Santiago Hip Hop Interview


Imari McGhee, Staff Writer

With dedication, hard work, long hours of conditioning, and continuous reps, the Santiago Hip Hop team repeatedly gives their all to end up feeling like they are getting little in return. With this being said, I decided to sit down with a few of my fellow teammates from our very own Santiago High School Hip Hop team, Nicole Hatton (11), Camryn Woods (11), Kayden Martinez(11), Kristen Hazely (10), Bree Rodriguez (9), and Rylee Butler (9) to find out what they had to say and this is what they said.

The question was asked, “How do you feel the school portrays Hip Hop”?

As a representative of the Hip Hop team, I can proudly say that the girls on the hip-hop team, including myself, Imari McGhee (11) believe Hip Hop is portrayed as a well-respected sport. For instance, Camryn Woods (11) feels that “the school portrays the hip hop team as a fun hype group. All of the students love when hip hop performs and everyone is always super supportive in the crowd.” However, Bree Rodriguez (9) feels as if the Hip Hop team is “portrayed as ghetto, but the fact is we are not.” People feel as if the Hip Hop team is seen as too confident or cocky for many reasons: how the Hip Hop team carries themselves on and off the field, whether it be socially and or academically, because of the music to which we perform, how some of our dances may not be viewed as “age-appropriate”.  No matter what the reason may be, I can assure you, we are very professional when we walk on and off the field.” Kristen Hazely (10) feels as if the Hip Hop team is “the mean girls of the performance groups and perceived as b*****s but honestly I think we are the most supportive of everyone and want to see them do well!”  People (parents, clubs in the school, and even some of the staff members/coaches at Santiago) feel as if the Hip Hop team is seen as cocky or too inappropriate for many reasons.  We are very professional when we walk on and off the field no matter how people may envision us being.

Another question is being asked of the hip-hop team which is, “Do you feel as if the Hip Hop team is being used and not appreciated”?

Camryn Woods (11) says “I feel like the students appreciate the team more than the staff. The school overall provides many opportunities for us to perform, but in my opinion, it feels as if the staff members are more accepting of other performance teams.” Rylee Butler (9) says, “I feel like the Hip Hop advisor is amazing, and I love her leadership role with the team. On the other hand, I feel as if the coach needs to work on organization skills and leading the team.” For example, the coach for the Hip Hop team can in fact be more supportive and concerned for the well-being of the team. To be more understanding towards the girls and to not be as hard and or strict when it is being directed towards missed practices, bathroom runs, important family matters, outside sports practices, and academic tutoring.  At the end of the day, if no one else has the Hip Hop members’ back, we always have each other to rely on. With this being said, some of the coaches do treat the girls of the club in a non-supportive way. The girls on the team feel as if the staff that committed their time to run Hip Hop does not put in the effort into shaping Hip Hop into a better, well-respected union. The girls think that the leadership in Hip Hop is being misused and they not using their title to help Hip Hop or support the girls, but are in fact just holding their title to just wear on their shoulder and to use for “bragging rights” for different contests and performances.


“Do you feel like you are in a safe environment”? 

Kayden Martinez (11) says “Yes, I do feel like I’m in a safe environment. All the girls are so welcoming and kind to each other. They support everyone and everything and uplift each other.”  


“What do you want to see changed regarding the school and the team”?

Kristen Hazely (10) also says, “ I would like to feel as if we are accepted a little bit more, don’t get me wrong there’s a lot of staff and students that love us but there is a separation between us and other performance groups of how we are perceived, I feel.”


“Seeing and experiencing the way the coaches/advisors operate/run things, do you want to try out in the upcoming season of 2022”?

Nicole Hatton (11) says, “Seeing and experiencing the way the coaches/advisors operate/ run things, I do want to try out in the upcoming season. I am very thankful to be a part of the team and I can’t wait to experience new things in the upcoming season. I am extremely grateful to have been a part of an establishment that is filled with such an empowering group of girls.”

After interviewing these girls, we learned a lot about their different views and or opinions. We learned that there are multiple outlooks and sides to view when discussing the Santiago Hip Hop team. Changes must be made in order for the program to excel. Education always comes first. Not having the proper support system from all angles with being a high school student, a teenager, and a Hip Hop dancer, nothing and nobody will ever prosper without that level of concern and foundation. The Hip Hop team needs to be appreciated and recognized by all staff and members of the Santiago community. But, looking past all of the issues that need to be discussed among the members of the Hip-Hop board, if look past that, you can also see what the Hip Hop team should and do represent as young and powerful young women. There are many positive things that come from being a part of Santiago’s Hip Hop team, like gaining new and supportive friends that are not here to tear you down, but to uplift you. Also, it is an environment that is worth being invested in. A community of girls that are not only here to bring joy and excitement among the crowd’s faces, but are also here to let everyone know that is watching us perform to know that it is okay to express yourself, not only through dancing, but through literature, design, singing, robotics, gaming, band, theatre, writing, whatever it may be, to do whatever makes you happy and to not be ashamed of what you have been gifted to share with the world.