• Payton Harrison-Gonzalez

Silver Kite's Intergenerational Hip Hop Workshop was a blast this summer!

During the summer Silver Kite offered 28 free intergenerational arts workshops on on the patio behind the Lake City Community Center in Seattle. The following is an account of one of the workshops written by Silver Kite's Arts Coordinator, Payton Harrison-Gonzalez. The summer workshops were sponsored by the Seattle Office of Arts and Culture's Arts in Parks Program and the Seattle Parks Department's Recreation for All Program.

On a hot Wednesday in July we hosted an intergenerational hip hop workshop taught by our teaching artist, Andrés Arteagna. Andrés taught the workshop in both English and Spanish simultaneously.

Over the course of the workshop almost 40 people of varying ages, backgrounds, and levels of dancing experience attended the workshop. The first half of the workshop had mostly kids and their parents as participants. Andrés got them excited about the dances he was teaching by including popular moves that the kids may have seen in other places before. The familiarity with the moves allowed them to become comfortable enough to dive into the unfamiliar even if they weren’t confident in their dancing abilities.

As the workshop continued, a group of older adults arrived. Their abilities were quite different from the kids, but their energy and determination to learn the dances was the same.

Two of the kids, a boy and girl around 7 or 8 years old, moved towards the front (near Andrés) to become unofficial assistants to help teach seniors a dance they had learned earlier in the workshop.

Everyone was following along to the best of their abilities and smiling while doing so. Towards the end a group of Spanish speaking older adults joined the fun, and Andrés was able to tailor the workshop to something we knew they would enjoy to make sure they felt included.

Andrés talked with to one of the ladies during a water break and learned about some of her favorite music. After the break he played one of her favorite songs for everyone to dance to.

He ended the workshop by forming a circle and allowing one person to step in the middle at a time to be the center of attention for just a moment. They let the music guide them, moving their bodies to its rhythm and allowing them to be free before stepping back and allowing the rest to do the same.

Overall, the workshop was a huge success, and we can’t wait for the next time we can bring people together.


© 2020 by Silver Kite Community Arts, LLC