Student dance crew engages with hip-hop through dance

The Poppers, Lockers, and Breakers offer several performances throughout the year and welcome anyone who is eager to express themselves through dance. Photo courtesy of Shelby Hilliard

Hip-hop is a massive cultural force in our society. The hip-hop movement has significantly influenced the art and music worlds for many people. One of the groups that is exploring hip-hop through dance at Baylor is the “Poppers, Lockers, and Breakers Club.”

While the name may suggest that the organization features an approach more centered in “break-dancing,” featuring stylized footwork and spinning on the head, knees, and hands according to the Encyclopedia Britannica, it actually has more focus on the energetic styles of hip-hop dancing.

San Antonio senior Shelby Hilliard has been involved with the organization for four years.

“I went to Line Camp and at the end we have those little routines,” Hillard said. “I met this guy there and he and I both dance very well. When we came back in the fall … we bumped into each other a few times freshman year and he said for me to come to PLB [Poppers Lockers and Breakers] … I went later in the year and ended up sticking with it.”

According to Hilliard, Poppers Lockers and Breakers definitely stands out from the rest of the organizations on campus.

“One thing that I really appreciate about PLB [Poppers Lockers and Breakers] is that we are a diverse group,” Hilliard said. “It is not necessarily targeted towards an ethnic group, or just girls, or just guys. We are open to everyone, no dance experience required. We always try to break down our practices nice and slow and, of course, we make it optional for those to join our performance group. Even if you do not want to join the group, you can still come and practice with us.”

The organization has not only helped grow Hilliard’s dance skills, but has also helped grow her personal life as well.

“I appreciate the fact that I can still dance because of course once you get out of high school, if you are not doing dance team … or any of the professional dance teams on campus you really do not have an outlet for dance,” Hilliard said. “Being in PLB [Poppers Lockers and Breakers] gives me those last final years to still dance, be active and showcase the skills that I possess.”

San Francisco junior Numbilya Mpolo has been personally impacted by the organization as well.

“I found a lot of my friends through PLB [Poppers Lockers and Breakers] like Shelby and dance has always been a kind of therapy for me,” Mpolo said. “Especially starting freshman year, I would look forward to going to PLB on Fridays or whenever because I would be so stressed from the week and I would come and dance and I would forget about them for a little bit.”

They have performed at many popular Baylor events in the past, including Late Night, and currently they are looking towards the future.

“I am looking forward to future performances. Last year we did not really have our own showcase so maybe possibly doing that would be fun,” Mpolo said. “Hopefully, we can get new choreographers and stuff for our club. It is very exciting.”

The organization can be reached through their Facebook, Instagram, Gmail or Orgsync.