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Thank you for your interest in the Hip Hop ConnXion. We have carefully looked at all of the emails and questions we have been asked in the past regarding being a Hip Hop ConnXion Family member and have put together information below which should hopefully answer all of your questions.
Being considered one of the best dance troupes in the state, if not the country, the HHC Family is not your typical run-of-the-mill dance company. It upholds high standards and morals not only in dance but for life in general, and all dancers who are a part of that Family have to uphold these morals and standards to remain on the team.
The Hip Hop ConnXion main branch is based out of two locations in Illinois, one at the American Academy of Gymnastics and Dance (formerly known as Dance ConnXion Studio) in Wheeling which is the headquarters of the Hip Hop ConnXion Family, and the other at Dream Academy of Dance Arts in Aurora. We also have a downtown branch which currently rehearses at different locations in the city (Click on Chicago tab on top for HHC Chicago information). The Hip Hop ConnXion Family consists of the Hip Hop ConnXion Elite and HQ teams (HHC), Hip Hop Force Advanced team (HHF) and Future Force Under 14 year old junior team (FF). The HHF and FF troupes are currently based only at the Wheeling and the Aurora locations.
What makes the HHC and HHF dance troupes so unique and different from other companies is there is no real age limit. We have had dancers as young as 13 in the past and as old as 40. We have discovered through the years that talent is not determined by age but by skill. In the world of hip hop, and maybe even in the world of dance in general, we have recognized that once you turn 13, your mind and body hits a turning point for some dancers, and they ‘physically’ become an adult. FF on the other hand does have an age limit of 14.
In order to try out for the HHC and HHF companies, you have to be at an intermediate to advanced level dancer. By intermediate and advanced level we mean 14 and up levels (up to adult), and the studio or class levels that you have previously taken from at a different facility has to be at a high standard. To try out for FF you have to be 13 years of age or under (at the time of auditions), and once again come from a high level of dance background for their age.
We always advise dancers trying out for the first time to take classes from one of the HHC teachers at the correct level so you can get a good sense of the kind of challenge you will be facing before trying out. Also don’t think that if you start taking classes only a couple of weeks before auditions it will help your chances of being ready in time and making one of the teams. Dance development is a steady progression of building up your skills over the course of time.
IF I TRY OUT AT ONE LOCATION, CAN I DANCE FOR THE OTHER TROUPE IF I MAKE IT?
You can attend whichever location is convenient for you time or location-wise. If you make the final cut, you may then choose which location you want to permanently be a part of.
HOW MUCH IS IT TO AUDITION?
AUDITIONS ARE FREE and you do not have to take a workshop to audition. You can also bring as many people to audition with you if you have friends who are interested in dancing too. Have them contact us before auditions as well. Auditions are every 6 months, typically in April and September. Keep checking the Hip hop ConnXion website for exact date.
HOW WILL THE AUDITIONS BE RAN?
Come dressed to dance. You do not have to bring your own music. Everyone will be taught around four-eight counts worth of choreography in the same room. From there, dancers will have time to review and practice it. Then they will be called in groups of three or four to audition it in front of three judges. The audition generally lasts between two to four hours depending on how many dancers audition. It is always advisable to stay for the duration of the audition in case we need to see you again.
There are typically two cuts, the first being an immediate cut after the first day. If you progress to the second phase of auditions, you will then be evaluated over the course of two weeks where we will make the final cut. From the final cut you will either make one of the teams or you will be asked to come back and try again at the next auditions.
WHAT IS THE TIME COMMITMENT?
If you make the HHC you will typically have a rehearsal one evening during the week (the day depends on the location you dance at) and occasionally on Sundays. The HHF is the same but will have fewer Sunday rehearsals unless there are important events coming up. FF tytpically has one rehearsasl a week.
HOW MANY PERFORMANCES DO YOU DO?
Performances generally range between 15 up to around 50 shows a year depending which company you are in. The HHC generally has the most performances, followed by HHF then FF.
WHAT KIND OF SHOWS WILL I BE DOING?
The companies perform all over Illinois, generally in and around Chicago and the suburbs. The HHC Family performs for youth outreach programs (such as the D.E.A.) and charities. They also perform at both minor and major events such as small school shows or shows at a stadium in front of thousands. Because the HHC Family is a performance team with a message it doesn’t participate in many competitions in a year because of its busy performance schedule. Even though we do not consider ourselves a competition team we have done very well in the ones we have taken part in, placing in the top three in every major competition we have participated in over the last few years. Occasionally HHC will perform out-of-state either at National or International competitions or major events that ask us to travel out-of-state.
DO I HAVE TO DO EVERY SHOW?
For as many shows as the HHC does, the requirement is to be at as many as you can possibly do. We understand that people have lives outside of dancing so there are exceptions for missing shows such as prior school, religious or family obligations.
IF I MAKE THE COMPANY IS THERE A COST INVOLVED?
The cost of being a HHC Family member is minimal. Exact price is determined by the location you dance at. The company has always mantained that money will never be a reason why a dancer cannot be part of the team, so financial aid can always be worked out depending on the individual dancer’s situation. Competition costs are cut down due to monies made through the shows we do and fund raising efforts. All out-of–state multiple day stay events will typically only cost a dancer between $100-$150 which also covers airfare and lodging for the total amount of days at the location. Don’t ask how we do it, we just do! Outside of competition there are some shows in which the dancers may get paid.
HOW DO I GO ABOUT TAKING CLASSES?
To find out more about classes, go to the Dance Classes tab on the left menu.
Hopefully we have been able to answer your questions. If you need to know more about the Hip Hop ConnXion, please feel free to email us at email@example.com, visit our Facebook, or call us at 847-342-7658 x3.