Girls Step up to the Beat

Sophia Kim, Staff writer

While the All-Male dance team is known for its slick moves and overflowing energy, the boys won’t be the only ones performing hip hop at Diamond Bar High School anymore. For the first time in DBHS’ dance company history, girls have been added to the hip-hop team. Joining the dance family are nine hip-hop girls who are ready to dance to their own beat.

Dance teacher Kari Simonson decided to mix things up this year by adding the new genre of dance to the company. Acting on advice from last year’s senior dancers about developing the team, Simonson accepted the new girls through auditions, seeing great potential in them. Simonson wanted to give them an opportunity to be acknowledged as dancers—just like those who specialize in jazz and contemporary.

“There was so much hip-hop talent that I didn’t want to exclude anybody,” Simonson said. “We welcome all types of dancers.”

Although hip hop is a very different genre from jazz and contemporary dance, Simonson still looks at the dance company as one big team, and will have all of the genres performing together. Based on their own style, the dancers will break off in between performances to show their specialized skills. The new dancers will also be performing jazz and contemporary with the rest of the dance program.

“They are one unified group, and when it comes to performing, they’ll break off based on their specialized style.” Simonson said.

Hiring choreographers and depending on the captains to create stunning choreography, Simonson believes that the team will go far. As hip hop is one of the rising genres of music, she decided that putting the girls beside the distinguished “All-Male” dance team would make the team more diverse.

“I think having the hip-hop girls in the team makes it more versatile and more of a dance company than just a dance team,” hip-hop dancer and sophomore Katelyn Kim said.

The girl’s debuted at the back to school pep rally, and successfully performed their routine alongside the All-Male dance team. The girls have been training with the boys hip-hop team to prepare for their performances and will be showing different sides of their dance style . They hope that the co-ed performances will be as sensational as those of the rest of the dance company.

“I think [hip hop] brought a lot of positive attention to the dance department in general and I’m just excited to see them grow,” she said.

The nine new girls will also be part of the medium hip-hop competition routine, which will be held in spring. Along with the girls, the dance company will have dancers compete in All-Male, lyrical, and small dance. They are working hard to get their routine together in order to compete at the national competition taking place in March.

“I’d like to see the whole thing grow because I know hip hop is constantly evolving and changing,” Simonson said.