Hip-Hop Hidden in Santiago

Photo courtesy of Power Peralta Facebook page
Photo courtesy of Power Peralta Facebook page

Tucked in a bizarre side street/parking lot combination near metro Manquehue is the unadorned entrance to Academia Power Peralta. The studio is modest and barely noticeable if you’re not looking for it, but inside the space comes to life.

With pulsing hip-hop beats reverberating throughout the studio, instructors passionately call out encouragements and constant choruses of “cinco, seis, siete, ocho” count in the dances, it is very easy to get lost in the chaos of this hectic environment. That is precisely what I decided to do on a Wednesday afternoon a few weeks ago.

Within Santiago's hip-hop community, Academia Power Peralta is renowned as a premiere space to learn the style from talented dancers. In 2011 the famed hip-hop dancers and brothers Gabriel and Raúl decided to launch four dance studios in Santiago, which collectively became known as Academia Power Peralta.

I was unaware of this reputation when I headed to check out the studio after a quick Google search for dance studios in my area, yet it quickly became clear why this place is like a second home for so many hip-hop enthusiasts.

After finding my way into the studio I waited along the walls with the other students for our 5 o’clock hip-hop introduction class. The class was made up of an eclectic group of pre-teen and teen girls in crop tops, a middle aged woman (noticeably not in a crop top), a few guys, and me. The instructor, Pato, turned on the speakers and began playing "Work It" by Missy Elliott. He then led us through a series of stretches (which was surprisingly fun with "Work It" in the background). After stretching, Pato guided us through various basic hip-hop moves for about 20 minutes and then we switched to learning choreography to Future’s "Too Much Sauce."

At the end of the class, Pato divided us into groups and we performed what we’d learned in front of the other students - a moment in which panic is completely understandable. But do not fear - it did not end up being a stressful activity. Usually there are at least five others in the group and everyone cheers you on.

Overall, the class was really fun and I’ve started going regularly because it is such a good workout to spice up the week. If you have never danced before definitely go to the regular hip-hop class first. If you are looking for a challenge, the studio also offers advanced classes in breakdancing, reggaeton, and more. The locations are throughout the city in La Florida, Apoquindo, Maipú, and Plaza Egaña so check it out if you’re looking for something new to try!

Other helpful tips:

• Classes are one hour with a water break somewhere in there.
• If you go to the Apoquindo location, make sure to walk around the back (where there is a parking lot), otherwise you will look like a clueless tourist knocking on the window of the studio like I did.
• Most people wear sneakers, sweatpants, and a t-shirt or tank top.
• If you are easily offended by rap lyrics and music this may not be the best option. They use almost all English artists and it is unedited.

Academia Power Peralta
Av. Alonso de Córdova 6144, Las Condes
Metro Manquehue
Open Monday-Saturday
CLP$6000 per class

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