East Coast Dance Concert at Carter Barron Amphitheatre

Culture Shock DC and Mason/Rhynes Productions presented the 7th Annual East Coast Dance Concert at the Carter Barron Amphitheatre last night. Local crews including Virginia Hip Hop Academy, DCypher, as well as the various Shock groups performed along with visiting crews from Philadelphia, New Jersey, New York and Germany.

Before the doors opened around 630pm, performers and spectators freestyled at a pre-show cipher featuring DJs from LifeXHipHop. Here are a few clips from the action. There are more videos on my YouTube page. This is actually the only footage I have from the night since they don’t allow cameras into Carter Barron.

Culture Shock DC started off the night, followed by a group of young dancers from Virginia Hip Hop Academy. Philadelphia’s best hip hop group Point Blank made me laugh by incorporating sound bites from the movie Office Space and the YouTube sensation My New Haircut into their routine. The references and one move in particular were probably not as family friendly as the show claimed to be. Culture Shock’s D.C. Freestyle Team showed off their skills in breaking, popping, locking and waacking. Project D from New Jersey created a unique performance with unexpected music choices including ‘Escape’ by Enrique Iglesias and ‘Crush’ by Jennifer Paige. And Mighty Shock, Culture Shock’s group for dancers aged 7-11, finished off the first act with a crowd pleasing number.

Culture Shock’s group for dancers aged 11-17 Future Shock opened up the second act. It was easy to see why they placed first in a recent dance competition in Barcelona, Spain. They were sick! Definitely my favorite routine of the night. Dennis Caindec of New York presented his project ‘Pleasure Pagoda,’ featuring a group of all Asian dancers. He used a cool remix of Lady Gaga/Beyonce’s ‘Telephone’ and Rihanna’s ‘Rude Boy’ as the music for this Asian inspired piece. Local group DCypher performed an older set choreographed by former Culture Shock member Tony Czar and hip hop group Juvenile Maze showed America why Germany is at the top of the bboy game. Jared Jenkins and Neil Schwartz and their New York based crew repped the city and showed DC some love by wearing I heart DC shirts. They also racked up a bunch of points in my book by including Salt N Pepa’s ‘Shoop’ into their mix. Afta Shock, the newest Culture Shock group for grown and sexy alumni, made light of the fact that they’re an older crew by blatantly saying I’m to old for this sh*t at the end of their routine. Giant cut outs of Bayer Aspirin and Bengay also helped drive that point home with some humor. Culture Shock closed out the show. Their piece included the choreography I learned last Thursday from Gary Beauford. You know I was dancing along!

If you didn’t make it this year, definitely look out for details next year. They’re hoping to host it at Carter Barron again which is easily accessible via the S2 and S4 bus up 16th Street NW. You may have to take a cab on the way back though since the buses were ridiculously spread apart once the show got out. Good news for those who drive. There’s plenty of parking.  If you were there, what did you think? Who was your favorite and do you agree that they could have done away with the in between host chatter?

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Gary Beauford Hip Hop At Strathmore

I signed up to take hip hop with Alana Hill at Joy of Motion Bethesda last night, but due to the rain only me and one other dancer showed up!  The policy at Joy of Motion is that they need three paying customers to conduct a class so they gave me credit on my online registration account and Alana said I can be a guest at her class in two weeks (she’ll be away next week).

After heading out of Joy of Motion, I realized that it was Thursday night and Culture Shock class started at 830pm.  I was already in Bethesda so hopped on the train and took it two more stops north to Grovesnor.  Unfortunately, I hadn’t eaten yet but luckily there was a vending machine so I took two Pop-tarts to the face and headed upstairs to class.

Thanks to Twitter, I knew beforehand that Gary Beauford was teaching.  He also teaches at Joy of Motion in Friendship Heights, but I haven’t had a chance to check it out.  I’m definitely going to after this class.  Gary taught a combination to India Arie’s ‘Little Things’ – a beautiful song that everyone should know.  He obviously knew it well as he choreographed movements that fit perfectly.

One thing I hate about taking class is when teachers fumble around with counts or words.  They teach it to you one way, then it completely changes when the music comes on.  This could be another reason why I really appreciated Gary as a teacher.  He knew what lyric or beat every move was on.  Even though he taught the combination at a pretty fast pace, I was able to keep up.  You may have trouble though if you are more of a beginner/intermediate level.

At the end of the class, Gary announced that this was his last time teaching as a member of Culture Shock DC.  It definitely seemed like an emotional moment as he thanked Culture Shock for giving him the opportunity to dance with so many talented people.  Tomorrow’s East Coast Dance Concert at Carter Barron will also be his last performance with Culture Shock so definitely check it out.  Lisa K and I will be there!  Cipher at 5pm if you want to dance, doors open at 630pm and performance starts at 730pm.

The Deets

  • Gary Beauford/Culture Shock
  • Intermediate/Advanced Hip Hop
  • CityDance Center at Strathmore – 5301 Tuckerman Lane; Bethesda, MD 20852
  • Thursdays 830pm-930pm
  • $15 cash or credit (they prefer cash though)
  • 9/17/10 Update – Found video from the class on Gary’s YouTube page. Check it out.

Culture Shock Hip Hop Class at Strathmore

If you’re looking for an int/adv hip hop class, make your way to Strathmore Thursday nights for Culture Shock’s company class.  Lucky for me and other non drivers in the District, Strathmore is easily accessible by Metro.  Just hop on the Red Line to Shady Grove and get off at Grosvesnor-Strathmore.  Once you get out of the station, make your way to the parking garage and you can walk through there to get to the complex.  It’s kind of creepy walking through the garage, but it’s a short walk so tough it out.

Strathmore is one of the few places I’ve been to class where they take both cards and cash so that’s nice.  Culture Shock’s company class is also $15 for drop ins which is one of the cheaper prices I’ve seen so far (well, except for Urban Artistry’s free open practice sessions on Sundays).  The room where they teach class is absolutely huge with high ceilings and floor to ceiling windows.

Class started out with a warm up from one of the Culture Shock members.  It was complete with jumping jacks, push ups, sit ups and stretching.  All of which made me realize how out of shape and NOT flexible I am these days.  Afterward, Anna Jung of the Gnc Crew and I’m assuming also Culture Shock stepped up to start teaching her combination to Le Disko’s “Shiny Toy Guns.”

The class was pretty full, about 50 students.  It was tough trying to watch Anna while she taught but she was good about changing lines frequently and having the people in front duck down every so often so those in the back could see.  After she taught the combo, she split us up into four groups.  After each group went, she had Culture Shock girls then Culture Shock boys show the combo then invited other crews to join in.  You might feel left out since many of the attendees are friends and dance together, but they teach great choreography from a variety of dancers and always have a full house.  Def worth the $4.30 round trip (from Dupont Circle Metro).

This is a video I found on YouTube posted by Miguel Almario.  It gives you a good idea about what the space looks like and how many people you’ll be dancing with.

The Deets

  • Culture Shock
  • Int/Adv Hip Hop
  • CityDance Center at Strathmore – 5301 Tuckerman Lane; North Bethesda, MD 20852
  • Thursdays 830pm (I left around 10pm, but not sure if the class ran late)
  • $15 drop ins (cash or card)
  • 1/14/11 Update: Culture Shock DC now teaches its company class at DC Dance Collective in Friendship Heights.
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