DFW Music News

I Accidentally Volunteered To Teach Kids Hip-Hop Dancing

It might have been the Christmas spirit or a feeling of a quarter-life crisis creeping up on me, but whatever the reason, I decided to volunteer. I ended up teaching some local kids everything about hip-hop dancing.

Before you glance up at my name or Facebook stalk me, I am in fact a white girl. I always have been. I was on drill team in high school where we mainly high kicked and occasionally got crunk to some Chris Brown. (We weren't actually getting crazy drunk, instead just pretending -- like white girls do.)

I signed up to teach this class under the impression I would teach them jazz squares and leaps and pirouettes.

And then I arrive at the place, meet the kids, meet the head honcho guy, and he asks me if I'm going to teach hip-hop.

"Haha," I said, nervously. "I can try. I was going to teach them jazz."

"OK, cool," he said.

OK, perfect. There is not misinterpretation. He can physically see I am a white, scrawny girl who dances like Taylor Swift at award shows when I hear a Jay Z tune.

He introduces me to the kids (all black -- one little boy even looked like T.I.) as Miss Paige and announces I will teach them hip-hop.

The kids go ballistic. Crazy. Insane.

They are jumping up and down, screaming, and running up and hugging me. I can feel my heart rate increase and I look around to see what I got myself into.

I take a moment to peel the kids off me and force a smile. OK, so I'm teaching hip-hop.

That day I sat down with the kids to help them with homework, and I tried to figure out what kind of music kids are listening to these days. I throw out some names like Justin Bieber, Katy Perry and Justin Timberlake -- you know, what a 23-year-old white girl pregames to before a night out on the town.

And then I start hearing a reoccurring name -- Mindless Behavior. At first, I thought they were saying Model Behavior. Remember that Disney Channel original movie Justin Timberlake was in back when he was sort of a terrible actor?

I said, "Yeah, I know that movie. You like Justin Timberlake?" Quickly, I figure out I'm an idiot and have a forehead-in-the-hand moment.

Mindless Behavior is a rapper. Scratch that. I'm still not sure if it's a rapper, group, or what.

I realize my age and lameness is showing, so I tell them I'll check it out.

It's basically exactly what I thought -- the worst music ever. So instead I settled on the two whitest songs I could think of: Beyonce's "Run The World (Girls)" and Macklemore's "Can't Hold Us."

I choreographed a couple of 8-counts to Beyoncé's 2011 hit and prepared to teach the kids my moves that don't even look good after a couple of drinks. I go over each move a couple of times and the kids don't look fazed at all. I'm trying to catch my breath, wondering how the heck I had two-a-days in drill team.

I turn the music on and the kids bump and body roll and move better than years of training could ever make me look. This is easy.

I've now dedicated six weeks to teaching a handful of kids hip-hop moves they already know. Basically, I've signed up for a hip-hop class where the kids teach me, because Lord knows I don't know what or how I should be bumping and/or grinding.

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Paige Skinner has written for the Dallas Observer since 2014.
Contact: Paige Skinner