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Hip-Hop to the Top Part 2: Return to the Cypher* will take a deep dive into the worlds of hip-hop through the lens of the five elements: Knowledge, Deejay (DJ), Emcee (MC), Street Dance, and Graffiti Art.
Each day participants will explore one of these elements and draw a through-line from the early diasporic historical roots of hip hop in America to today’s 21st-century global stage. Each day will begin with a developmental hip-hop warm-up and a “thought of the day” to guide a practice towards embodying each hip-hop element as a vehicle for personal and community expression. Special guest artists will join the course throughout the week and share their artistry to provide additional ideas and extensions for bringing hip hop learning into the classroom. The culminating ‘open jam session’ will fuse the five elements of hip hop together to create a virtual performance to be shared with the dance community and beyond.
*A cypher is an informal gathering of rappers, beatboxers, and/or breakdancers in a circle, in order to jam musically together. The term has also in recent years come to mean the crowd which forms around freestyle battles, consisting of spectators and onlookers.
4 Empire State College credits are available for a separate and additional fee.
Programs taking place online:An access link will be emailed to you after purchase.
Programs taking place in our NYC facilities:Please read our safety guidelines before visiting our building.
Programs taking place online and in our NYC facilities:Please select which experience you wish to participate in when registering. Online participants will be emailed an access link after purchase. In-person participants should read our safety guidelines before attending the program.
Ann Biddle M.A., Dance Education, Columbia University, B.A., English Literature, Kenyon College and Fulbright Scholar. Ms. Biddle has been a dance educator, staff developer, curriculum consultant, writer and choreographer for the past 30 years. She is the Founding Faculty of the Dance Education Laboratory (DEL) at the 92nd St Y with Jody Arnhold (1994 to present) and is the Director of DEL at Jacob’s Pillow (2017 – present). Ms. Biddle has designed and taught numerous courses for DEL including Foundations in Dance Education, DEL Essentials, Planet Dance- Mu ...
Ann Biddle M.A., Dance Education, Columbia University, B.A., English Literature, Kenyon College and Fulbright Scholar. Ms. Biddle has been a dance educator, staff developer, curriculum consultant, writer and choreographer for the past 30 years. She is the Founding Faculty of the Dance Education Laboratory (DEL) at the 92nd St Y with Jody Arnhold (1994 to present) and is the Director of DEL at Jacob’s Pillow (2017 – present). Ms. Biddle has designed and taught numerous courses for DEL including Foundations in Dance Education, DEL Essentials, Planet Dance- Multicultural Dance Education, Dancing in Early Childhood, Dance and Nature, Teaching from Transformation to Inspiration (Tina Curran), Dance and Literacy (Barbara Bashaw), DEL: The Next Generation, the DEL Facilitators Training Program, Dance for Social Change, DEL Essentials OPDI (NDEO) and DELving into Dance History course series at Jacob’s Pillow. Ms. Biddle is currently a Dance Lecturer at UMASS/Amherst Dance Department and has been a guest lecturer at Mt. Hoyoke College and Skidmore College. She is also a Doctoral Candidate at Teachers College, Columbia University in the EdD Program in Dance Education.
As a staff developer and curriculum consultant, Ms. Biddle has partnered with numerous cultural organizations including: Urban Bush Women, Doug Varone, Flamenco Vivo, Jose Limon Dance Company, Ballet Hispanico, New York City Ballet, Dance Theatre of Harlem, Movement Research, Jonah Bokaer, HT Chen Dance Center, and Robin Becker Dance Company. Ms. Biddle has taught overseas at the National University in Costa Rica as a Fulbright scholar and at the School of Performing Arts at the University of Ghana. Additionally, she worked closely with the late Alan Lomax as a Choreometrics analyst and is currently an advisor to the Global Jukebox initiative.
Ms. Biddle was an advisor and contributor to the NYC Department of Education’s Blueprint for Teaching and Learning in Dance, PreK-12, and has been a NYCDOE Blueprint professional development facilitator since 2005. She is also a scorer for the Massachusetts Dance MTEL exam. Ms. Biddle was the Director of Arts Programs at the Pioneer Valley Performing Arts Charter School (PVPA) in South Hadley, MA, and Director of the Dance Department from 2011-2018. She is the Director of the DEL PVPA dance mentorship program featured in the upcoming documentary film, PS Dance! The Next GENeration, Executive Producer, Jody Arnhold, filmmaker, Nel Shelby.
As a writer, Ms. Biddle’s dance teachers’ curricula and training manuals include: The Essence of Cool: West Side Story, New York Export: Opus Jazz the Film (NYC Ballet), Dance Motion USA Doug Varone and Argentinian Brenda Angiel’s Aerial collaboration, Richard Daniel’s Dances for iPhone film series, Wonderdance early childhood curriculum, Dance Making Inspired by Langston Hughes Poetry, Re-imagining D-Man in the Waters, the DEL Facilitators Training Manual and Robin Becker’s Into Sunlight Dance Curriculum. She is a frequent presenter at NDEO conferences and was selected to pilot the Model Cornerstone Assessments as part of NCCA. In addition, Ms. Biddle has published integrated curricular units though the NYC DOE (Dance Units Inspired by Literary Works, 2016 and The Essence of Pearl Primus through Photography and Poetry: The Negro Speaks of Rivers, 2018, Reimagining D-Man in the Water, 2019 and Into Sunlight A Teacher’s Guide, 2019).
Ms. Biddle’s research interests include teacher education, transformational leadership and dance and social justice.
DEL FUNdamentals: Arnhold Summer Fellows
Hip Hop to the Top Part 2: Return to the Cypher
DEL Tracing Footsteps: Honoring Diverse Voices Through Dance History in NYC
Eli Kababa’s dance career began when he discovered his love of hip-hop culture while earning his black belt in Tae Kwon Do. Martial arts helped hone his skills of mental discipline, focus and dexterity. When Eli combined those with passion, devotion, and experimentation, he was on his way. Learning how to break-dance from local crews in Bayonne, New Jersey was his first form.
Studying under Souljerz Crew he explored other techniques like gliding, waving, popping & locking. In a dance battle at his local college Eli was spotted by the dance professor, which launched his s ...
Studying under Souljerz Crew he explored other techniques like gliding, waving, popping & locking. In a dance battle at his local college Eli was spotted by the dance professor, which launched his studies in Fine Arts. Soon after graduating he was hired by New York City Ballet's Education Department where he worked as a Teaching Artist for 11 years in their Nutcracker, Ballet Bridges and Project Ballet Programs.
During this time Eli co-founded Garden State Dance Project, a successful dance company devoted to cultivating community through various arts and entertainment projects. As the company in residence at the Y in Wayne New Jersey from 2007 to 2011 Eli and his dancers hosted school assemblies and taught in their School of Dance. Along with instruction they would meet weekly to create fusion dance works. Mixing fine arts like ballet and modern dance with street styles to create new works. They hosted annual dance performances and performed at venues such as 42nd Street Port Authority, Grounds for Sculpture, Ceres Art Gallery, Bickford Theatre and the County College of Morris, his alma-mater.
For the past 5 years Eli has been working for the 92nd Street Y. His company performed for students in the Dance Introduction Series. He taught hip-hop for Harkness Dance Center students in their School of Arts and was a student and graduate of DEL, the Dance Education Laboratory. Eventually becoming a DEL Facilitator, he learned ways to share his work within CALL, the Center for Arts Learning and Leadership. For the past three years he has developed, pioneered and is refining the curriculum he co-authored for them titled "Hip-Hop to the Top" which now serves over 1,000 students in New York City public schools annually. Eli loves to share the power hip-hop has to transform the lives of his students, schools, and communities. You can read more about his work in Dance Teacher Magazine and if you want to join his hip-hop community you can find him on the "Eli Kababa YouTube Channel".
Hip-Hop (Intermediate) / Ages 10+
Hip-Hop (Advanced) / Ages 13+
Shakia Barron is a choreographer, performer, and dance educator whose work is rooted in the African Diaspora, focusing on Hip-Hop, modern, and traditional African dance forms. She is an MFA Choreography candidate at Wilson College, she holds an associate’s degree in dance and psychology from Dean College, a bachelor’s in liberal arts from Westfield State University, and, she received the National Dance Institute’s teaching artist certificate in 2009. Her other dance training includes the Bates Dance Festival, Jacob’s Pillow, and Pioneer Valley’s Performing Arts ...
Shakia Barron is a choreographer, performer, and dance educator whose work is rooted in the African Diaspora, focusing on Hip-Hop, modern, and traditional African dance forms. She is an MFA Choreography candidate at Wilson College, she holds an associate’s degree in dance and psychology from Dean College, a bachelor’s in liberal arts from Westfield State University, and, she received the National Dance Institute’s teaching artist certificate in 2009. Her other dance training includes the Bates Dance Festival, Jacob’s Pillow, and Pioneer Valley’s Performing Arts Charter School.
Barron has choreographed and directed more than 50 Hip-Hop, modern, African and lyrical works that have been performed at Trenton Educational Dance Institute, Rider University, the Princeton School of Ballet, and the Bates Dance Festival. She has performed for numerous Hip-Hop events and has opened for concerts by Fat Joe, Jadakiss, 112, Charlie Baltimore, and Kima from “Total” and Omarion. In 2005, she choreographed a Hip-Hop number for the Celtics/NBA half-time show. Barron has toured nationally and internationally, dancing with Face Da Phlave Entertainment and Illstyle and Peace Productions. And recently, she made a guest appearance with Rennie Harris PureMovement.
As a dance educator, Barron spent four years teaching at the Bates Dance Festival and this past year teaching community classes at Jacob’s Pillow. Her recent work titled Our House was selected to be performed for Community Day at Jacob’s Pillow this past summer. Prior to joining the Five Colleges program as a full-time faculty member, she served as an adjunct at Mount Holyoke, Smith, and Connecticut colleges. Barron was also the 2019 Arthur Levitt Jr. ’52 Artist-in-Residence at Williams College.
Dance Education Laboratory (DEL)
Deborah Damast, MA and Guests
Ann Biddle, MA and Guests