Scene@ Urban Reach Hip-Hop Dance Convention | Music Feature | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

Seven Days needs your financial support!

Scene@ Urban Reach Hip-Hop Dance Convention 

Sheraton Hotel, South Burlington, Sunday, February 10, 9 a.m.

  • Matthew Thorsen

If OK Go were a hip-hop group, they might have chosen this morning's scene as the backdrop for another indie-viral music video à la "Here It Goes Again." Instead of fancy treadmills, the vibrantly carpeted ballroom held nearly a hundred young women spread over a temporary dance floor. But everyone was super-enthusiastic and the energy was infectious. When I walked in, the intermediate-level session was just finishing. A gaggle of dancers crowded around the teacher for autographs, and the rest scattered to grab sips of water before the next lesson.

Though hip-hop started on the street, it isn't really indie anymore. Slick production companies spend tons on tours and videos promoting new albums, and hip-hop choreography is a big business that has filtered down to small towns. Burlington's Urban Reach convention is organized and hosted by Tikune Productions, a project run by Sarah Cover, the founder of Williston's Urban Dance Complex studio. A Vermont native who has studied hip-hop in New York and L.A., Cover has brought some of the business top talent to Burlington.

She ushered me into another ballroom where an advanced-level class was just starting. About 50 young women were focused on a man wearing black baggy pants, a big white shirt and a black hat cocked sideways. "Anybody can step, step . . . I'm looking for that inside groove," explained Shaun Evaristo, an L.A.-based choreographer/dancer who's worked with P. Diddy, Mario and NLT. He demonstrated the first few moves of the dance, turning fluidly and stopping on a dime, then popping his arms into a different shape, all the while tossing around ballet terms to make his point. "Make sure that your left leg is in relevé, and your right leg is planted on the floor."

This group was clearly more experienced than the one out front: The hightop-wearing, sweatpant-clad ladies proceeded to plough through several counts of eight, but the hour-long class was too short to finish the song. At the end, Evaristo asked if they wanted to see more of the choreography. When they clapped and cheered, he stepped to the center of the dance floor and summed up the grace and attitude for which everyone there was aiming.

Got something to say? Send a letter to the editor and we'll publish your feedback in print!

More By This Author

About The Author

Meghan Dewald

About the Artist

Matthew Thorsen

Matthew Thorsen

Matthew Thorsen was a photographer for Seven Days 1995-2018. Read all about his life and work here.


Comments are closed.

Since 2014, Seven Days has allowed readers to comment on all stories posted on our website. While we’ve appreciated the suggestions and insights, the time has come to shut them down — at least temporarily.

While we champion free speech, facts are a matter of life and death during the coronavirus pandemic, and right now Seven Days is prioritizing the production of responsible journalism over moderating online debates between readers.

To criticize, correct or praise our reporting, please send us a letter to the editor. Or send us a tip. We’ll check it out and report the results.

Online comments may return when we have better tech tools for managing them. Thanks for reading.

Latest in Category

Keep up with us Seven Days a week!

Sign up for our fun and informative

All content © 2021 Da Capo Publishing, Inc. 255 So. Champlain St. Ste. 5, Burlington, VT 05401
Advertising Policy  |  Contact Us
Website powered by Foundation