By Patrick Stephen
There was no holding back as grade 1 and 2 students danced it out at North Cavan Public School on Thursday March 10th. Students put their usual studies on hold to participate in a break-dancing class taught by break-dance instructor Jimmy Chapman.
Chapman began with an example of his dancing skills and a taste of what they would be learning. He demonstrated several different moves, explaining each step so that everyone could follow along, all the while getting to know each student and keeping them entertained. Chapman continually engaged the students with his energetic and comedic character.
He explained that he likes to get everyone involved by “bringing some comedy, getting everyone to laugh…. [and having] an all-around good time.” Throughout the class, students remained focused, excited and extremely energetic.
Chapman ended the class with a dance-off between boys and girls to show off the moves they had acquired. With every student involved, the floor became a frenzy of movement. After congratulating many of the students for their energy, enthusiasm and dance moves, the boys were declared winners.
Chapman explained that break-dancing has many different benefits including helping with “balance and strength by using muscles that (students) don’t normally use. Plus, students get to learn some dance skills along the way.”
He went on to explain how break-dancing helps to build confidence and self-esteem. Many different moves look complicated, difficult or even impossible, but Chapman encourages students and shows them how to they are done, effectively demystifing the process.
“Students see a lot of moves they think they can’t do, but they can.” The classes are intended to encourage students in self-expression and confidence.
Chapman was introduced to dancing nearly 20 years ago and has had a passion ever since. Ten years ago, he began to teach break-dancing to students and at schools through his company, NRG Breakdancing. It has certainly caught on, as Chapman currently has assignments to teach classes all over central Ontario in 4 different school boards. Each day he will be teaching at a different school and running classes similar to those he ran last week at North Cavan.
Although teaching in a “high-energy” environment is an incentive, there are other reasons Chapman loves break-dancing.
“I love the challenge… staying in shape and feeling young.” To find out more information about Jimmy Chapman’s break dancing classes, go to www.nrgbreakdancing.com.