danceDC Weekend Event Guide 10/22-10/24

Tomorrow is the opening night of Dana Tai Soon Burgess & Company’s Charlie Chan and the Mystery of Love at Dance Place. I’ve only seen the company once before at VelocityDC so am looking forward to seeing them again in their full length production. It will also be the first time I’ve been to Dance Place. Saturday is another day of firsts. I’ll be attending KODACHROME’s dance workshop at Heartbeats Studio in Springfield, Va. This event is four hours of classes for only $5. Teachers include Lauren De Vera of GnC Crew and Andrew Ton of the Baltimore Dance Crews Project. Ailey II will also be performing a few times this weekend – Saturday at BlackRock Center for the Arts and Sunday at Prince George’s Publick Playhouse. Check out the events below and support the local dance community!

Friday, October 22nd

Saturday, October 23rd

Sunday, October 24th


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.

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.

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