Project: Breakdance Final Post

This will be my final post evaluating my 20 time experience this year in World Lit.

  • What did you enjoy about the experience?

I enjoyed being able to do something that I really enjoyed that we do not do at this school regularly.

  • What was the most challenging aspect of your Twenty Time project?

My most challenging aspect of my project was finding time both in and out of school to actually work on my dancing skills. During the first half of the year, it was fairly easy to go practice in the dance room. However, during the second semester, a dance class was being taught there so I was unable to use the space. This meant that I had to find time at home after my sports to practice which was very hard. Not only did I have sports but I also have to practice at least an hour and a half of piano every day to stay competitive. If that was not enough, then my homework load every night was not the easiest to manage. That said, I got a lot less time than I thought I would get to practice.

  • What is one thing you learned about yourself by participating in your Twenty Time project?

I learned how hard I have to work to squeeze even one more thing into my schedule these days. I also learned how I’m not always motivated, because a lot of the time I found myself too tired to work on my dancing so I didn’t…

  • What are you most proud of? Why?

I’m most proud of my video because I think it turned out pretty well. I think the editing could have been better of course, but I think it showcased a variety of different dancing ability and I’m proud of that.

  • What lessons did you learn from your successes?

I learned I need to keep on practicing once your get it down once. If you stop right after you do it correctly, then you will forget it. I learned this with windmills, I got it in the beginning, then stopped practicing and ended up losing it for a while. This could have been due to my core strength diminishing after not practicing for a while.

  • What lessons did you learn from your failures?

From my failures I learned that I needed to work on editing more before hand. I had only somewhat tried editing before making my final video. That was why some of the editing and transitions were a bit sloppy. But overall I think the video went pretty well.

  • What is one thing about this project you believe you’ll remember for a long time to come?

I mean, I’ll remember my video for a long time because it will be on my computer. But aside from that, I’ll really remember the experience of having 1 day out of 7 to just do what you want to do. It was so different from other classes where every day would be monotone and just grinding out work. Day 7’s would be my highlight and I would look forward to them every time.

  • What is something the teacher could have done to make this project better?

I don’t think there was anything the teacher could have done. They are supposed to be independent projects. If the teacher had gotten involved, I feel as though it would lose its fun and lightheartedness. I really liked this whole concept of 20 time.

Project: Breakdance #16

Today was spent finding new music for my dance video. I wanted something that everybody knew, instead of some slightly more obscure music. I also wanted something with words which might make choreography a little simpler. Without words, it is really hard to come up with 3-5 minutes of dance without becoming repetitive. I’m looking into some pop music to try and find things there, or even rap music. Rap music you wouldn’t think works normally, but they have heavy beats in the back which make it a lot simpler to choreograph. Traditionally, breakdancing is more of a freestyle dance, but I don’t think I’m up to that level. For now, I still need to work on knowing exactly what I’m doing, before I can just dance as naturally as I can breathe. To the best of the breakdancers, dancing is like breathing, it just happens. If they hear a beat, then they can dance to it any number of ways. I am still not on that level, I can only hope that one day I will reach that level of expertise.

Project: Breakdance #15

What is up, everybody? Today I was extremely determined to master my handstands so that I can start holding my one handed handstands instead of simply popping up and having to come down within 5 seconds. I did training which included standing in a handstand against a wall for 2 minutes then getting a 30 second break. I did these for a solid half hour. I was extremely tired after I finished, but still held some one handed handstands against a wall. Following that, I attempted holding handstands for extended periods of time. The longest I held one for currently was 15 seconds. It is very helpful to engage all your fingers when doing a handstand. I learned that if you feel yourself start to tip forward, that you should push your finger tips against the ground to push yourself back into balance. If you feel that you are leaning back, I would flex my arms so that my wrist pushed harder into the ground, again, returning me into a balanced state. I hope I can do handstands in a weeks time for the final part of my video that I’m making. I also decided that the music I was originally going to dance to would not work. I have a couple of other songs in mind for what I need to do.

Project: Breakdance #14

My hopes for my final product are very high. I spent all of the last 20 time hard at work making the videos. Some teachers were walking by and had to ask if I was okay. I can see why. I’m pretty sure to them, my freezes looked painful and that I was having a seizure of some sort. Oh well, judge me, I don’t mind. Anyways, I’m importing the videos as I write this post and will be placing them into the iMovie project at certain times in my song. My song, since I haven’t told you, is Apashe’s Goodbye edited by me and my friend Ryan Warbington. We edited the song so that there was a Chief Keef line before a bass drop. Also, because I wanted to end the song earlier than it was originally, I trimmed the song and added a gunshot to end out the song. I have some really great choreography planned for all the bass drops that I hope everyone will enjoy. I can also say that there will be at least 1 windmill in this video, most likely in slow motion because it will cover up some of the imperfections (But keep that on the down-low, nobody else has to know that).

Project: Breakdance #13

So… I have the first 13 seconds of my final video… This is a lot harder than expected… Honestly, I thought editing videos would be a lot easier. Now I finally understand the pain it takes to make a good video. I’m able to get a fairly good quality video using a camera from the photography teacher at Durham Academy. Thanks Mr. Haynes! Anyways, the video quality is great but like I said last time, it’s a pain trying to fit video with music. Through what I’d say is a good couple hours on the weekends, I have been able to familiarize myself with iMovie. I have been focused on doing my homework during 20 time days so that I have time and energy to delve into iMovie during the weekends. I need to focus more on making the actual videos of myself dancing, now that I have somewhat of a knowledge base of iMovie. All I can hope for at this point is that I wont get any major complications in my video. Can’t wait to see a finished product!

Project: Breakdance #12

Today was another day of me working on my breakdancing video. It involved a lot of sighs of frustration because of my new-ness to iMovie. I had all these great ideas, but no vague clue on how to put them into action. I did end up figuring out how to do slow motion on iMovie which I think is pretty good. I plan on putting some of the more elaborate footwork or moves in slow motion. Another obstacle was figuring out how to make sure the music and my video matched. Originally, I wanted to dance in all these places around our school campus, but was unable to because of the classes going on at the time. I worked today outside of my house. It has been a very hard process, all I can hope for is that the end product will be well worth it. I hope I can get a status update out later! Also, hopefully my time fooling around on iMovie trying to learn the ins-and-outs will not be wasted, and instead, put to good use.

Project: Breakdance #11

It was a very interesting day. Sorry for not posting in a while, I was waiting until after I was able to meet with my mentor Jose Velasquez to report. Jose Velasquez is a local breakdancer who used to be in the breakdancing scene. He helped start crews in Durham and has even had the chance to work with one of the best breakdancers on the east coast: No Sense. I was unable to get his real name, but his dancing name is No Sense. It is very interesting how these names are created. No Sense got his name because of his non-traditional way of connecting and flow. Eventually, when he started creating his own moves, his name came to mean something to the effect of, “Do you see what this guy is pulling off? That makes no sense.” Anyways, enough of that, I’m not sure I will be going into the breakdancing scene.

Jose worked with me on some variations to some floor work that I had been doing. Not only that, but he introduced me to switching up directions. Currently, still feel more comfortable while going clockwise with leg sweeps and 6 steps. However, Jose is trying to push me to go counterclockwise. He says the change in directions offers a fresh look. I can see how people might get tired of seeing someone only go one direction in a dancing set. Now, I need to start creating my breakdance video while incorporating valuable advice from my mentor, Jose Velasquez

Project: Breakdance #10

During this 20 time we discussed our projects with our peers. At my group there was a cooking project and a learning french project.

I discussed with my group about:

My original goals for the project

Roadblocks I’ve hit

Success I’ve had

What I’ve been able to produce so far

What I need to produce

Do I need to re-evaluate my goals

How do I feel about what I’ve accomplished

It was very interesting to discuss these questions. Overall my group rated my commitment to the project a 10/10. My productivity of day 7’s was rated 9/10. My blogging was rated a 9/10. Evidence of project was rated at 9/10. I think these are generally good ratings. I can’t wait to see what else I can do with my project. As I continue, I hope to create more things like videos of me dancing to music. I already have ideas like dancing to other music than breakdancing music, like maybe trap music.


Project: Breakdance #9

Hey guys, what’s going on? As I said my wrist is hurt right now. I am unable to do my baby freezes. Without my baby freeze, which is a basic building block of breakdancing, I am unable to windmill. I have been focusing on top rock and other basic footwork. I have also been working on reverse 6-steps. It is a whole new skill to be able to do moves from left to right as opposed to the normal right to left. My wrist injury has been a huge impediment for progress in my project. I’m also interested in looking at finger tutting. I have seen youtube videos and hope to incorporate this style of dance with other popping and locking in my dances. It would be really cool to do that. Next 20 time, we will be discussing our projects with our peers. I hope that others will see some of the cool things that I am working on and hope to be able to do in the future.

Project: Breakdance #8

I think that I sprained my wrist last week… Uh oh… My freezes are a huge part of my breakdancing that I am trying to improve right now. They require that I put all my weight onto my hurt wrist. Instead, I am working on my top-rocking and getting more simple moves like the arm wave incorporated into my arsenal of top-rocking. I am also looking into popping. I was inspired by this video:

This video showed me how complex popping and locking can be in dance. My arm waves still need work to be like his, but I can see improvement in my own dancing. I practice whenever I can, walking downstairs, walking to dinner, pretty much when I walk everywhere. My whole family thinks I’m weird, but hey, whatever, I’m getting better by practicing with all my time.

My big goal of doing windmills was stalled by my hurt wrist. Hopefully it heals soon.

As for my future goals, I want to make a video of top-rocking like the one above. I think that will be a great starting point. As I am making that video, I hope to continually improve on my windmills.