Free Hip Hop dance party, lessons for local youth

Westerly News With a little help from a few friends on the Tofino Arts Council, Julia Taffe is bringing stateof-the-arts hip hop training to the West Coast.

As a dancer and choreographer sitting as a board member of the Tofino Arts Council, Taffe was eager to see the organization do something dance-related. Enter Project Soul,

dancer/instructors Kim Sato and Navid Charkhi, and the idea for a community FREE youth dance party and Hip Hop workshops Feb 28-Mar 2 at Tofino Community Hall, as well as free Hip Hop workshops in Ahousaht March 4-6. “Dance is one of the things close to my heart,” Taffe said.

“There’s sometimes mostly negative press about Hip Hop culture, but the origins of it go back to James Brown and dance performance in North America that has evolved, just like jazz and tap. It’s a really well-respected dance form in dance circles because of its athleticism, its technicality and its energy,” Taffe said.

The negative imagery surrounding Hip Hop doesn’t nearly tell the full story of the urban dance style as an art form, she said.

“It’s a really cool dance form – a whole bunch of different dance forms, and history, styles and genres have influenced it through the decades,” she said.

Perhaps most importantly, Hip Hop is a proven popular way to get young people involved with dance and movement, she said.

“If you talk to kids and ask them what kind of dance they want to do, they will tell you hiphop,” she said. “It links dance and dance training with youth culture, so it’s a pretty good fit that way.”

Hip Hop’s an easy genre for kids to get into – no special shoes, no special outfits.

“You can take these skills and apply them in your social life,” she said, adding that Hip Hop appeals equally to boys and girls – another plus.

A shuttle will be available to transport participants from Esowista.

Registration in advance is recommended as space will be limited. To register, contact Julua Taffe at info@aeriosa. com or call 604-803-2967.