Black History Month kicks off with hip hop workshop

Choreographer Benjamin Allen led a Hip Hop dance workshop in commemoration of Black History month on Wednesday night at California State University Northridge.

February is considered Black History month and in the effort to kick start the month-long celebration on campus, Dr. Aimee Glocke co-coordinated the event with Kinesiology professor Paula Thomson for all CSUN students to partake in.

The workshop was held not only to get students active, but to also engage them in the learning and understanding of the dance, which originated in New York among predominantly African-American artists.

“It’s individual expression… and is breaking boundaries,” said Thomson when expressing the importance of the dance. “It’s a part of modern dance and crosses gender and cultural lines.

“This is all about having fun,” said Allen to the dance-enthused students. The Los Angeles based choreographer assured the youth group that the only requirement as to dance.

This isn’t the only time that Allen has held a session at CSUN. The Groov3, the name of the dance session, creator held a similar workshop last year as a Black History month activity, as well. This year, said Glocke, the dance studio was much more packed than lasts’.

“The word got out and I’m glad to see that a lot of my students are taking part in this,” said Glocke, an assistant professor of the Pan-African studies department. Although she knows that a lot of the students attend for extra credit points, she’s glad that they step out of their comfort zone.

Students ranging from a variety of majors joined the choreographed session filled with live beats with DJ Kevin Cider at the turntables.

“This is an everyday routine for me,” said Bre Flores, 20, in regards to dancing Hip Hop. However, the Pan-African studies major raised a concern in the importance of the event.

“We should be having more cultural events more often, not just this month,” said Flores.

Glocke, acting as the current chair of the planning committee for the Black History Month activities, assured that more exciting events were to come. “It’s important to allow the students to learn about what they couldn’t in their K-12 education,” said Glocke.