New club sparks a more diverse hip-hop community

Holly Engel

A&E Editor

Dance is a language we all speak, whether we’re popping and locking like a pro or showing off our best version of the Macarena. Often, dance is how we connect across countries and cultures, which is why Chasing Hip-hop Dance Team was formed in October of last year by its co-presidents, Mika Yonaha ’21 and Cloud Chang ’21. The student-run team, which focuses on hip-hop style dance and music from across the globe, is due to be chartered as an official club this semester, much to the excitement of its members. “I think our team will educate the community about hip-hop dance and the dances from different cultures, such as African, Latino and Asian,” Chang commented when expressing the goals of the club. “We also hope to provide a friendly space for students who are passionate about dancing and are willing to take the responsibility of being a member of the team.”

Chasing’s music and dance styles contribute to its uniqueness, but what is most important about the team is its members. “We emphasize team diversity, so we have members from various countries,” Chang said. Yonaha agreed, saying that the “various backgrounds” represented by the team’s members contribute to Chasing’s emphasis on the importance of diversity. As a result, Yonaha is always excited to see new members join. “When we performed at the Culture Show, we only had three members, but [Chasing] has been getting bigger and bigger. Now, we have seven dancers on our team!” Yonha said. 

Despite the importance of Chasing’s individuals, group effort is a key factor to the team’s success, according to team member Aubry Miller ’22. “For me, Chasing is a group of people who genuinely love dance and enjoy sharing their passion for it. This team makes it easy for our unique talents to shine and enhance the group as a whole (independent minds, dancing together),” Miller said. Member Bang Nguyen ’22 especially enjoys Chasing’s charismatic and welcoming atmosphere. “Practicing for the dances is not an intense activity, but an enjoyable time, as our members are really funny and quick learners. Everyone is welcomed and treated with respect and care,” Nguyen said. Nguyen also mentioned that the team likes to celebrate their performances with “good-job parties,” where the members make good food together and have fun.

According to Chang, Chasing hopes to attend hip-hop competitions, so practices will be held every week. Showcases will also occur throughout the semester so the team can gain more experience onstage. General dance workshops will also be held this semester, the first one likely to take place in February.

If anyone is interested in Chasing or would like more information about practices, showcases or workshops, contact Mika Yonaha (MYonaha21@wooster.edu) or Cloud Chang (LChang21@wooster.edu).

(Photo courtesy Cloud Chang)

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