In 2005, three freshmen at George Mason University came together with a vision to spread hip-hop dance and culture to the community. 10 years later, Urbanknowlogy 101 (UK101) has notable alumni and is stronger than ever. Through this dance family, I have had the opportunity to meet other teams and learn about the dance culture of the DMV. Dance has the power to inspire artists, connect with others, and bring people together.
Showcases, competitions, and touring place to place have all led to a familiar scene backstage-people stretching, reviewing steps, headphones on, and getting lost in their own world. The dance culture of the DMV is one not of competition, but of a family. Some of these dancers from each team have never met, but after coming off stage everyone is welcomed and celebrated. Cheers and praise heard loudest from fellow dancers and a feeling of the common “dancer’s high” is felt all around.
The DMV dance culture has taught me that cyphers are meant to push you so allow yourself to be vulnerable when you are in the middle, burnout is real, but never forget why you started in the first place, and any venue that hosts a competition or hip hop showcase- it will feel like home.