On January 23rd, Darren Wong, a member of Kinjaz, taught a dance class at Garden Grove High School to help fundraise for the dance department. Kinjaz is a famous hip hop dance group that appeared on several major television series like America’s Best Dance Crew and World of Dance. Thanks to Ms. Leong, students got to participate in a dance session after school, where they “had the best 2 hours of [their] lives” learning how to dance with Kinjaz.
At the start of class, each dancer followed the lead of Darren in stretches to prep. “We started off easy with simple beats,” says Jennifer Le (9). The song, a mix of hip hop, jazz, and punk, propelled the mood of the room into a live festival. “It was very upbeat music, which usually isn’t my style, but I got to come out of my comfort zone and express myself in a different way,” shares Emily Nguyen(10). According to several dancers, the choreography was easy to get down. Darren’s workshop is set at a beginner’s level, meaning dancers do not need a background in hip hop to join.
To some students, this class was an opportunity to explore their interest in hip hop. “I’ve been dancing for as long as I can remember, and it has given me the chance to express myself through beats and movement,” claims one student, “This class really highlighted that for me.”
During the class, there was a variety of different dancing techniques and skills as students with a common interest came together to enjoy themselves. According to Andrew Doan(12), the style was,”more old school, with a breakdancing feel to it.” “The mood was so lively, I almost wanted to join in myself,” recounts Mrs. Bartolotti, who attended the dance class alongside the students.
As students gathered for pictures with Darren Wong, many “couldn’t wipe the smile” and sense of accomplishment off their faces. For many, the Kinjaz workshop was a valuable opportunity to explore a long-time interest.