Angelica DeLashmette Hurst is a hybrid dance artist who is passionate about Hip-Hop/Street Dance forms and Modern/Contemporary dance forms and lineages. She aims to bring awareness, education, respect, and appreciation for Black vernacular dance through her artistic practice and pedagogical research. Recently her creative research has been focused within Western and Afro-Diasporic dance improvisational practices that are centered in the social moving body – examining how a responsive and conversational body (the mode of call and response) is activated both in practice and performance. She aims to interrogate choreographic structures, create cooperative group processes, and identify relational approaches for choreographic development. Hurst sees dance as a powerful art form that cultivates shared experiences and constantly reinforces the significance of meaning-making through the body. It is in her capacity to connect, collaborate and be in community with others that dance has had its most profound influence in her life. She is currently residing in Arizona and is on faculty in the dance programs at Arizona State University, Grand Canyon University, and Scottsdale and Mesa Community Colleges. She is the founder and Creative Director of Third Space Dance Project – a nonprofit organization that produces platforms for professional dance artists, creators and educators to present their creative work and research via a variety of programming such as festivals, performances, workshops, and ongoing community-centered classes and events. She is also the creator and host of The Artist Arena Podcast, a podcast for dance artists working in the dance field/industry. She is a member of Arizona’s renowned Jukebox Fam Crew, and creates and performs professional work as a freelance artist.
As a movement artist, I am interested in the process of inquiry in my creative work, and how I can speak to, and share that intimate process to the viewer. I see myself as a storyteller, telling stories that are personal, universal, and also unfinished. My story might be an investigation around time dimensions or discovering self-love. Whether it’s a theoretical idea or a personal journey, movement is the medium I access to make meaning of it. My creative process is often sparked by a feeling, question, idea, or curiosity I feel driven to examine. Sometimes the subject of the investigation is already happening in my life and movement then gives me the language to share it. I am interested in dance as a powerful art form that can challenge, relate to, and involve viewers intellectually and emotionally. I value movement that is intentional and speaks to the story I am telling. Any objects, sound, visual design elements, or other materials I use and choose to incorporate in my work are intentional and a part of the connecting thread through the work. I value collaboration in my creative process and cultivating an open dialogue among my collaborators around the source material for my work. I am currently interested in cross-disciplinary collaboration, and exploring the use of different mediums in my work.
My dance pedagogy is grounded in a commitment to teaching the whole person, not just dance steps. I am passionate about teaching with a holistic methodology that develops every student into a whole dancer as skilled technician, critical thinker, collaborator, and creator. I believe that dance offers a full body, spirit, and mind experience, and that dance education is an important factor in facilitating that experience. As a dance educator I strive to offer my students the opportunity to engage in the creative process, share, see, and respond. I believe in creating a supportive community and a safe learning space. I seek to challenge my students to go out of their comfort zone, but to also help my students feel and be successful. My goals as an instructor are for each of my students to increase their physical, social, emotional, and mental well-being through movement. I see my role as a dance educator as a facilitator of creativity, play, innovation, community, self-confidence, respect, and creating a space that builds character and develops a love for learning and exploration.
"Angelica is a passionate teacher who is eager to share her knowledge with students. She is high energy, knowledgeable and conscientious." - ANGELA ROSENKRANS, SCOTTSDALE COMMUNITY COLLEGE, Co-Director / Dance Department
"Angelica uses multiple engagement strategies in her class and takes into account multiple learning styles. She asks open-ended questions to encourage critical thinking and embodied understanding. Her class also facilitates collaboration allowing students to be active participants in their learning process." - BEKKI PRICE, GRAND CANYON UNIVERSITY, Director of Dance | College of Fine Arts & ProductionStudent Feedback | University of IOWA Beg/Int Hip Hop
What stands out the most to me is the constant support and acceptance that you give. One of the main reasons I joined this course was to feel more confident in myself and comfortably enjoy an activity I loved to do (dancing). You remind us each class that it is a safe place to express yourself and put all your feelings into the dance, You also accept each level all of us are at and adapt to it which makes me feel challenged, but not out of my ability to do so.
I was very unsure what I was getting myself into when I enrolled in this course, but I have found it to be one of the most enjoyable courses I have taken in my 4 years at The University of Iowa. I have come to recognize how much positive energy I gain from dancing. I also feel like I have become much more in touch with my body and more confident in expressing myself.
Throughout this course, I have learned a lot about Hip Hop Culture and dance styles and all that that entails...I believe my knowledge of Hip Hop has definitely been expanded, and I now look at this culture and these dance forms with a different perspective...
This course has had a huge impact on my idea and understanding of what dance is...I feel that I have become a more confident and well-rounded dancer. I learned a lot more about Hip Hop than I had anticipated, and I see Hip Hop differently now. I feel like I really benefited from this class physically and intellectually.
Coming into this class, I expected it to be like dance classes I have taken in the past, but it was definitely the opposite in the very best ways possible. Throughout this course my knowledge of Hip Hop has continued to be challenged and stretched every week. My main takeaways from this course is understanding Hip Hop Culture, where it originated from, what it includes, and how to respect it. This was my favorite course of the semester, and I loved everything about it, and will take many of the things I learned with me wherever my life takes me.
One of the main takeaways from this course is the history of Hip Hop. I knew that Hip Hop had to come from somewhere, but I never really understood where. I was able to reach my goal to become a more confident dancer and learn about the origins of Hip Hop and how it has evolved over time.
Angelica created a safe, supportive environment for all of us to work in that made me want to work harder in developing my goals and it made it easier to build my confidence. I think that having this dedication allowed me to grow in my dance to a level I didn't know I could.
I remember the feeling of panic I had at the beginning of the semester when I heard that there would be freestyle elements to this course. However, I had a lot of fun freestyling which came as a great surprise to me and I think it is a reflection of the safe and communal environment that was created for the class that allowed me to freely express myself.
Throughout the semester, I learned so much about where Hip Hop Culture originated and all the ways it is being appropriated today. With this knowledge, I have started to correct my own preconceptions and now I can help teach or educate others to distinguish between Hip Hop Culture and society's appropriation of it.
Throughout this class, I learned a lot about dance and the cultures in which a lot of the popular dances we know originated. I was really inspired by learning about the pioneers and watching other dancers and seeing how they move their body. A major takeaway for me is that I am way more comfortable in my own abilities and skin when it comes to dancing, and this course definitely helped me get to this point.
This class has allowed me to be free and creative in ways that I was never able to do in dance classes I had taken previously. I also learned a lot about the history and culture surrounding Hip Hop, so I now feel like I know how to appreciate and respect it when I am dancing and engaging in it. On top of that, I learned that there is always more that we can learn by listening to the voices of those who are the pioneers in the Hip Hop community. This may have been the most critical aspect of the class for me, as I really wanted to stay away from taking ownership of something that was not mine.