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Senior Kirsi Eby and junior Hannah Socolofsky pro­moted the new hip-hop dance club for the first time at The Source on Tuesday. Josephine von Dohlen | Col­legian

One night in the spring of 2016, senior Kirsi Eby casually intro­duced a few hip-hop dance steps to a few friends in the basement of Simpson Res­i­dence. They were hooked, and the three started prac­ticing reg­u­larly and spreading the word.

Now a senior, Eby leads Hillsdale’s hip-hop dance club, a weekly practice ded­i­cated to the upbeat envi­ronment of hip-hop lessons and chore­o­graphed dances.

Eby said she appre­ciates the oppor­tunity to bring hip-hop to Hillsdale College’s campus, which has outlets for more tra­di­tional dancing, such as the swing dance club or the ballroom dance club.

“I like that I’ve seen the college branch out and diversify,” Eby said.

At the end of last year, five stu­dents con­sis­tently attended the club’s weekly meetings, which con­sisted of a warmup, a lesson teaching simple steps, and chore­o­graphed practice for a longer form piece.

While the club does not cur­rently have any per­for­mances, they do videotape their dances, and share them on social media.

Junior Hannah Socolofsky has been with Eby since the beginning, and she said she has enjoyed the weekly classes and finds the envi­ronment fun and wel­coming.

“We like to do things for their own sake here at Hillsdale,” she said. “It’s good to do things that make you happy.”

Socolofsky had very little dance expe­rience prior to joining the club, but has found herself able to pick up the pieces because of Eby’s teaching style.

“She’s a great teacher; she makes it under­standable for those who don’t know how to dance,” Socolofsky said.

Those who attend speak highly of Eby’s instruction, and Eby says they have improved a lot.

Eby chore­o­graphs each of the pieces that the club prac­tices. Although it requires a lot of prepa­ration and work, she said her extensive back­ground in dance, which ranges from ballet, to jazz, to hip-hop, makes chore­og­raphy “almost like writing music.”

Eby’s lessons became such an inspi­ration for the members of the club that one student even con­tributed to the final chore­og­raphy last spring, without having any dance expe­rience prior to joining the hip-hop club.

In addition to the club, Eby’s talents helped her lead her res­i­dence hall, Whitley, in last year’s Mock Rock, where she con­tributed to the chore­o­graphed dance.

As the club moves forward, they hope to find more interest.

Those in the club praise Eby’s ded­i­cation to the club.

Reuben Blake, a senior and founding member of the club who was also with Eby from that very first night in Simpson, said that she is the “real champ.”

“She does all the planning and chore­og­raphy; I just hap­pened to con­vince her that it was important to con­tinue in that passion and share it with others on campus,” Blake said in an email.

“There’s no judgement, just dancing,” Eby said.

Those inter­ested in the hip-hop dance club can contact Kirsi Eby at keby@hillsdale.edu.