Hip Hop Dance Club brings movement and inclusivity to campus

by | Feb 27, 2024 | Arts & Life

A welcoming space for all students, NAIT’s Hip Hop Dance Club (HDC) is back on the scene for another year of events after COVID shut down many NAITSA clubs. 

The HDC was founded back in 2016, but like many other clubs, was dissolved during the lockdowns of the COVID-19 pandemic. That was until last year, when President Ally Hamor restarted the club. While the club’s focus is on hip hop, they’re open to students of all experience levels. 

“We are very open to anyone of every dance background. We have people who are completely new to dancing and have people who are very experienced,” Hamor told the Nugget. HDC hosts two main events: drop-in sessions and practices for their performance team. The drop-in sessions are open for everyone to join, and class is often led by an experienced dancer who teaches their own choreography. If you want to find the next drop-in class, Gavin Kuan, VP Operations, explained that the club’s Instagram page is the best way to keep up with the group and find out about upcoming events.

The performance team does require an audition, but Hamor stated that they aren’t as scary as they sound. The club is most looking for those who “look like they’re really dedicated in class, like they’re trying hard and they look like they’re having fun with it.”

Outside of NAIT, the club is very active in the Edmonton dance scene. Former HDC and NAIT grads have helped form United Dance Edmonton, which hosts a showcase for dance clubs from throughout the city. HDC’s performance team dances there, along with at a showcase hosted by the University of Alberta’s dance team, Open Styles. 


Overall, HDC wants to be a positive safe space for students to express themselves and engage with dance in a fun and positive way. Katelyn Thompson, VP Communications, shared that the first time she attended a drop-in session, she received a ton of encouragement from other club members. “Everyone was very friendly, and I was very nervous at first, and they were like, ‘You got this, you’re doing so good.’ And lots of encouragement and just making it a safe space to feel comfortable.” 

The club executives feel there are numerous benefits to joining a club like HDC. “It’s a great, unique way for students to both exercise and have fun moving around. You get to listen to fun music, you get to move your body in unique ways. And it’s a great way to relieve stress and relax in the same way. It’s a great outlook for creativity,” said Hamor. Kuang encouraged students who are hesitant to start dancing that, “as long as you put your heart to it, you’ll make something special.” 

There’s also not a huge commitment to join the club. “We have drop-ins every week, but you’re not required to be at every drop-in class. You’re not required to join our performance team … and there are no fees for our drop-ins. Everything is free. So you just have to come in and sign up.”

 Whether you’re just learning, or you have years of experience, NAIT’s Hip Hop Dance Club welcomes you with open arms. Kuang said it best: “Dance is meant to be different … so whether or not you were good or bad, as long as you had your feeling for it, you can make something new.” 

Photo via Hip Hop Dance Club

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