EPITA students get down to Hip-Hop
An interview with Romuald Rozan, EPITA – 2012 batch student and creator of the Hip-Hop unit within Episport.
Why did you decide to bring Hip-Hop to EPITA?
First of all, I wanted to share and extend a passion that I had developed six years ago. I love this dance and everything it represents. More than an art, this dance is a real culture and it provides an absolutely stimulating experience. The Hip-Hop culture includes not only dance and songs but also dressing styles, history and real life experiences.
For a geek, Hip-Hop is also a way to reconcile with the body. Dance is a matter of feeling the sensation it represents and you can easily feel it in case of Hip-Hop. Moreover, the mix of technical and unstructured aspect of Hip-Hop makes it really special and pleasing.
Hip-Hop is a very expressive dance. It’s the urban American style – it comes from the streets and you can feel that right away. This dance helps to let go, to disinhibit, to escape – it takes you into a different world.
What exactly is the kind of Hip-Hop that you are learning?
Hip-hop has a history and there is a revolutionary aspect to it. Several movements, such as Tecktonik, got created from the scratch and gradually developed into a craze.
There are many variants of Hip-Hop like popping (including Pop, The Smurf, Boogaloo, etc.), Locking, The New Style, Jazz Rock, Break Dance, Hype, House, Krumping and Top Rock.
I am primarily a popper, but in the course of time I am shifting to The New Style – which has fluid, easier movements. The New Style is one of the most famous dances; we can see it in TV videos, involving dancers like Chris Brown.
How are the Hip-Hop classes organized at school?
The dance classes are organized as part of the sports association of EPITA known as Episport*. Classes are held once a week at school, on Tuesday evening at 19:00 (with an uncertain duration – around two hours in general). The sessions are open to EPITA students as well as to the students of other schools of Group IONIS such as Epitech, Sup’Biotech, e-artsup and Ionis-STM. Last year there were around 15 students registered, almost all at the beginner’s level.
During the sessions, we do several exercises on basic movements and then we start learning about the sequence of steps. We try to set up the stage with multiple students and prepare different shows of about 5 minutes each. Participants get trained to perform shows in different events of the school such as the X’mas party or the integration party of Ionis-STM.
The sessions also aim to help students learn more about the hip-hop culture. In the middle of March, the most diligent students went to attend the largest international event of Hip-Hop known as “juste debout” (whic translates as ‘just standing’) at the Palais Omnisport Paris-Bercy. Further, I would also like to hold sessions to show some key movies on the origins of hip-hop.
Episport is the office of sports for EPITA, Epitech and Sup’Biotech. This association allows students to participate in sports activities throughout the year. Students have the opportunity to experience team sports (Football, Rugby, Volleyball, Basketball, Handball and Street Hockey) as well as individual sports (Taekwondo, Tennis, Badminton). Weekly trainings are organized by volunteer students and inter-varsity games (FNSU) take place every Thursday afternoon.