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Meet Refresh’s New Artistic Director: Grant Hou!

Name: Grant Hou

Year: Sophomore

Major: MMSS and Economics

Hometown: Wellesley, MA

When did you start dancing and which styles did you learn first?

I started ballroom dancing, the waltz and tango, in fifth grade, and I hated it. I quit a couple years later, and then I started hip hop dancing in 8th and 9th grade for fun. It became more serious when I was a sophomore in high school. I first tried to breakdance, but that failed because I was too weak. Then, I found popping and waving which are now my go-to styles. Currently, I want to to learn different techniques and maybe look into contemporary and other forms of hip hop as well.

Why did you want to join Refresh and what is your current role in the organization?

I wanted to join Refresh because when I decided to get serious about dancing and hone my skills. I didn’t have any dance friends, mentors or group to push me out of my comfort zone and help me become a better dancer. I knew at a school like Northwestern I could find a group like that, so I joined Refresh and Fusion. I wanted to join Refresh because everyone was just so friendly, and also there were so many diverse styles. They were really welcoming to a bunch of people who lacked experience with choreography and were new to hip hop.

I am the outgoing Education Chair and incoming Artistic Director. As Education Chair, I was mainly responsible for educating the crew, which meant helping anyone with questions about different styles, Refresh’s history, or the dance community. I also scheduled the Tuesday open classes that we hold every week. As Artistic Director, I will be responsible for keeping in touch with choreographers, building and connecting sets for the ReFusionShaka and Refresh shows, and cutting the music. Basically, I will be doing my best to make the show look cohesive and run smoothly.

Who are some of your favorite dancers or choreographers?
 
Anthony Lee for isolating and popping, Jawn Ha for isolating and hard hitting hip hop, Bam Martin for hard hitting hip hop, and Chris Martin for literally everything else. 
 
Have you ever watched any dance competition television shows? Do you enjoy them? 
 
I was actually first exposed to hip hop when watching America’s Best Dance Crew. I originally thought that it was just really cool, but I also realized that it required a lot of individual expression and freedom from each dancer. I have seen a couple episodes of So You Think You Can Dance, but I never knew which season I was watching. I think they are great ways to get people interested; it worked for me!
 
What else are you involved in on campus?
 
Dance and school take up a lot of my time, but I’m also in Sigma Nu.
 
What did you think of the Dillo Day artists?
 
I thought it was a really great, diverse lineup. The Mowglis were perfect for the vibe of the day. My personal favorite was Cashmere Cat because I knew who he was before he came here, and I have actually danced to a lot of his music. 
 
What are your summer plans?
 
I’m staying in Evanston, taking classes, and then going home toward the end of summer. I am also taking up an old internship that I did last summer and maybe traveling a little bit with the fam.
 
Why should people come see the Refresh show?
 
Come see Refresh because it’ll be lit, x-traordinary, x-citing, other x related puns, and for me! Actually, come see it because we have so many dancers that have worked so hard to put on an amazing show that I am incredibly proud of. You’ll get to see some acting, humor, and so many different styles. You’ll recognize a lot of the same dancers that you might’ve seen in Refusionshaka and Celebrasia, and you will notice how much they’ve improved and grown over the course of the year. That is what Refresh is really all about. 
 
Anything else you want to add? 
 
Come to the Refresh show, good luck on finals, have a great summer, and thanks for reading!

 

  Ariana is a Los Angeles native who is obsessed with fashion, celebrities, music, and food. She is a journalism student in Medill at Northwestern University who enjoys reading fashion and entertainment blogs and magazines. Ariana's favorite things to do are travel, explore Los Angeles, discover new music groups, and of course watch Gilmore Girls on Netflix. Ariana loves writing and sharing her experiences with you and hopes you enjoy reading her stories.   
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