The club culture-hundreds of thousands of young people across the country, covered in sweat and rhythmically throbbing to a beat- has long been filled with stigmas and stereotypes; the idea that hip-hop music is only for people of African descent, or solely for the "impoverished youth" as Dale Kleinschmidt, an ex-DJ and amateur break dancer from Dallas, puts it, has been a common view associated with the hip-hop scene by the masses. Dale got interested in break dancing because, as he says, "he wanted to look cool." In the beginning, the idea of being able to break dance was funny to him- he had already been involved in the dance scene, but he had never been a b-boy, he just DJed. A lot of Dale's interest in the dance aspect of the clubs came from his DJing experiences.
Dale really started dancing when he met up with a group of Hispanic kids- that he had known from the scene already- and discovered that they had formed a break dancing crew. They decided to take Dale "under their wings." The fact that the Hispanic kids were the ones dancing, and that they were so accepting of Dale- a middle-upper class white kid- says a lot about the falseness of the racial stereotypes involved in the scene.
"& it's a very embracing culture," says Dale, "which a lot of people find surprising, but if you go out there no one's gonna give you crap for trying& "
According to Dale, the only people that the club kids typically dislike are the ones that detach themselves from the scene. "& say you go to a club and just sit in the back corner, or you just try to hit on girls, that's fine, but the break dancers are probably just gonna look down on you& " The thought that a person should interact in any of what Dale calls "the fou...
... middle of paper ...
...petitive nature of the scene-but the fact remains that the break dance circles seem to be filled with masculine face.
Despite the stereotypes I have heard about the hip-hop culture, and the apparently male-dominated scene, after my interview with Dale I would have to dispel those accusations. Of course there will be "purists" as Dale said, and people who believe that they deserve more respect because they have been involved in the scene longer, but in the bigger view, the dance culture seems to be one of the most accepting scenes that exists. If you have a genuine interest in the culture, as in anything, there is no reason that you shouldn't attempt to take part in it. The scene from the beginning was a do-it-yourself scene, and in break dancing there are no rules. Get out there and do what you want- if you honestly respect the scene you should have no problems.
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