10th Way to Redefine Yourself: Hip Hop with Gary at Joy of Motion/Friendship Heights

Hip Hop with Gary Beauford

Liz, Gary and Cecile. Thanks for taking the pic, Karen!

Last night, I was at Joy of Motion/Friendship Heights for hip hop with Gary Beauford. I’ve taken his class before, but it was my birthday and the last day of my 10 day dance challenge so I decided to treat myself. The first time I took class with Gary was actually his last class with Culture Shock DC. I had also seen his choreography when his company GnC Crew performed at the DCypher show last year.

The combination Gary taught for his last class was choreo to Total’s “What About Us?” Remember that song? I think my brain had reached its mental capacity so I had a hard time picking up the routine, but the select groups he picked at the end had it down. They looked dope! He also singled out one of his students who also trains with Future Shock/Culture Shock to do the combination one last time. She did great.

About 30 dancers, including my friends Liz and Karen, came to last night’s class. Gary’s class is usually pretty crowded, but this was the most crowded I’ve ever seen it. It was probably because he announced on Twitter and Facebook that this would be his last class at Joy of Motion for almost a year. He’s leaving on Saturday to go on tour with UniverSoul Circus. Congrats on the gig, Gary! It’s sad that he won’t be here for most of 2011, but he’s hoping that Kevin Simon of GnC Crew and Culture Shock DC will be able to take over the class in his absence. He’ll be conducting the class the same way Gary did. Three weeks learning the same routine so you can really get something out of class and get your training on. It’s a bitter sweet ending to my 10 day dance challenge as I’ll miss taking class with Gary, but I’m happy to have been inspired by his creativity and wish him the best of luck.

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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.
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