KODACHROME Season II Workshop II at HeartBeats Studio

photo credit: Justin Jaro

Over 80 dancers made their way to HeartBeats Studio in Springfield, Va. last Saturday, October 23rd for the second workshop of KODACHROME Season II. If you’re not familiar with KODACHROME, it’s a dance workshop series in Virginia that aims to promote and support the East Coast dance community. It was my first time at a KODACHROME event and I was beyond excited to fork up only $5 for three amazing classes. Four dancers from various crews in the DC, Maryland and Virginia area fused their styles for the workshop including Andrew Ton, Kristin Santiago, Chris Munar and Lauren De Vera.

Kristin Santiago formerly of UMBC’s Major Definition and currently of Ajnin Precizion, Tito Boy Scouts and Halo Dance Studio collaborated with KODACHROME staff member Lauren De Vera, also of GnC Crew, for the first class. The girls taught fun and fast choreo to Janelle Monae’s “Lettin Go.” If you’ve never heard the song, it has a Michael Jackson/Jackson 5 feel. Before they started teaching, they described the song as being “so us” and their personalities definitely came through in the combination.

The second class was taught by two members of the Baltimore Dance Crews Project. In addition to working with BDCP, Andrew Ton is Co-Artistic Director of dop (Dancing’s.Our.Poison) and Major Definition alumnus Chris Munar is a current member of Ajnin Precizion and Tito Boy Scouts. The boys taught a combination to one of my favorite songs of all time – Brian McKnight’s “Anytime.” Andrew told a story about a man who turned his life around after meeting his girl. The day he planned to propose to her, she didn’t show up and was never to be seen again. We were asked to think about this story while dancing this smooth and syncopated combination.

The four teachers came together for the last class to teach grimey choreo to Nicki Minaj’s “Monster.” This combination had a completely different feel from the others yet still showcased the unique styles of the choreographers. This combo had the most personality of the three, but was also the most advanced in terms of class level. Although people had a harder time picking up the choreography, dancers were definitely letting loose and having fun with the moves.

After the final class of the workshop, each teacher shared a few words. Andrew talked about the power of positivity while Lauren encouraged dancers to try each time to be better than the last. Each touched upon their own insecurities as a dancer, but recognized the strength they found from working with one another and also being part of the KODACHROME family. Next up for KODACHROME is their third workshop at Christopher Newport University in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia. For more information, visit their website, blog or YouTube page.

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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

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