Hip Hop: “Girly” or “Technical”

by Caroline Lettrich

I’ve been a dancer all my life. Just a couple weeks ago, as we started our competition dance, my teacher asked if we wanted to do a dance that was “girly” or “technically difficult.” Presented with these two options, girls started discussing how it’s easier to win with a “girly” dance and we won’t be taken seriously if we go for the “technically difficult” option. I was amazed by how people didn’t even question the stereotypes being presented before us.

The idea that you can either be girly, or technically strong, is present in lots of dance competitions. Often times people will try to master “girliness” because it’s easier and can be more aesthetically pleasing than the alternative. Yet, there’s so much power behind taking on technicality. We decided that the most impactful way to go was to take on technicality while accepting the femininity that can go along with it. Refusing to be complacent to the stereotypes of what an all girls dance group is, and understanding that we can be compete against anyone, is the key to being successful. Recognizing this has made me a better dancer and more appreciative of the sometimes intense training I do.

I encourage every teenage girl to embrace their femininity but never allow it to keep them from aspiring to make an impact with technical skills they have too. Also, sacrificing your passion to learn a certain style of dance isn’t worth it. A dance group I recommend watching is the Royal Family. They’re a dance crew that combines social dances of pop culture with technical skills like popping, locking, and animating. They also have a strong group of female dancers that defy everything about girls not being able to hold their own at international dance competitions.