For the third year in a row the City of Riverbank’s Park and Recreation Department offered a Hip Hop Camp to youngsters between the ages of 6 and 12 in a week long camp to learn some hip hop dance moves for beginners. The camp began on Monday, June 13 and ended with a special performance for family and friends to show their new dance moves on Friday, June 17.
Hip Hop is a culture and a form of self-expression through music, clothing, and dance that started in the 1970s where DJ’s break the beat by scratching and emcee’s rapped.
Returning instructor and three year hip hop camp veteran Stephanie Argumedo led the class along with assistance from new camp instructors Vanessa Argumedo and Jose Lopez.
The campers were at camp from 9 a.m. until noon and were provided with a camp T-shirt and at the end of the week were presented with certificates for completion of camp.
There were 25 eager campers that attended the week long camp which was a much larger class than the six to 10 kids in past years.
“It is a beginning class but these kids were more advanced so that was really good,” said Argumedo. “They finished learning the dance in two days which we were really proud about because we were really nervous about this big size group of kids.”
Cricket Wireless donated sunglasses that were given to all the girls for their final performance this past Friday. The boys brought their own hats to wear which completed their look for the performance.
All three instructors collaborated on creating the choreography and selected the mix of songs that the dancers would perform to in the show.
The students learned hip hop moves during the week like pop, roll, the running man, challenge, and roll offs.
“Sometimes it was hard to get them to focus but it wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be,” added Argumedo. “It was nice that we could get them to work with us since they were new and it was their first camp.”
After their performance, the coaches treated the youngsters to a dance performance from two Enochs High School students, seasoned hip hop dancers, Terrence Davis and Preston Vieira.
At the end of their performance the dancers grabbed an audience member to do the Cha-Cha Slide with them to involve them in a little taste of what camp was about.
The camp participants had so much energy and were ready to dance and learn, according to the coaches they did not even want to stop for snack time.
“They would be like five minutes into their snack time and they would be telling us, can you put on music we want to dance some more,” said Lopez. “I was actually surprised they wanted to keep dancing.
“We had a lot of fun at our first camp.”
The camp ended with a performance that had audience members dancing and showering the young campers with applause.
“There are a lot of activities during the summer and kids don’t have to stay inside the house playing video games all the time,” expressed Lopez. “They can interact with other children in their age group.”
Parents were thanking the coaches at the end of camp and expressed how much their kids loved the camp.
Meanwhile, the city’s Outdoor Adventure Camp began this week at Jacob Myers Park and will conclude this Friday. The Parks and Recreation Department offers a variety of camps during the summer months like Cheer Camp and Science Camp. Check their website for more details at www.riverbank.org or call 209-863-7150.