Capital Funk and Capitol Movement

I’ve been hard at work at Joy of Motion Dance Center so haven’t had the chance to write as much as I would like to. Don’t be mistaken though! I am still taking class and attending dance performances all over the area. Last month, I cheered on Capital Funk at their 4th annual hip hop showcase Funk Academy. And last weekend, I was in the back row of The Kennedy Center’s Terrace Theater in awe of the amazing dancers of Capitol Movement. I thought it would be fun to do a side by side comparison to show you how diverse the DC dance scene really is. I keep telling you. There really is something for everyone.

Company & Concert Capital Funk: Funk Academy Capitol Movement Project: Layers
Performance Date Saturday, April 16, 2011 Saturday, May 14, 2011
Venue Lisner Auditorium, George Washington University Terrace Theater, The Kennedy Center
Ticket Price $10-$15 $60
What You Missed A showcase of hip hop artists including dancers, rappers, spoken word artists, singers and beatboxers A work in progress exploring the dynamics of the human experience through diverse styles of dance
What Made Me Smile Capital Funk performed two medleys. The opening number included Janet Jackson’s Pleasure Principle. The final number ended with Jordan Knight’s Give It To You! I’ve been to several shows at The Kennedy Center, but this was the liveliest crowd I’ve ever seen. I couldn’t help but smile at the loud cheering, whistling and clapping.
What I Could Have Used Less Of The MCs. They were funny, but made the program longer than necessary. Strobe lights and on stage bedroom scenes. A couple numbers were guilty of using these ‘effects.’
What I Would Like To Have Seen More Of Capital Funk! I was surprised that they only performed twice. I came to see you all dance : ) The Pre-Professional Company. They performed what I thought was the best hip hop piece of the night (choreographed by Luam).
What Made The Crowd Go Wild Culture Shock DC’s number during the second act of the show. When the dancers went back to their seats in the audience, their fellow performers were literally bowing as if to say ‘we’re not worthy.’ The Long Walk, a duet choreographed by Fidel Garcia and Stephanie Jojokian. People were really giving it up for one of the leads. She was preggers! The final number Salvation also ended the show on a high note.
What Else I want to give a shout out to the West Springfield Dance Team. Their Matrix inspired routine was scary, but sick. Holler at Joy of Motion Dance Center faculty members Ashley White and Sarah Mikels. You inspire me on stage and in the studio!
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danceDC Weekend Event Guide 09/03-09/06

Excited for Labor Day weekend! Hope everyone enjoys their day off. Who knew that Glen Echo Park had so many dance events? They’re listed below. And don’t forget – Capital Funk dance auditions this Sunday, September 5th at 6:30pm. If you haven’t already, read what Brad Sickels has to say about the company and what to expect during the audition process. Good luck to all the dancers!

Capital Funk Flier

Friday, September 3rd

Saturday, September 4th

Sunday, September 5th

Monday, September 6th

Capital Funk Dance Auditions Sunday, September 5th

Capital Funk hip hop dance team is holding auditions this Sunday, September 5th. Third year veteran Brad Sickels took the time to tell danceDC a little bit more about the group and what dancers can expect from Sunday’s auditions.

According to Brad, Capital Funk has been one of the most enriching experiences of his life and practicing with the team is always the highlight of his day. “It’s great to be part of a well-respected and FUN team that is really making a name for itself in the East Coast dance scene,” he said.

Who is Capital Funk?

Capital Funk is a group of extremely talented, dedicated and off-the-wall dancers. “Cfunk” as we call it is a giant family and anyone who joins is immediately adopted into that family whether they like it or not.

Capital Funk was created by a group of George Washington University students and is based at GW. However over the years, the team has opened its doors to the amazing talent of the DC community. Our team is now made up of about half GW students and half DC/MD/NOVA locals, which makes for quite the interesting dynamic. We perform frequently in the GW arena but have successfully branched out into the greater DC area. We also travel to compete all over the East Coast.

What type of dance do you do?

We’ve got so many talented individuals on the team whose styles range from botting and locking, to vogue, Baltimore club and house.We try and keep things fresh and evolving and it’s always been important to us to encompass different dance styles and techniques.

What dance background do most of your members have?

Everyone on our team is so incredibly different. For instance, there are several members on the team who are classically trained in modern and ballet and have been dancing since they could walk. We have dancers who have been doing hip hop for years, and have trained with amazing choreographers and instructors. But then, you have people on the team like me whose first time ever officially doing hip hop was at the Capital Funk audition. Capital Funk is unique in that we don’t ask for a dance resume at our auditions. We don’t require extensive training. We value talented dancers who are passionate about dance and our leaders realize that can come in ANY shape or form. We value diversity in every meaning of the word.

Where and how often do you perform?

Traditionally, our Fall season is comprised of local performances. These can include GW basketball games and events, local universities’ talent showcases/competitions, and promotional events. We spend a lot of the Fall term training, learning and growing together as a team.

Our Spring semester has traditionally been our competition season. In the past we’ve done two to three major competitions in the Spring, traveling to Boston, New York and New Jersey. We also hold our annual Showcase at the end of the Spring season. For this Showcase, we invite local dance crews and artists, as well as talent from other East Coast cities. Our Showcase has been very successful, bringing in a crowd of over a thousand last year.

Where and how often do you rehearse?

We hold regular practice two to three times weekly at a variety of locations. We rehearse at GW and also at DC Dance Collective in Friendship Heights.

What can people expect from the auditions?

They can expect to have a lot of fun! Auditionees will learn two combinations from different choreographers, and then perform them in small groups for the captains. Each group will include at least one Capital Funk member so you can ask for help and rehearse with them.  We then have an informal freestyle cypher, where dancers are given the opportunity to show off their own styles.

Any words of advice for people trying out?

I’d say take a class or two just to fine-tune your pickup. The best way to progress as a dancer is to be constantly learning. Joy of Motion has some pretty tight classes and DC Dance Collective offers a few varieties of hip hop.  Maybe spend a little time with your headphones in just free-styling. Our auditions are fun so be ready to have a good time!

The Deets

  • Capital Funk
  • Fall Dance Auditions
  • The Marvin Center Grand Ballroom – 800 21st Street NW; Washington, DC 20052
  • Sunday, September 5th at 6:30pm

Capital Funk Hip Hop Class at DC Dance Collective

I heard about hip hop dance group Capital Funk from some of my friends who saw them at The Main Event.  After watching the YouTube video below which shows their first place routine and doing some Googling, I found out that they hold weekly classes at the DC Dance Collective in Friendship Heights every Monday night at 730pm.  I had to leave about 40 minutes before class started to be there on time.  It was a short ride on the Metro (four stops from Dupont Circle to Tenleytown-AU) and about a 10 minute walk up Wisconsin Ave NW to the studio.

You walk downstairs to the basement of DC Dance Collective and down a long corridor full of old school recital photos to get to the front desk.  Since it was my first time at the studio, I paid $10 for the class and they waived the $15 annual registration fee.  If I do go back for another class though, I’ll have to pay up for class and the annual fee.  Luckily if you don’t carry cash around like myself, they also take cards.

After signing in, I went up two flights of creaky stairs to the third floor.  We were at the studio facing Wisconsin Ave NW, which was separated from the Flamenco class next door by a room divider.  Surprisingly though, the noise wasn’t an issue.

After a quick warmup of walks, turns and jumping jacks, Brad Sickels of Capital Funk taught a combination to ‘Bottoms Up’ by Trey Songz featuring Nicki Minaj!  Even though we only had about an hour, he was able to get through about six counts of eight.  The dance alternated from very fast to a moderate pace which made some parts more difficult than others.  He went over smaller sections multiple times though so it seemed like everyone had it down by the end of the class.  Since he had a lot more choreography for that song, he plans on adding to the combination next week.

At the class I went to, there were about seven people including two other Capital Funk members.  Brad said that turnout has been about four to seven people this Summer since most of their following (college students) is back at home.  During the year, it’s apparently packed so don’t be surprised if attendance shoots up come September.  If you like what you see, definitely try out their class and keep checking their Web site for upcoming audition information.

The Deets

  • Capital Funk
  • Intermediate Hip Hop
  • DC Dance Collective – 4908 Wisconsin Avenue NW; Washington, DC 20016
  • Mondays 730pm-830pm
  • $10 cash or card (plus $15 annual registration fee if you come more than once)
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