Queenz of Hip-Hop have all the right moves

A mix of old school rap and new, hot beats escaped from the Tivoli’s Turnhalle on Friday evening. Inside, people of all ages stood in circles inviting anyone who felt the rhythm and was in the mood to step
to the middle and show off their moves. B-girls and b-boys gathered to prove that break dancing is just as popular now as it was in the ’80s.

Queenz of Hip-Hop

LeToya Garland and her son, Lorenzo Write, break dance at the Turnhalle before the Queenz of Hip-Hop Jam dance battle begins on March 31. Photos by McKenzie Lange • mlange2@msudenver.edu

This weekend, Queenz of Hip-Hop held their eighth annual event. MSU Denver’s Hip-hop Club organized the three-day event that began on March 31 with a screening of “Girl Illa Tactics.” Dance battles were held on Saturday and workshops were held on Sunday. The weekend’s emcee, Katrina Florez, or El La Katrina, kept things moving as they got the music bumping, giving everyone the chance to let loose with their breaking moves. Anyone was welcome to participate in the activities for a small fee. Workshops consisted of Freestyle, DJing, Graffiti, Beatboxing and Popping.

Asia Yu, who has been a Hip-hop Club member for three years, showed off some impressive moves that proved you don’t have to be a teenager to do difficult breaking moves.

“We highlight women in hip-hop, but it’s open to everyone,” she said about the weekend’s event.

Von Kipper competes in the Queenz of Hip-Hop Jam at the Turnhalle on March 31.

Yu said the hip-hop community has come a long way from the ’90s, when back then it was less inclusive. She was first inspired to try the dance after watching Shabba Doo in the movie “Breakin’.”

Yu said, “I don’t do any new moves anymore, but I’ve noticed my ability has gotten better over the years.” Yu said the club was a good social network for anyone with an interest in the hip-hop culture.

Mimi Ferrie was there with her partner, Ernie Lee, and their 1 1/2-year-old son, Reed. Little Reed sported a jean jacket with a graffitied design on the back that his father had made. Ferrie said she started
dancing when she attended the University of Colorado Boulder and made a lot of close friendships through the hiphop community. Her little boy is already trying to freestyle.

A friendly face looks on and cheers for her peers.

Crystal Zamora stepped into the dance circle repeatedly, her legs seeming to momentarily disconnect as they they twisted at unnatural angles. Zamora had driven from Albuquerque, New Mexico to attend Queenz of Hip-hop all three days.

Zamora began dancing classical and various Latin styles at the age of 3. She started breaking at age 6 and loved that this event focused on women in hip-hop.

“The women all get along marvelously. I think we put to bed a lot of preconceptions that women can’t work together,” Zamora said.

Emcee Florez hosts hip-hop events all over the country and has been into breaking for 14 years. She was 5 years old when she saw the movie “Breakin’” and knew immediately that was what she wanted to do.

Florez wants people to know that hip-hop isn’t just one thing.

“It’s multi-dimensional,” she said, “and a positive outlet for young people. If you’ve never been to a street show, you should go. The experience is amazing.”

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