White Ibiza.

Ibiza. What thoughts come to mind when you hear this name?
 
The first time I heard mention of Ibiza was reading it on album artwork for CD covers, back in the day of Tower Records, when CDs were sold in long, thin boxes rather than individually wrapped in cellophane. I remember seeing titles like Ibiza Nights! Or Ibiza lounge. At my young age, I had no idea what that meant. Just that it must be some crazy night club. And I think on some level it is ok to refer to Ibiza as some crazy night club. Seeing Ibiza written on so much music gave me the impression that it must the origin of all electronic dance music… or at least an incredible club somewhere to dance. I was probably sixteen.
 
But there is so much more to this Island.
 
If New York is the city that doesn’t sleep, I don’t know what to call this tiny unique Island off the coast of Barcelona in Spain. Dinner begins at 11 o’clock or even midnight, and the first clubs get under way at around one or two in the morning. It is one of the only places I have ever visited where not just a club, but all clubs, who’s tickets to get in range from $40-120, close at the time most people are getting up for work in the morning. Much of Spain is like this with the eating though and I always ask myself, what on earth are people doing between the hours of 5PM to midnight that they will intentionally choose to eat this late? At least for the first time in my life I could understand the purpose of building a siesta into the middle of the day in Spanish culture. How else could one possibly function?
 
Admittedly though I was surprised to find Ibiza, different than what I expected. If you haven’t been before, pause for a moment and imagine what you think it would look like in your mind. My only expectation was that I would be landing on a tropical green and lush landscape with crystal clear aquamarine blue waters, much like arriving in Hawaii or the Maldives. This however is really not the case. There is nothing tropical or lush at all about Ibiza other than that it is surrounded by the ocean on all sides and the water is in fact on occasion, warm. Appearance wise, it’s more like an extension of Barcelona or other Spanish cities. Except in so many other unique ways, it’s not.
 
In terms of getting around, I’ve got to say that learning foreign languages early in life, feels like one of the the best decisions I’ve made. I have been at a total loss in Holland, Austria and Germany, but in Spain or Italy, I practically feel right at home. And here they speak such a clean, beautiful Spanish. I’ve been thrilled to see that all of the slang and foul language that is rampant in California, simply doesn’t exist here. I’m sure there are words for such depraved expressions but much of this stuff here has no meaning, which means even if you say an offensive word, you’re not being offensive at all, you’re just not understood.
 
When I was in Italy, the Italian came back almost like riding a bicycle. Eighteen years of not speaking it, save texting and emailing for my company, and yet when I got off the plane in Rome and felt that sweet melodical rhythm in my ears, I knew I was in the right place. Similarly, this was the case in Spain but it did not come quite as easily. Over the next few months I hope to have a much stronger command over Russian!
 
But we’re in Ibiza now and the sun and temperature is piercing. It’s so hot that you’re inspired to do little else apart from sleeping, eating and beaching. Being in a car with no a/c feels like you’re in the mojave desert at high noon. People here therefore miss no opportunity to wear as little as possible, and somehow, dehydrate themselves and drink as much alcohol as possible.
 
The water in some parts does in fact have that slight azure blue tinge and these days it does feel warm as bath water. But the difference here, is that topless for men and women – and in some cases bottomless seem to be perfectly acceptable. Couple that with an almost never ending pulse of electronic music and you’ve got a recipe for an endless summer. Whether you are walking on the beach, passing by touristy stores or in beachside restaurants, the pumping of electronic never ceases.
 
A couple super sweet Dutch girlfriends helped me get to the island by finding a place for us for the first day. This leads of course to some acro and meeting one of their other friends who was just an unbeleivably kind and friendly guy. He was one of those guys who seems like very little ever bothers him, yet he still possessed the fiery latin personality. “Rey” seemed well connected and liked and people often deferred to him and respected him, so it felt like we fell in with the right crowd. He’s also a musician, producer and DJ. So, before we knew it, almost from the moment we met, he took us into his world and began to show us some of the best parts of Ibiza.
 
The day we met for instance he took us clear across the island to a huge drum circle and gathering. Hundreds of people gathered on a rocky beach as the sun began to set. This was also the place where I met one of Europe’s foremost surgeons. A small and curvy bleach blonde woman, who every time I saw her did not have a cup, or a glass but a full bottle of alcohol in her hand. Sometimes two. Sometimes more for later. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything like it. Here is a woman who must be unfathomably precise with her hands yet, in her spare time promotes the Ibiza lifestyle like nobodies business.
 
Anyhow, of course it didn’t end with the drum circle. We we’re then whisked off to yet another part of the island that was said to have a high vibration and energy field. A vortex if you will. That was where the picture below was taken. We spent a good amount of time here, observing the beauty of the world, and aside from people’s phones not working, and mine beginning to consume 4x the amount of data it should have from being in this funny vortex, it was really quite remarkable to witness.
 
The next day, my Dutch friends and I had finally found an airbnb that seemed really clean and luxurious but little did we know, because we weren’t with our friend, that we were at Playa D’embossa. Seconds away from where ALL the nightclub activity happens and frankly neither of our first choice had we known. It worked out to be a great spot though and on the one nights, after a visit to his apartment and gifting me his double CD he produced and created, dubbed “Sex on the Beat,” our friend Rey, invited us to a club. We practically walked right in. Aaaand shortly after, we were ready to walk right out.
 
Now I love good music, and I enjoy loud music. But this… this volume was like nothing I had heard before. Ear piercing, almost ear splitting and no matter where you stood, it was all the same. How were people not covering their ears? It was so utterly, unbelievably loud. Even screaming into someones hear made it difficult to hear them and it was painful! We tried different rooms and still it was the same. I think we wound up in the roof area where Minority Report was being screened in a little room. I sat on the couch and watched Tom Cruise. Suffice it to say that my clubbing experience was short lived. I am glad I got to see some of the places and experience what it was like but, no need to repeat.
 
Now, other days were spent finding beaches with rocks to leap off of into clear blue water or hitting a daytime beach party where Rey was DJing. I’m not into the party scene but I did enjoy briefly getting swept up into his world. In acrobatics, we move and inspire people individually or perhaps in tiny groups. But being a DJ, it seems like you get to move and excite the masses. The beat drops and people just lose it.
 
I remember being out at around 11 at night and overhearing a bartender ask some girls where are you going? They answered that they had just been to one place and now going to this other one. He said no, no, no, what club are you going AFTER that, and after THAT? (!!!) That one sentence was indicative of the culture here at Playa D’Emboss, but I did quickly tire of music culture lifestyle (I know that’s sacrilege to some of my friends on here) in this particular area and finally, thanks to the help of my another German friend, was able to discover a cleaner part of Ibiza, the port, or the old part of town as it were.
 
Apparently this is where all supermodels are bred. And not just women. I have never seen so many well groomed, tall, muscular men with perfect hair, stubble, confidence and euro charm in one place in my life. They seem to mirror the tall, overly confident, boobs in your face, tan women everywhere. EVERYONE seems to be fit, in their colorful nike’s, jeans rolled and tank tops. Women too took license to dress more scantly of course.
 
I remember stopping at a raw restaurant called “Don’t Panic if it’s Organic” – a restaurant I simply had to check out because that was the name of one of my mix tapes back in my raver days when I was 18, created by a DJ named Simply Jeff. I think he was referring to a different type of organic plant matter though. Here again, pick the prettiest woman and most attractive guy you can imagine and these were the restaurant owners- from Norway I believe, I don’t mean to dwell on appearance, but much like seeing a fawn or a gorgeous landscape you can’t help but notice it.
 
Yet here in the marina, even in this more Elegant™ part of town, we were not fully away from the clutches of the music scene, but what was here, was certainly much more tame and palatable. But even here, half naked girls in heels and boots along with dancing men carrying a trolly with a booming speaker would make their way to every open air restaurant they could, music pumping, doing dance routines and promoting the club they worked for. Then the cries would come, “A donde vamos esta noche???” “Amnesia!!!” or “Space” or “Privilege!!”
 
Now even in this “maritime” part of town — which felt a little like being in Greece with all the little white buildings and warm island atmosphere — everywhere you turned, the music continued, just at a more reasonable version of loud. Music burst out of every restaurant, everyone was eating outside, everyone in sandals. People everywhere. And people seemed genuinely happy here. Streets so crowed you had to just slowly make your way down and take in the sights. The warm air from the water gently blowing over my skin, little shops that sold clothing that draped over you like soft gauzy linen… This was more my speed and truly every night I spent here, there was a palpable positive atmosphere. Great food, great energy and you could dance in the streets, shop, sing and get lost in this White Ibiza.
 
Food wise, it took time to find something really good, so when my German friend Constanze, helped me find my spot, I made my ritual to dine here time and time again, even branching out to try their other locations in other parts of the island. “Passion cafe” it was called. About 100 smoothies and exotic drinks on one side of the menu and everything from hormone free, humane meats, vegetarian, vegan and raw food on the reverse. It was an oasis amidst all of the french fries and papas bravas so commonly found on a Spanish menu. Deep fryers and and burgers were replaced with goji berries, nuts, coconut water, kombucha, fresh baked goodies and elixirs.
 
I ate there several times in a row until towards the end of my stay yet another AcroYogi friend pulled me out of my Passion and to yet another part of the island. The hippie side if you will. You see there are a few parts to Ibiza… the part where the locals live, the crazy party side, the marina area where both families and the young and well to do hang out, and then this almost polar opposite side compared to the clubbing where people happily and consciously live in trailers and tents, and sometimes flat out camp while connecting to the universe. It’s actually hard to imagine two such cultures can co-exist on the same small place, but it’s very nice to see and contrast is after all how we decipher what we really want and is what creates extremes in life.
 
So we go to another beach to meet up with some of her girlfriends and practice AcroYoga It wasn’t a nude beach per se but here even some of the men let their manhood swing freely. I might have considered stepping up to bat, but I could not for the life of me figure out how how to maintain my usual abundant length when coming out of chilly water… some however had mastered this unnatural feat and you could see on their face they were proud of it.
 
Nevertheless we picked a random open spot near the ocean to lay our things down and shortly after the other girls came. But before they did- and of all the people in the world to lay our towels down next to, there sat a professional circus hand balancer, who incidentally also knew my friend! Immediately hand to hand ensued and we were pleased to see we could both base and fly each other through some advanced tricks. Its nice and unusual to come across someone like this. I’ll try to find a shot of me basing him in the pretzel. Then of course more acro with the girls on a sunny day in Ibiza. They spoke to me of workshops and more upcoming Ibizan retreats they were having right on the island and it all sounded very tempting.
 
Later that night we attended a moment workshop lead by a well known French guy. I love when I happen to be in town when someone important is in town and I get to experience something I would otherwise never get to do while living in California. Of course we have it all in the US but there are still countless people and teachers and doctors and movers and shakers who will never make it over to the US. This was so different than clubbing- he helped us get into our bodies, free up restrictions and discover an internal freedom that stuck with me for some time.
 
When you travel like this and are not sure where you are sleeping next, where you will go next and how you will get there, somehow, someway – due in no small part to the good will and generosity of others, things do work themselves out. I am happy that I purposely spent so many years doing things on my own and exploring things by myself to figure out how to be comfortable like this. That trusting and that knowing, which needs constant practice, has been a valuable part of my journey. But we do need people, and I was in fact able to catch a ride by someone who happened to be going in a similar direction. He was the only one. So he took me 40 minutes out from the middle of nowhere and dropped me off again, of course, in the Marina where I lazily found my way home but not before one final dinner on the water.
 
Eventually though it came time to finally leave Ibiza and make my way back the alternate universe known as the rest of Europe. After all, long can you really stay in a place where Paris Hilton earns up to one MILLION dollars in an evening for one DJ set? About a week to ten days I’d say. Well, it’s always a treat to not have to go to an airport, check luggage, pay for luggage and so forth. I love trying out different means of transportation so I bough myself a ferry ticket back to Denia, a neighboring city, 3 hours away by boat in Spain where my close chiropractic friend lives with his family.
 
First class was something absurdly reasonable like 5 Euro extra so I sat in the quiet part of the boat while hundreds or perhaps a thousand tourists made their way back in the back. Some other hollywood classic was playing on the screens dubbed over in smooth Spain Spanish so I watched bemused for a while and then drifted off as the sun set on this island and I finally reached land.
 
And that my friends was a week in the life of Ibiza.
 
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The Dance Story

Late at night, when I was very young I used to sit in my room and watch the Arsenio Hall show – one of the more fun talk shows of the early 90′s.  During commercial breaks I’d turn the volume down and would slowly pump out max reps of pushups and sit ups until the next guest came out and this was my crash course in working out my body. I wanted a chest.   Afterwards, a show called In Living Color would come on. If you don’t remember this very unique television experience, it was a loud and playful sketch comedy TV series that ran on Fox in the early 90s. It’s where the Wayan’s brothers and Jim Carey got their start as well as Jennifer Lopez and several others.  During the breaks and between skits, “The Fly Girls” and other dancers would come out and do these outrageous hip-hop dance numbers.

At the time, I simply did not know how to dance. I was a wall flower at school dances and only looked on in envy as people did. Maybe I shouldn’t say I didn’t know how to dance, as much I just had no clue what to do and never had anyone show me anything. I was comfortable with my body but did not know how to move and groove it.  Well, this show, and specifically those performances along with the music videos from MTV when MTV actually stood for Music Television, planted a seed so deeply in my soul that never stopped growing.  HOW DO I MOVE MY BODY LIKE THAT? That was the question.  How do I look so cool? So powerful?  And (given the era)so sexy?  I wanted desperately to learn… but no one I knew could move like that or groove like that.  The odd thing was, I had no frame of reference to even try it out. No friends who could do it, no dancer acquaintances, no local dance class to give it a shot and no way to even practice it.  Movement was just totally off my radar.  Plus my gymnastics training taught me to be tight and solid, not free.  My musical tastes were an odd collection of Elvis Presley and the 2 Live Crew, I probably had braces at the time and my clothes weren’t nearly baggy enough. Plus I tucked in my shirt a lot. It would have seemed like a hopeless situation.

Fast forward nearly a decade – and still no hip-hop training, and I am living in Santa Monica going to a gym called Bodies in Motion. For the first time EVER, I see that they have hip-hop as a class being offered on schedule. I thought for sure it would be some silly watered down gym version of dance aerobics but to my shock and amazement I could not have been more wrong. This was what I was searching for. Real dance with real dancers!   I remember three names: Paul, Lisa Kellogg and the famous Leslie Scott. All three of these people could move! My God they could move. Paul, actually had a live DJ come in and spin records live, while we danced. Lisa was a super high energy fun and playful who moved shockingly well,  and Leslie who blew my mind with her ability to hear every piece of musicality in a song and accent it with dance.

Ten years hoping to discover this and finally I found something that filled my every expectation. There was only one thing left to do… DANCE! And that wasn’t as easy as I thought. I had essentially never moved my body like that before.  The desire was there, the excitement was there, and it was in a safe learning environment but now my body had to catch up with the desire. It wasn’t easy and I worked my butt off.  At UCSB and UCLA when I was in college,  I dabbled in Jazz, Modern and Ballet, but none of these were particularly useful when it came to hip-hop.  Hip hop broke every rule. Feet were flexed rather than pointed, knees were bent rather than straight, the beat was down rather than up.  Luckily I had also enrolled in a 3 month African Dance class that had transformed me into a new person that somewhat prepared me for the ride.    I was also able to take about 20 or so classes at bodies in motion before my life changed before my eyes again and I was whisked off to live in Italy for a year… for the second time.

In Italy alongside teaching English, I decided to tell the staff at the gym near me in Rome, aptly named “Body Touch,” that – wait for it – I was a hip-hop dance teacher… From the United States… From California… From Los Angeles… And that was all it took to get my foot was in the door and start teaching classes. What was I thinking?  I would make up wild and silly hip-hop routines on the roof of my apartment in Rome amidst cupolas and ruins, with the fresh scent of newly washed linens hanging over clothes lines wafting in the air. Another gym caught wind of this class and asked me to teach at their gym as well, one named “Soul Body” (names not changed for anonymity) and that was how I got my start teaching dance. Turned out I had quite a knack for it, considering my narrow training history and the fact that I was teaching in Italian!  I did this for nearly a year before moving home to Los Angeles to start my company.

While I was growing my business right around 2001-2002, I was also a Certified Personal Fitness Trainer at 24 Hour Fitness in Camarillo, about an hour outside of LA.  I was excited to have discovered a a hip-hop class there, and had taken a couple classes – perhaps my 22nd actual hip hop class ever – when one fateful evening the teacher flat out did not show up. Class was cancelled indefinitely and they had no replacement. Still, way out in the boonies of Thousand Oaks and Camarillo, no one really knew how to do it or how to teach it.  Again, I don’t know what I was thinking, but I immediately approached the Group X manager and said, “Hey! What’s required to take over the hip-hop class here?” To my surprise she said nothing about be needing to be a dancer or a dance teacher.  She simply said you need to be an employee of 24 Hour Fitness already and have a Certified Personal Training Certificate. Check and Check! I was in! The following week launched my first class in America and I was extremely nervous. Thoughts like, maybe I fooled them out in Italy but certainly they’ll see through my minimal training here, stuck with me for a while. But the class was a hit!  On the first night, I met a girl named Nicole Kirby,  who had infinitely more dance training than I ever had and we shared a strong dance connection.  She quickly became my dance partner and co-choreographer for a few months and helped me make up routines for a class that grew from a handful of people to upwards of fifty people in a room.

It was amazing. After a few months I wound up taking over the hip hop class at 24 Hour Fitness in Thousand Oaks as well as the one at Gold Gym, AmGen AmGym and another local gym called Angel City Fitness.  I wanted to change the face of gym classes and give everyone a chance to move and groove to great music, sweat, break out of their comfort zone and learn a little fun choreography. I was also learning so much and was thankful for Nicole’s training she gave me on the side to clean me up.

About a year or two in to teaching I started dating a lovely girl named Sam, who also came to my class. One of the most powerful questions she ever asked me was, “Do you know we live 45 minutes away from the most famous dance and hip-hop studios in LA and all of California?”  Acting on that question changed everything for me. Within 2 days we drove down to LA and took our first class. And we had our asses handed us.  I got my first experience of real training.  It felt like every single person in the class was a trained, high level professional dancer except us.  It was powerful, intense, hard and I was nerve racking but I had to come back for more.  My training consisted of 1 class per week or whenever I could get down. It took about 4 hours time to take a 1 hour class with all of the driving.

One fateful night I stumbled into Millennium Dance Complex and took a choreography class with someone by the name of Shane Sparks. 200 people in a dimly lit dome building moving in the most sexually attractive way my eyes had ever witnessed.  Chest pops, hip thrusts, powerful body language, booty shaking and popping for men and women, boys and girls and even 9 year old who could dance circles around anyone else in the class. The music he used was bangin’ and always intense and loud. Every single one of his moves took my breathe away. How did it do it? Is that what the kids learned growing up in Cincinnati Ohio? I was hooked. I drove down specifically to take one Shane Sparks class as often as I could and never looked back. Sometimes there was a sub and sometimes I’d branch out to the other well known dance mavens of the time (and also today) like Theresa Espinosa, Leslie Scott, Jason Wright, Nappy Tabs etc. but my heart and soul was set on Shane Sparks style of movement. One day I actually got the nerve to ask him to do a few privates with me and he said yes! Everything about that period of time in my life was magical.

I don’t know that I can accurately articulate how fun these classes at Millennium were for me and for my friends at the time. Not just learning to really dance but learning to move in a highly charged way that was exciting.  There was nothing like it in the world for me. That period of my life post Italy was so powerful for me and for those around me that a good portion of the videos on my website are from that era when I was just discovering hip-hop, funk, crunk, deep seated pops, rolls and powerful movement.  They are fun videos of the dance classes I taught at 24 Hour Fitness and Gold’s Gym. Check them out!

After this period for a few years I slowed down on the dancing. I had several other interests, traffic was ever worse and my business kept me busy too.  I just wasn’t able to get into LA as much any more for a few years and I had opened up my own little private dance studio space to play and teach in. I had also run into Leslie Scott on my birthday during this period and booked a handful of privates with her as well one year. But for 2 years straight I intended to move to LA. But I couldn’t find the ideal spot.

When I finally discovered and moved to Studio City, a spot that could not be more perfect for a dancer, I dove back into training. Classes several times a week was like a dream. I was at Millennium, Debbie Reynolds, EDGE and IDA, by myself, with friends, with new friends… As much as I could.  I tried to balance it with my love for other things I was training like AcroYoga, riding my Ducati and gymnastics.  Serendipitously, a year or so after being here, I was in the 24 Hour Fitness North Hollywood of all places and who do I bump into?  Shane Sparks! I could not believe it. We connected and I asked if we could do some privates together again. We did and have continued to do some here and there and every time I am flooded with the emotions from I first learned this style of dance.  Doing privates at my own house opened up a new world for my dance abilities.

Around the same time towards the end of 2011, I found my way into the dance class of one Kennis Marquis.  During my first few classes with him he kind of reminded me of a General – like one in the marines you don’t want to mess but wearing Tim’s, a do-rag, and moving with one of the most spectacular dance / urban funk / hip-hop styles I had ever come across. Every single body movement this Kennis possessed not only looked perfect, but also sexy, aggressive, controlled and yet fluid, and relaxed, and on top of it all, he looked like he wasn’t even trying. His head, his shoulders and neck, and chest, arms, legs and feet all moved the way they should, with one movement easily following the next. How was he so smooth?  For many years I have heard talk of this guy but had somehow totally missed his class.  He has choreographed for MTV, P. Diddy, Ludacris, Ciara, Brittany and L.L. Cool J to name a few. He’s a heavyweight in the industry and actually got his start back in the say with MC Hammer!

I took three classes with him. In the first and second classes I asked him a couple clarification questions about his routine after class. The third class I did the same and he handed me his card.  Wow, really?  I immediately booked a private. On the first class he was quick to let me know that there are very few people  he’ll work with and often turns down privates if people aren’t committed.  He informed me that he’d even hand my money back if he felt like my heart wasn’t in it. I had never heard that before but I was not concerned because I knew my commitment level. We started a series of privates that continue to this day every few weeks at my place and also developed a close friendship.  He’s one of the friendliest easy to get along with guys that I know.

Now, Kennis introduced me, and a lot of LA to something that is so elusive, so hard to find, so rare, that I only know of 3 people in all of LA who can offer it and can consistently give a great experience doing it.  It’s called GROOVES! What is a groove?  For me, a groove is a simple, not terribly technical movement or series of movements that repeat and that can easily do in your own body to catch at beat and ride it.  Generally it may repeat on both sides like a simple step touch, step touch, or grapevine, or a rock forward, then rock back.  A groove can be as easy as rocking your hips from side to side in an attractive way, or as complex as keeping tempo with your foot, while your arms circle at half time, while your head and neck add flavor to the musicality. A groove can be bobbing your head up and down while bending your knees, or a steady side to side rock. There are countless and endless numbers of grooves the human body can do.  In sum, mastering grooves, gets you dancing and moving and gets you comfortable in your body. Plus it’s sustainable!

Naturally I latched on to grooves like there was no tomorrow. Kennis teaches a grooves class every Saturday at Debbie Reynolds in North Hollywood but all of our privates to this day – and in fact I just did one right now while writing this story – focus 90% on grooves.  I can’t get enough. You can groove to rap and hip hop, or funk, or jazz or pop or anything that inspires you to move.   Why do I take up so much time to tell you about this? Because Grooves teach you how to actually MOVE your body. Grooves teach you how to dance. It’s not choreography. I can’t tell you how many dozens of classes I have taken and had a blast in and loved but learned absolutely nothing other than how to do 8 very specific 8 counts the way the teacher showed me. Grooves give you something to take home. Grooves help you move in a club, or with a friend, or feel comfortable at a pool party. Everything is grooves! They have made me so powerful in my dancing and so precise. They have made me so comfortable in my own skin and have helped me get to know my body in ways I have always wanted.

So it goes to follow that I specialize in grooves and natural body movement as well. I have made it my life. Every chance I get I like to catch a groove. At Whole Foods, in the kitchen, on a date… Grooves have changed my life, and countless professional dancers have come back to Grooves class- after being on tour with the biggest names in the dance world, and said, “I’ve got to get to grooves class- nothing gets me prepared for going on tour like grooves.” If that’s the effect it has on professional dancers, and it’s totally accessible, imagine the effect it will have on you.

And so here we come full circle… a story about a boy who dreamed of learning how to dance, who took dance classes and then taught dance, to training and unearthing secrets about movement and now being able to both perform for you or train you too!  You truly can do it. And if you can’t I’ll be in your movie or video.   In the AcroYoga community I am known for using grooves as a warmup to get the blood and fun factor going before practicing Acro and flying. I am pushing the boundary between fun playful movement and the still practice of yoga. If learning how to really move your body resonates with you, and you’d like to learn the real stuff… not a few ‘dance moves’ or choreography that leaves you no where after you learn it, come talk to me.  If you really want to feel comfortable in your own body- let’s shut up and Dance!

Groove

I think Britney Spears said it best: “There’s only two types of people in the world, the ones that entertain, and the ones that observe…”

I think it’s also safe to assume, that almost everybody fits somewhere in here:

1. Those who can dance and love to dance
2 Those who think they can dance and love to dance
3 Those who can’t dance but wish, even if secretly, that they could dance, to at the very least their favorite music.

For some it’s swing in ballroom, for others they are feisty Salcedo’s or enjoy some Latin beats, others still love the grind of hard-hitting hip-hop, and of course we have our New Age friends who insist upon a free-flowing hodgepodge random frenetic movement. Whatever your relationship is to dancing, I believe inherently that everyone either enjoys it or wishes they could do it.

Interestingly, at some point in our lives, usually from three onwards, we find ourselves a situation such as a wedding, a party, or a get together, where we are required to move our bodies. I think for most of us, this is got to be a very strange and unusual experience. For some, depending on your age, it might’ve even been a terrifying one. You look around, and you see a very interesting mix: those were flailing about to give you the feeling that you would want to be caught dead looking like them, those who know what they’re doing, and make you feel completely inept, does he play cool against the wall, those were just shaking her by little bit… What is one to do?

Where does one actually learn how to dance proficiently? Your instinctual answer might be the dance studio. And certainly there are those who’ve been putting Dancence the age of three or six, who can dance circles around us. For the most part however it seems as though almost all classically trained dancers, while they’re able to give a breathtaking performance on the stage, still feel reticent to shaker but on the dance floor. In fact I would say most people, classically trained, train down the street, train it home by family, not trained, or just a free-flowing type person feel some sort of apprehension at the idea of moving your body to music in a public place.
All R&B and hip-hop music today for instance absolutely insists on drinking several shots of Patrone before the party actually gets started.
But where does one actually learn the skill to successfully, comfortably and attractively move on the dance floor in a way that is appealing to oneself and others? Where do you learn to groove.

This is actually a very elusive question. I for one and seen many people take dance classes for years, myself one of them, and still feel relatively unsuccessful at being able to always move well in a social setting.
There are countless different styles of dance, and countless ways to execute each of them as well as an entire new chapter of dance called freestyle which basically means do whatever the hell you want to do. We are all drawn to different types of dance, my personal taste steers clear of modern, ballet, and Jazz, and has a heavy emphasis towards pop and hip-hop. Don’t ask me why, it’s always been something that moves me. Maybe it’s the beat, the sexual overtones, and the wages feels like it you’ve got to move. I won’t say that it’s my favorite type of music to listen to, but when it comes to dancing, I feel very few types of music are actually appropriate for moving your body. African, pop, and hip-hop, and R&B all seem to fall into the category of music that has a beat, that is inspiring to dance to.

To be continued

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