Hip-Hop in Heels
Monday, October 3, 2011
Hip-hop has seemed to soften up its hard side as the female dancers are beginning to change their image in the culture.
The I Am Phresh Dance Studio is the first place in Philadelphia to bring hip-hop dance to a new level, literally by placing it up in heels. On Wednesday, September 21, Shanika Boston taught a class in the style of femme where high heels were a requirement at the studio.
The name “femme” might not ring a bell, but Beyonce spells it all out in her music videos. Femme is basically short for feminine and expresses how sexy, yet powerful a woman can be. Boston believes that it is the essence of being a woman.
This style of dance is not just about being “an object.” Boston said, “Some of the pop culture or rap videos may display females in a negative way, so what would be natural or what comes from way back in history with just moving your body in Africa or even in India they may take it and make it more raunchy than feminine. You can be sexy without taking it to a place where it doesn’t have to go.”
Boston had her class wear heels to express this femininity. Some of the girls were terrified to be dancing two inches higher than usual, but others were proud and understood the importance of it.
“I look up to a lot of femme women like Beyonce and a lot of her dancers,” Whitney, one of the dancers, said, “I just like to look grown and learn how to walk in heels, because it’s embarrassing if you don’t know how.”
Although some of the women snuck into their sneakers halfway through the class, their beauty and womanly power graced the dance floor all night long.
I Am Phresh Dance Studio holds weekly classes teaching various styles of hip-hop dance. For more information check out their website: www.iamphresh.com