Herald Islanders get their groove on
The world’s oldest hip hop crew has been inspiring the creation of copycat senior squads.
Seniors at a new weekly Herald Island dance class - dubbed ‘These Hips Hop Too’ - are getting more familiar with popping and locking.
Class tutor Caitlin Matthewman said she got her inspiration to start the class after attending a talk by Billie Jordan, founder Hip Op-eration Crew - the Guinness World Record holder for the world’s oldest hip-hop dance group. Matthewman said a common misconception was it was just an ’’exercise class’’.
‘‘Billie Jordan’s view and vision for this was just to do something new and cool and radical. It’s something new they can learn.
‘‘You don’t have to be the best dancer, you just have to try hard, and I always remind them it’s important to laugh.’’
So far there are around 10 regulars, although she also teaches another two classes a week in Henderson as well.
Matthewman, who is in her final semester of a health science degree, said it was a great way to bring the young generation and older adults together.
‘‘I’ve had a lot of comments from my older adults... saying everywhere they go, everyone’s hair is grey and they’re so sick of never being around people,’’ she said.
‘‘Having this kind of stuff to do, they’ll tell me stories about, ‘I went to the shops the other day and I dabbed [hip hop move] at the shopkeeper and she thought I was really funny’. Just little things like that.’’ young
Herald Island residents Helen and John Chipper said they joined the group to do something active and meet people. Having previously done Tai Chi and yoga, hip hop seemed a little easier.
‘‘It’s the first thing I’ve really tried that I feel I can do quite happily and really enjoy,’’ Helen said. ‘‘[Caitlin’s] very good at breaking stuff down so we can actually get our brains in tune with our bodies.’’ Matthewman’s grandmother, Nan Gardner, who also attends the class, said while it was challenging, she enjoyed it.
The 21-year-old tutor, who also does ballet, jazz and contemporary dancing among others, said she enjoys teaching a different age group.
‘‘The world’s our oyster,’’ Helen agreed. ‘‘If they tie in a cruise with hip hop, I’m in!’’