Ballroom meets Hip Hop

dancers performing

Ballroom Dance Champions Garry and Rita Gekhman surprise the crowd

Ever notice how when you notice something, you seem to see it everywhere?  A while back I wrote a series of posts about fusion dance, a phenomena in which two different dance styles are “fused” together. Last week on my facebook page  I added recent example of Swango that was particularly beautiful.  No sooner did I post it than I found an example of a fusion dance that was totally new to me, and I suspect nearly everyone else as well. It is from 1004, but this is the first time I’ve seen it!  There’s an ironic twist in this because it fuses The Robot, a street dance, with competitive ballroom.  The irony is that street dancers, polar opposites of formal ballroom, might describe ballroom dancers as “stiff” and “robotic”.  Rarely do you see dancers so well versed in vastly different styles.  Their clever combination is a delight.  You can tell by the voice over comments that they brought the house down when they performed this fusion for a ballroom audience.

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By LaurieAnn Lepoff

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Go Viral Learning to Dance in a Year!

Karen poses

Karen Cheng, poster girl for “Practice something for 100 days!”

There is a great video going around about a young woman who learned to dance (really well) in just a year.  There is also a website encouraging people to accomplish any dream by focusing on it for 100 days.  If you go there, you’ll see lots of people taking a video of their progress on a daily basis for a host of different endeavors.

Dancer Karen

Karen Cheng had always wanted to learn the challenging robot like moves of hip hop.  Following the hundred day plan, she made so much progress that she kept going after her 100 days.  Although nobody ever really masters dance, in that we can always get better, it took Karen a year to reach a place of ease in this remarkable dance form.

Because people think she must have been dancing for years to be that good, she made this video to show her progress over a year and yep!  It went viral!  How did she do it? Well, she started with a dream, something she was personally motivated to do.  She committed to it, both in the study (classes, and private lessons) and in the practice.

She found teachers whose dancing she admired and hired them to work with her.  Then she did the work.  She put in the time and practiced.

What her dance year teaches us

She embodies two things I’ve been telling my students for years.  It’s not natural talent that makes an exceptional dancer.  It’s love.  If you love it, you’ll do it until you get it and anyone can get it eventually if they are committed enough.

And the second thing?  Take private lessons first.  Learn to do it right at the beginning and you’ll save a lot of time not having to unlearn what you thought you learned from your group class teachers.

Karen’s journey is truly inspirational.  I hope it inspires a lot of future dancers who thought they could never learn to dance to give it shot after all!  If you haven’t seen it yet, see for yourself why it went viral!

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by LaurieAnn Lepoff

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