Kids hooked on Gangnam Style

Parents cringe but kids can't get enough of Gangnam Style.

Students at NRG Studios go Gangnam Style as a warm-up to the hip-hop class. Picture: GREG TOTMAN

Students at NRG Studios go Gangnam Style as a warm-up to the hip-hop class. Picture: GREG TOTMAN

And it's because of songs such as the worldwide "horsey" hit from Psy and LMFAO's "shuffling" Party Rock Anthem that kids are eager as ever to learn hip-hop.

"I put it [Gangnam Style] on and I swear there's some subliminal message that makes them go nuts," laughs NRG Studios co-director Samantha Reis.

"Primary aged kids never get sick of it, they keep doing it over and over. It's the biggest pump-up song for little kids.

"The parents think it's hilarious."

Reis says she gets her students to have fun with the moves as a warm-up to hip-hop classes.

"Anything that inspires kids to dance is a good thing," she says.

"It's good for kids to learn different styles of dancing."

Gangnam Style, for those who may have been living in a cave the past six months, has recently become the most viewed video on YouTube, with Korean pop star Psy doing comical horse-riding moves to a catchy beat and an occasional chorus. The dance style was invented to mock the pretensions of Seoul's wealthy citizens.

UK Prime Minister David Cameron, US President Barack Obama and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon have had dance lessons in the media and the song has spent months at the top of the music charts around the world.

Even sports people have got into the Gangnam act, with boxer Manny Pacquiao and tennis player Novak Djokovic doing the movesn.

Reis says although Gangnam Style isn't strictly hip-hop, it's a great song to make hip-hop more accessible to youngsters to encourage them to have a go.

"It shows that anyone can move, and it's fun and makes them relaxed," she says.

Although Psy's horse moves aren't considered to be proper hip-hop moves, they do draws youngsters to the world of dance.

Reis likens Party Rock Anthem and Gangnam Style to The Running Man fad of the mid-1980s, made popular by Janet Jackson in her video of hit Rhythm Nation and later by MC Hammer and Bobby Brown. That move involved hopping and sliding steps at a speed to simulate a runner.

"The shuffling [LMFAO] was great last year," she says.

"These kids that are influenced by dance crazes now ... they're the ones that are going to be up on stage in 10 years' time.

"Our hip-hop classes are huge."

Reis says there seems to be an equal number of girls and boys showing interest in the dance style.

"It's the dance shows on TV as well, and a lot love [Australian hip-hop group] Justice Crew," she says.

"The girls are into hip-hop and it's as popular as it's ever been."

Cheerleading is also popular, along with the different styles of hip-hop including commercial, old-school and street-breaking.


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