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Course Description

Why did hip-hop dance emerge, and what is its intellectual significance? What are the key elements of hip-hop's aesthetic? 

We delve into these questions through readings, videos, and other media. But most importantly, we will learn by physically practicing hip-hop's original dance - bboying/bgirling (“break dancing”). Topics range from the history and unique artistic practices of hip-hop, to controversies within the scene (including the historic introduction of breakin' into the 2018 youth olympics), and centrally to our own senses of personal identity and intelligent movement.

Students will experience this class more as participants in hip-hop dance, than as observers of hip-hop dance. This is the only way to engage genuinely with the principles and practice of hip-hop dance, and look empathetically into the significance of hip-hop dance and culture in the lives of the people who practice it.

Taylor Travassos-Lomba is a practicing b-boy (break-dancer) of over 10 years who has garnered recognition at international hip hop events and features on international hip-hop media outlets. He has taught dance at dance studios, nonprofit programs, and at the middle/high school and college levels, as well as organized formal and informal independent hip-hop community outreach events in Rhode Island and Massachusetts. He has a Bachelor's degree in Economics and Philosophy from Brown University.