BY KIM HYATThyatt045@d.umn.edu
Outside Pizza Lucé the streets were desolate from rain, while inside b-boys and b-girls taught middle-aged men a thing or two about hip-hop and breakdancing.
Leading up to Break the Silence: Hip-Hop Education and Awareness Week (April 9-13), UMD’s Funk Soul Patrol (FSP) hosted the event teaser last Thursday night to promote the annual fundraiser and week of positive hip-hop.
“Hip-hop is not just about the jam or having the ‘illest swag.’ Its concept can be applied in everyday life,” said FSP President Alex Susuki. “Our work ethic for FSP doesn’t distract us from our studies. It’s used in the classroom, too.”
Also performing at the event were local DJs and artists 2one8, Suicide Minds, DJ Horsefist, Cash and Thaddeus.
The crowd mainly consisted of college students, however, the ones to join FSP in “breaking” were a little unexpected. Troy Paulseth, UMD alumni, had never before witnessed breakdancing until that night. Still, his inexperience didn’t hold him back.
“Im here with my wife and her co-workers,” said Paulseth, out of breath from just leaving the dance floor. “I had no idea this was going on. It’s really cool what this group is doing.”
Heather Hubert, a sophomore at UMD, also attended the event, admiring FSP talent.
“Not only is this a great fundraiser, but it’s a good time for people to come and dance,” said Hubert. “I just wish I could dance like them.”
Throughout the evening filled with rhythmic music, members from FSP would stand in a large, welcoming circle and alternate showing off their moves. Each dancer brought life to the music and caused unanimous toe tapping and two steps.
Responsible for the organization’s many efforts are Susuki and Community Liaison and Event Coordinator Amy Lee. Both students stress the need for positive hip-hop in order to offset negative perceptions and to spread the dance’s empowering culture.
Break the Silence is FSP’s way to fulfill their mission of giving back to the community, as money raised from the weeklong event goes toward the Copeland Valley Youth Center.
The event was a combination of music and dance, with a hint of humor (watching older men leap and fall while attempting to pop, lock and drop it).
“We’ve grown a lot in four years,” said Lee. “This was our first community event in a new environment outside of our comfort zone on campus and we had a really successful turnout.
Break the Silence Week is April 9-13.All events are free and open to the public, but donations for Copeland Valley Youth Center are welcome. For more information on FSP or to get a complete list of the events during Hip-Hop Awareness week, email FSP at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit their Facebook group, Funk-SOUL Patrol.
Story originally appeared on LakeVoice.