BC presents free hip-hop workshop

Sharida Rejon, Photographer

A free hip-hop dance workshop was offered to all Bakersfield College students and members of the community at Bakersfield College on Nov. 3.

The workshop was hosted by Bakersfield College dance instructor and Eve-leen’s Dance Studio owner Eve-lyne Thomas, and taught by Bakersfield College student Courtney Baehl. The workshop was open to dancers of all levels and welcomed people with no previous dance experience.

This type of workshop is an event that Thomas tries to host every year at Bakersfield College. Baehl, who is also an instructor at Eve-leen’s Dance Studio and a colorguard coach and dance teacher at local high schools and middle schools, has participated in this event in previous years, but this was her debut teaching at Bakersfield College.

“I was a little scared at first because you have your choreography and you know your style, but you don’t know who’s going to show up. You don’t know if you will have super experienced dancers, or people who have never danced in their life,” said Baehl. “But the energy was really good and everybody participated, and we got the shyness out of those who were shy. I think it went really well, it looked like everybody had fun,” she said.

Both Baehl and Thomas donated their time for this dance workshop. “I hope to get people out of their shell and feel comfortable with themselves and the way they move,” said Baehl. “A lot of my stuff, I don’t do for the money. I do it for my students. When you get to show someone your passion and share it with them and they enjoy it and take it with a positive attitude, that’s really rewarding,” she said.

Thomas, who has been the instructor of dance at Bakersfield College for 32 years, says that she enjoyed being able to see Baehl, who was once her BC student, teaching in the same room in the reverse.

“I was very excited to be able to offer this hip hop class to the community, first and foremost, but also my BC students,” said Thomas. “Some of them cannot afford to take a class, so I thought that with this free workshop, they could come and attend,” she said.

Although the workshop was free of charge, Thomas said she feels the need to do her part for her community and finds her compensation somewhere else. “I think my job as an instructor of dance here in Bakersfield and Kern County is to introduce dance to the community and maybe open up someone’s mind to go somewhere and continue, and that they learn how they can benefit from moving and enhance their self-worth. That’s my wish,” said Thomas.