free studio to practice their craft. Eventually, they grew into a bigger team with over thirty people.

Today, HDCNAIT performs, battles, brings in studio instructors to teach and even makes dance videos.

They advertise on their Instagram (@hdcnait) who’s going to be teaching, the time and location of classes as well as the level and style of the dance.

Their latest drop-in class was on February 14 where they taught their very first partner dance choreographed by HDCNAIT’s president Paolo Garcia and VP of communication Ryen Venice Pasinos.

“We dedicated today’s class [to] Valentine’s Day, but we understand that some people are uncomfortable being partnered up so we tried to incorporate partners and singles choreography,” Pasinos said.

individual people dancing

Graphic by Erica Cawagas

HDCNAIT values the basics. They teach multiple styles like popping, locking, break dancing, urban, k-pop, waacking and much more. HDCNAIT’s teaching style is starting from the foundation to cater to beginners who are interested to see what studio classes are like in a less intimidating environment.

“We love to invite beginners to come here, and then once they feel like they can step out they can spend their money on studios, because we’re absolutely free,” said Pasinos.

HDCNAIT also created a performance team called S112. They have a total of 25 members. Every April, MacEwan, UofA, NAIT and even some high school dance groups put together a showcase called UNITED. This is a place where Edmonton hip hop dancers can come together and communicate. The main purpose of the UNITED is to see their hard work from September to April and share how much they have learned.

Within S112, the group KandiBeatz will be having their first performance Friday Feb. 21 at a U of A hip hop showcase at the Myer Horowitz theatre.