Club Spotlight: Freestylerz

Club+Spotlight%3A+Freestylerz

Emily Kim, Feature Editor

Twirling and rapping. When Diamond Bar High School students think of dancing, All Male, Song, or Dance Team immediately comes to their minds. However, Freestylerz is a club for dancers all around campus to show off their dance moves.

Twelve years ago, French teacher Tony Tietz started the club to give students a place where they could express themselves freely through dance, even if they weren’t part of any campus dance team.

However, it isn’t just dancers that converge at the weekly meetings on Fridays. Rappers, beat boxers, and DJs also attend the meetings to express themselves through their words and rhythms, not just their dance moves.

“It exists to uphold the five pillars of hip hop, which include knowledge, MC-ing, which could include rapping, DJ-ing, B-boy-ing and other forms of dance. And beat boxing would be sometimes included too. Depending on whose part of the club, different aspects of hip hop [are] focused on,” Tietz said.

Members of the club meet in Tietz’s room to dance whenever and in whatever style they want on a mat. Speakers around the room blast music consistently for the entire 40 minutes during lunch, as members dance on the mat however they please.

“We are known for our expression through dance, but we occasionally have rappers and beatboxers. Mr. Sorenson even comes in from time to time to rap,” junior Justin Kang, president of the club, said via Facebook.

Freestylerz hold dance battles, or “jams,” about once a year with other dancers from Ayala, Chino Hills High, and Diamond Bar High School at a church in Chino Hills. In addition, they perform a few times a year in the quad with a live band.

“When I came in freshman year, I was really blown away by how talented everyone at our school was. It was really cool because everyone was inspired by each other and everyone was so open to how other people expressed themselves, whether through dancing, beat boxing, or rapping,” Kang said.

Every year, the members have a chance to meet with the alumni of the Freestylerz officers. The club and alumni head to a nearby parking structure to participate in dance battles against one another and sometimes other schools. The meeting ends with a battle between the current president and next year’s president.

“It exists to express not to impress. Because of that it’s a very open and accepting club so you don’t have to know what you’re doing you can just get out there and express yourself and you’ll be loved. Impressing people is a byproduct of that. Freestylerz is an accepting culture where people understand that it is about expression and celebrating people in their expression,” Tietz said.