ASU's Hip-Hop Coalition shapes up for the upcoming dance season

The sound of footsteps pounding on every beat filled the halls of the Sun Devil Fitness Complex as hip-hop dancers across ASU came together to learn a single routine.

ASU’s Hip-Hop Coalition began their 2016 season with a free class on Aug. 23 in the SDFC. The class packed Small Gym D with both old members and new candidates who came together to improve their hip-hop skills.

The class was led by 2013 ASU graduate Brittany Hanish, who has been involved with the Hip-Hop Coalition since 2009. Hanish choreographed a dance to the song “All The Way Up” by Fat Joe and Remy Ma, featuring French Montana and Infared. The dance was then taught to all participants.

Another class will be held on Tuesday, Aug. 30 at 8:30 p.m. in Small Gym D at the SDFC in Tempe and is open to anyone interested in joining the Hip-Hop Coalition. This class will be taught by Lai Yi Olsen.

The purpose of these classes is to prepare everyone for level-two team auditions, the first of which will be held on Wednesday, Aug. 31.

Those who are placed into the level-two team are those who represent ASU while performing and competing at all events and showcases. Practices for the level-two team are on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays every week.

The Hip-Hop Coalition also offers a level-one team which does not require an audition to join. The level-one team performs with the level-two team at select venues and practices Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

Hip-Hop Coalition president Mady Baumann is a senior and this will be her third year as a part of the team. Baumann served the role of dance captain last year, but this year she said she is excited to lead the team as president in her final year at ASU.

“This year I really want to do more performances and kind of get our name out there in the hip-hop dance community in Phoenix,” Baumann said. "Last year we mostly performed at events for ASU, but I want to incorporate that with showcases or competitions so that way we can feed off of other teams in the area."

She said she has big plans for the future of this sports club. 

“The next event we are hoping to go to is World of Dance,” Baumann said. “It’s a big competition that travels around the United States. They just announced that they are coming to AZ, so we are really excited for that.”

The Hip Hop Coalition also looks forward to performing on campus at events such as family weekend at the SDFC fields and Express Yourself at the MU, according to Baumann.

With all of the changes Baumann hopes to make in the following year, she said she hopes to maintain the feelings of unity and acceptance within the group.

“I actually feel like I am a part of something important in such a big university like ASU because of Hip-Hop Coalition," Baumann said. "This is my ASU family.”

Many hopefuls attended Tuesday’s class with the intent of finding their place in the Hip-Hop Coalition family, as well. Students from multiple backgrounds found themselves connected by one thing: dance.

Creative writing freshman Arielle Gray said she got her start in ballet when she was little. Gray attended the Aug. 23 class and found her passion for dance in an entire new element.

“I love dancing,” Gray said. “I started in ballet, and hip-hop wasn’t really a 'thing' in my house, but I loved being here today and dancing alongside all of them. I definitely want to audition and be a part of this family.”

Junior psychology student Beth Rosenberg will be entering her third year as a member of the Hip-Hop Coalition. Rosenberg said she looks forward to another year dancing with her teammates.

“We do a lot of community events, competitions and performances around ASU,” Rosenberg said. “Our first show this year was at Wells Fargo Arena during freshman welcome. We had about seven team members from last year perform.”

The club has been around for over twenty years, and they said they hope to make this year their best one yet.

For more information, visit the Hip-Hop Coalition website or their Facebook page.

Reach the reporter at or follow her on Twitter @hayieysays

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