DCypher Dance Auditions at Joy of Motion Friendship Heights

After dropping by Lounge 201 for nGAGE DC, I hopped on the Red Line at Union Station and made it just in time for the DCypher dance auditions at Joy of Motion Friendship Heights.  This studio is just south of the Friendship Heights Metro station.  Walk toward the Jennifer Street exit, take the elevators up to street level, go right and walk a couple blocks south on Wisconsin.  The studio will be on the other side of the street in the same building as Chevy Chase Ballroom.

I was still in work clothes, but there was a small changing area where I could put on my sweats and sneaks.  The girl at the front desk gave me a short form to fill out and handed me a cloth number to safety pin on.  The waiting area was tight so I hung out in the hallway and read some of the fliers hanging up on the bulletin board.

The audition started with a warm up by DCypher’s founder Juli Calderon.  After some stretching and intense sit ups, Juli went into the combination.  She chose a great song ‘The Garden’ by Mirah.  If you don’t know this song, download that ish on iTunes stat!  The choreo wasn’t complicated but gave a lot of room to show your own personality with several freestyle hits.

We did the combination in two groups a few times before breaking into smaller groups of four.  Each small group went a couple times, then the judges called out individual numbers to see again.  At the end, we had a cipher where dancers could show off their other dance talents including breaking, jazz, tap and booty popping.

If you’ve never been to a dance audition, I definitely recommend it.  It’s a great way to challenge yourself as you need to perform for the panel of judges.  It’s also a free class as companies usually don’t charge for auditions.  A couple more auditions are coming up soon so stay tuned for the details.  Keep dancing!


danceDC Weekend Event Guide 08/20-08/22

Thai dance at Silom Village BangkokLots going on this weekend.  Hope you all can make it to the Dance DC Festival at Atlas Performing Arts Center.  Free workshops and performances celebrating global movement!  The picture to the left is one I took at Silom Village in Bangkok of traditional Thai dancing.  Maybe they’ll have some of that this weekend?

Also wanted to let you know about DCypher dance auditions tonight from 9pm-11pm at Joy of Motion Friendship Heights.  Click here for my post about their show in July or here for audition details.

Friday, August 20th

Saturday, August 21st

Sunday, August 22nd

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?

DCypher Dance: The Fourth Dimension

I didn’t know what to expect from the DCypher show last night at Atlas Performing Arts Center.  I thought $25 was a pretty steep price considering I paid that much for an Arena Stage show, but I was pleasantly surprised at the overall quality of the performance.

The opening number “DCypher on the Dancefloor” choreographed by Jason Anderson was a high energy, in your face piece.  The music choice was strong and it was a great way to start the show.  This was followed by a special guest performance by Ryan Johnson of RawSound Tap Company.  Ryan presented a humorous solo that incorporated both tap and step moves.  He even had the audience clapping, tapping and snapping along with his routine.

Some of the other highlights from the show included a solid performance from the GnC Crew.  It was super clean and had a lot of formation changes, which I like.  The crowd was loving them too.  They started their number with the song “Shots” from LMFAO featuring Lil Jon.  Obviously, I was fist pumping and I assume other Jersey Shore fans were as well.

The DCypher number, “Tribute” by Juliana Calderon, was another crowd pleaser.  It incorporated some of the original choreography from Michael Jackson’s Thriller, Beat It, Smooth Criminal and Bad, plus some of Calderon’s choreography to other popular MJ/Jackson 5 songs.  I was also excited to learn about Grammy nominated progressive hip hop artist Christylez Bacon, who impressed the audience with his beatboxing, guitar playing and singing.

Anyone else at Atlas last night?  If so, let me know your thoughts and which performances were your favorites.

The Hip Hop World of DCypher

$20 in advance and $25 at the door will get you into The Fourth Dimension: The Hip Hop World of DCypher tomorrow night at Atlas Performing Arts Center.  If you’ve never been to Atlas, it’s a great space and you can have your own little dance party at Sticky Rice afterward.  If you’re hungry, check out ‘the clogger’ – a sandwich at Star and Shamrock.  More details about DCypher’s performance in their preview below:

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