Miami group, Iphlow, brings break dancing to PQ
If you had stumbled upon PQ's basketball court last Thursday morning you would have encountered a rare sight. Instead of seeing students practicing lay ups, you would have seen groups of PQ students practicing break dance routines. On June 17th, the PQ basketball court was transformed into a stage for the final assembly of the year featuring Iphlow, a world class hip-hop and break dancing group out of Miami.
Iphlow is made up of dancers with nationalities ranging from South America to Europe. With a mixture of dynamics, musicality, tricks, and grooves, Iphlow creates an original style of body movement customized to all ages. To the amazement of all at PQ, not only did Iphlow perform their gravity defying moves, they also managed to teach choreography to small groups of students. These groups then performed the choreographed dance they had just learned in front of the entire assembly audience.
Shelley Grasinger heads the PTO Assembly committee and helped arrange for Iphlow to fly to North Salem from their home base of Miami for the assembly. "I was really impressed by how well this group related to the kids, meeting them where they are: enthralled by TikTok stardom, familiar with Fortnite dances; and using this connection to get the kids dancing," Grasinger said. "Their message was simple and powerful: everyone has their own move, we're behind you, everyone is a star."
Iphlow received rave reviews from PQ students across all grades. Kindergartener Samuel LaRoccasaid, "It was so cool. I really liked when the dancer did the robot. [My friend] David got to participate and he did awesome." Second grader Magali Grasinger said, "It was the best dancing ever, my favorite was the backflip!"
Parker Puchir, a third grader at PQ, was one of the volunteer dancers and had high praise for the assembly. "I thought it was fun and very entertaining," Puchir said. "The best part was definitely dancing. The energy level was very high." Patrick Fitzgerald, a fourth grader at PQ, was also thoroughly impressed. "I thought the assembly was really, really good," Fitzgerald said. "I liked the dances that they were performing. My favorite was the moon walk. That was pretty sick."
It was not just students who gave Iphlow glowing reviews. Fifth grade teacher Deborah Oswald was very impressed by the performance. "The hip hop assembly was the best one I've ever attended!" Oswald said. "The students were completely engaged, as well as the staff! Thank you to the PTO Assembly Committee for bringing us such an exciting performance!"
Kindergarten teacher, Donna Ulrich, also had nothing but praise for the performance . "We were so happy to end the year with another fun and exciting assembly sponsored by the PTO," Ulrich said. "The group that came in engaged kids from all grade levels with awesome dance moves and great music. It was really fun to watch them teach PQ kids choreographed dances in a short amount of time." In Ulrich's class, the students continued the dance party in their classroom. "I saw smiles and heard screams from many of the PQ students," Ulrich said. "[The assembly] inspired my students to want to come back to the classroom and dance."
One of the hidden perks of these assemblies is the enthusiasm with which the students relay what they experienced to their parents. Monica Becerra's fifth grader, Sam, came home and told his mom all about Iphlow. "When my son told me one of the break dancers is Colombian and how great he was, I replied, 'I'm not surprised. I am Colombian, I know. We are dancers. Dancing is part of our culture.'"
Click below to view a photo gallery from the event. (all pictures taken by Sae Kim Ortiz).