Dance For What?: A Documentary of the UNL Hip Hop Dance Club (Part 2: Part Two: What is Hip Hop?)
Date of this Version
Youing, J 2019. Dance For What?: A Documentary of the UNL Hip Hop Dance Club. Undergraduate Honors Thesis. University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
This project is a three-part documentary that observes hip hop dance practice and culture in the UNL Hip Hop Dance Club at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. The project attempts to answer three significant questions. How do different racial, ethnic, and national backgrounds of the club members affect the transformation of hip hop culture? Is their practice authentic and how do members of this dance club define hip hop dance? For what purpose do the members practice hip hop dance together at the club? To answer these three questions, I conducted six oral interviews of recently active members with varying dance levels and experiences, as well as varying cultural backgrounds. Investigation of individual and club dance practice was carried out through attending and filming four weekly dance practices, one performance in the Fall 2019 semester and a collection of pictures and photos from club members. Throughout the course of this project, issues concerning authenticity and appropriation in hip hop dance emerged and there were several conclusions that I came to. The UNL Hip Hop Dance Club’s dance practice both appropriates and is not completely authentic to the original form and meaning of hip hop dance beginning with break dance in the 1970s. However, the UNL Hip Hop Dance Club embodies the “spirit” of the original hip hop culture by expressing freedom through dance, a unified community among members, and specific hip hop dance formats such as improvisation.
Part Two: What is Hip Hop?
Part two of the series asks the six members their views on hip hop dance and culture.