July 2016 | 2 Tips for Hip-Hop Teachers | Beginners’ Dive and the Dodger

Photo by Bill H

Photo by Bill H

Beginners’ Dive and the Dodger

By Anthony “Ynot” DeNaro

Tip 1
I’ve previously described the dive (“Two Tips for Hip-Hop Teachers: Drop-Freeze and Dolphin Dive,” March-April 2015), a house dance move. Here’s a basic version for beginners.

Students start in a plank, then slide hands and feet toward each other until the body forms an upside-down V. Dancers then bend the arms to dip headfirst toward the ground, still supported by hands and feet—make sure they lead with the top of the head. Just before the head touches, the head and torso swoop back upward. The arms straighten to ease the torso up, the pelvis drops, the head curls back, and the chest slides forward and up. Dancers end in an arched position similar to yoga’s cobra pose (bhujangasana). Remind students to swoop or dive smoothly.

Once students master this version, have them try with one foot planted, the other leg extended above the body—thinking of it as a fin or sail may help them balance.

Tip 2
To teach the dodger, another house dance move, have students stand with the torso and weight shifted toward the left, left knee slightly bent. The right foot is on the ball, slightly behind the left; the right shoulder is angled forward. In this move, the shoulders always move in opposition to the working leg.

Hop lightly on the left foot and kick the right foot forward (think of skipping); the left shoulder goes forward. Now switch everything: right foot hops, left foot kicks, right shoulder goes forward. Last, return to the opening position, but in reverse. The left foot is on the ball, behind the right; the right knee bends, taking the weight; the left shoulder angles forward. Repeat in the other direction, kicking first with the left. This move should travel laterally, not stay in one spot.

Philadelphia b-boy Anthony “Ynot” DeNaro is a member of the Rock Steady Crew and an MFA candidate at Arizona State University. He studied with Crazy Legs and Mr. Wiggles and travels the world teaching.