Waverly Girls Learn History of Hip-Hop at Greenwich Dance Studio

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Molly and Grace Wills, founders of The Waverly Project, led a special outing to Greenwich Dance Studio on Saturday.

Girls in the Waverly Project become Waverly Girls when they sign up for educational field trips and service projects. On Saturday they met Kate Truesdell, founder and owner of the popular studio in Cos Cob. Truesdell, a longtime friend of the Wills sisters, was selected as an entrepreneurial role model who persevered for years until the dream of having her own dance studio in Greenwich became a reality.

The goal of the field trips is to expose young girls to different careers and passions of local businesswomen, artists, and professionals. Along the way, the girls absorb lessons in inclusion, cooperation and kindness. Toward that end, the group is comprised not just of  Waverly girls, who range in age from 7-12, but older girls, age 13-17, become apprentices who mentor the younger girls and help out at events.

Screen Shot 2015-03-01 at 9.07.50 PM Screen Shot 2015-03-01 at 9.07.13 PM Screen Shot 2015-03-01 at 9.06.21 PMDuring the visit the girls decorated caps and drawstring totes. Next, they participated in a class on the history of hip-hop dance taught by Alison Lott.

Lott traced the history of hip hop through break dancing and rap, which she said enabled musicians to tell stories through song and spread positive messages. “You could rap about your community and come together in an anti-violent way,” Lott explained.

“A lot of the kids from the Bronx and Harlem took the 70s disco sound and wove in rap and hip hop sound,” she said as she played a portion of The Sugarhill Gang’s Rapper’s Delight.

The bulk of the visit involved a hip-hop dance class, all the more meaningful in the context of Lott’s lesson in the roots of dance style.

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See also: Meet Molly Wills: Her Waverly Girls Are Going Places


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