Connect the Dots
By Geo Hubela
One of the biggest challenges I face, especially with younger kids, is helping dancers maintain proper spacing during class and in their routines. Many kids have a tendency to lose track of spacing and end up dancing on top of each other. Using colored rubber dots on the floor helps tremendously. The dots assist me in many basic hip-hop steps.
For example, when teaching a step-out-and-in, I tell dancers to step away and return to the dot. Using the dots, I create lanes for hip-hop progressions across the floor. This helps younger dancers avoid the collisions that sometimes occur at this age.
Place two dots on the floor, shoulder-width apart. Then place two more dots about a foot farther away and just to the outside of the first dots. Stand on the dots that are shoulder-width apart. Next, jump cross your right foot over the left, landing on the outside left dot, lifting the left foot up on 1. Return the left foot to its original dot on 2 and the right foot to its original dot on 3. Repeat the three-step crossover on the opposite side.
This crossover step is challenging to learn, but using the dots as a tool can cut learning time in half. Get creative and use the dots in a number of ways to help your students with challenging hip-hop footwork like crossovers and jump steps. Check out this useful tool at musicmotion.com/Movement-Activity-Kits/musical-dot-spots.asp.
Geo Hubela is the co-founder and director of ICON Dance Complex in New Jersey. His ICONic brand activities range from hiphopgeo.com to the ICONic Boyz hip-hop troupe to instructional DVDs.