Wrapping up the final day of Hip Hop Camp this past Friday with a performance for family and friends, there was also a special performance for the dancers, which had everyone leaving with smiles on their faces. The weeklong camp had 22 youngsters between the ages of six to 12 for boys and girls participating. There were several returning dancers that had been to the camp before. This is the fourth year that Hip Hop Camp has been offered through the City of Riverbank Parks and Recreation Department.
The camp was held from 9 a.m. until noon at the Cardozo Gym from June 11 through 15. Dancers learned some hip hop moves and a choreographed routine that they performed on Friday. Throughout the week they learned different dances that included popping, locking, the Dougie, and freestyle hip hop moves.
They were also inspired by the Jabbawockeez which are an American hip-hop dance crew known to wear a white mask and black clothing. They incorporated some of their moves in their choreographed performance that was created by camp instructors Stephanie Argumedo and Vanessa Argumedo.
“I think that they did really good,” said Stephanie. “I was really amazed that they got all the dances down by Wednesday. Every little kid knew where they were going and what moves they were doing next. The older ones help us with the little ones every year so that is a big help. None of them gave up.”
Returning hip hop dancer Lilyana Calderon has been to Hip Hop Camp three times and loves dancing so she keeps coming back.
“I think the Jabbawockeez dance was really, really cool,” added Stephanie. “It came out really good and they really got into it. They pushed themselves harder everyday knowing the performance was going to be for their parents.”
Family entered the gym on Friday to witness all the moves the campers were learning during the week long camp. The music started and each dancer made an entrance to a different song. The performance had an anti-bullying theme.
The Argumedo sisters and a few of the older dancers surprised the rest of the dancers and audience with a special performance.
The surprises kept coming when a few of the dancers selected a family member to center stage for a dance battle. This was new to the program this year and was a delight to not only the dancers but the family members as well.
“The anti-bullying theme is really good,” stated parent Jose Quiroz. “I didn’t know until I got here that I was going to be part of the dance battle. I think I didn’t do that great because these guys are really good.”
The festivities ended with a round of applause and cheers as each student received a certificate for their completion of Hip Hop Camp.
“They did such a good job,” said Julia Petit, Parks and Recreation Supervisor. “The teachers amaze me every time they put anything together. I love seeing what they do.”