Hip Hop in Beijing: A Bittersweet Practice

Laowan and Mingjie, the power couple and leaders of our hip hop and jazz crews

I should be sleeping by now since our final practice for our last competition of the semester is in less than seven hours.  Before I do, I want to say how proud I am of the team to have come this far.  In February, some of the members were learning the most basic movements of hip hop, immersing themselves into the culture with no prior dance experience other than watching the occasional Michael Jackson video or dance showcase on the internet.

After nearly 10 hours of practice tonight, I’m stating with confidence that our chosen routine looks the best out of all routines we have performed all semester.  In about 13 hours, we will be on stage for a national competition at our own Tsinghua University performing what we have choreographed and sweated through for the past two weeks.  The competition itself is more for aerobics/gymnastics, but they just added a hip hop portion this year, so we are all curious to see how the judges and audience will react to this new style of dancing.

Throughout practice tonight, I was cheering inside about how our sleepless nights will be over after this weekend.  Then I thought about how much I am going to miss being around this energetic bunch.  I always feel welcomed coming into each practice seeing their smiles and enthusiasm for dancing ready to burst out.  Sometimes I forget how much time we spend together, because we are so focused on working towards the same goal that hours will pass by like minutes.  I will still see them after this competition, but it won’t be as intimate as dancing next to their soaked bodies in the non-air conditioned gym. Yum!

We have a smaller group than usual performing tomorrow, but the ones who aren’t directly participating have helped immensely through the process.  I was touched when David, our b-boy of the group, came and visited to help us film despite his short time available.  Then Xufan, our graduating senior, patiently stayed to help us figure out formations for each routine.  While these members aren’t able to dance tomorrow, they have shown tremendous support and I can’t thank them enough for it.

To get a sneak peek of what we have been doing, click here for our challenge round and solos at the most recent UR Rattan Hip Hop Finals held last Wednesday.  加油 DK5!

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