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Talk of the Town - Bootylicious January 22 2003

Dance like Britney! Or not.

When you hear the term "hip-hop dance," you might think of booty-shaking and pelvic thrusts, lots of bling-bling, maybe flashy cars. But it actually refers to the choreographed moves most often seen in pop videos and arena concerts featuring the likes of Britney Spears, 'N Sync and Janet Jackson. The dance form is as structured as ballet, jazz or modern dance. Practice, training and talent are needed to master a great routine.

As executive director of Culture Shock Atlanta, Kevin Maddox has transformed his passion for hip-hop dance into a vocation with young people in mind. In 1995, the local fitness instructor/choreographer was teaching classes off and on. Then he met a 16-year-old dancer who was involved with the Culture Shock affiliate in New York City. She inspired Maddox to found a Culture Shock branch in Atlanta in 1999. Since then, his troupe of 25-30 dancers has taken the program to middle schools, inner-city neighborhoods, colleges, youth programs, even churches.

To raise money to support the nonprofit youth outreach, Maddox offers weekly hip-hop instruction.

"People are working out and having fun," he says. "It's not just for dancers. We have everyone from college students to doctors and lawyers."

Eat your heart out, Britney.

Hip-Hop 'Til You Drop. $10. Thursdays 8:30 p.m. Peachtree Center Athletic Club, 227 Courtland St., 9th floor. Auditions: $10; Feb. 16, 1 p.m.; must be at least 18 years old to participate. 404-243-4900. www.cultureshockatlanta.org.