Let me start by saying, this is no April Fool’s joke, we are starting something truly special beginning on Tuesday, April 1, 2014.
Thanks to all of you, we have grown so much, and raised so much of a joyful noise while doing so, that we have moved to a larger place in one of Charlotte’s most popular areas – NODA – the North Davidson street art district. For me it is coming full circle, as eight years ago Rodrigo and I taught our Salsa classes at Total Movement Studios which was then right down the street. Returning to NODA to 2424 N Davidson Street, Suite 110, a few doors down from one of Charlotte’s Favorite French Bakeries – Amelie’s which is open 24/7 is going to be a real treat. Have I got your attention yet?
Classes are for both beginners and more advanced students. The classes will allow those who have begun to still continue their growth as dancers. In order to accommodate both classes (beginners and intermediates) we have two separate times and I have other instructors to assist me; although I will be the lead instructor for both classes. Having other instructors makes it possible to give lots of individual attention. We want you to truly "get it."
The price of the classes is $15 per class. If you enroll and pay for the entire course of 5 classes, you can save $15.00 as the cost of the entire course will be $60.00.
6:30 p.m - 7:30 pm. The beginner's class - Level 1
7:35 pm. - 8:35 pm. Advanced Beginner/Intermediate Level
Note: If you are one of those folks that doesn’t like to read much, just give you the facts as in a 140 word tweet, you can stop here as I have given you the Who, When , Where, What, Why.
But for those who want the full picture, read on.
Level 2 dancers should be able to comfortably do a cross body lead with an inside turn. That means, leaders should be able to properly lead such a turn, and followers should be able to properly follow the lead, and maintain their balance while doing the turn.
Level 2 will focus on musicality, footwork, partnership work with some patterns, proper leading, proper following; men and women's styling; and comfortable with some of the styles of salsa, such as Cuban, Africando, and Colombian.
As with all the levels, we will focus on connection; connection with yourself first (being fully present), with your partner, and with the music.
We will focus on how to interpret the music, create your own dance, and find your personal style or signature... your dance voice.
As a former professional musician and artist, I hope to give you a perspective on the dance, a window through which you can see the music in a way that most people miss.
While we come to the class with a teaching plan, we will make adjustments in accordance with who are the students in the class. We move at a pace that works for our students.
Also, if you start in level 1 and find you are better prepared than you thought, you can move to level 2 (at least within the first two weeks of the course).
In like fashion, if you find that level 2 is more than you bargain for, you can move to level 1 to firm up your foundation, so that you are not just taking a course, you are mastering the essential elements of the course.
As many of you know, I have had the pleasure and great honor to be the Latin dance instructor at LaTorres, Cosmos, RiRas, Salamander at Morehead Café, Center Vibe (now Move Studio), the International House, A Piece of Havana (where I still teach), at numerous Universities, restaurants, festivals, and in places all along the East Coast, Puerto Rico, even in the Midwest. I have been blessed to have instructors from Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Chile, El Salvador, Argentina, Venezuela, Colombia, Nicaragua, Puerto Rico, and of course many from the United States. It has been a journey for which I am eternally grateful.
While I have been a performer and a competitor, my first love besides just doing the dance with people who share a passion for the dance, is teaching. I was born to teach. I served as a university professor for most of my working life. I love to teach, especially beginners, for the gift of dance is such a great gift, and it transforms one’s life.
I also love teaching those who already know how to dance well, for I love to help them find their own voice in the dance. Let me be more specific.
You can often tell where someone has studied because they dance like their teachers. This is not a bad thing. But, in my view, while I hope you will find in my dancing something you want to imitate or model in your dancing, what is more important to me is that I help you to find your voice, your style, your personal expression. How do we do this?
First you learn it, then you master it, then you make it beautiful? These were the words, the mantra from my Kung Fu Wu Su teacher in New York City, where I studied Shaolin Kung Fu Wu Su. Learning it requires being receptive. Mastering it requires understanding what you are learning and practicing it until it is second nature. Meaning, you don’t have to think about it. You just do it. Like walking; you have mastered it, so much so that you don’t think about walking, you just walk to where you want to go. And making it beautiful, that is where you make it beautiful to the eye, where the one looking at what you do, would say: “ you make it look so easy and graceful; so beautiful .” That means you have made your stamp on the dance; you have found your voice, your personal self-expression.
That is our goal, to make your body your instrument, so you can play your music. Remember when you get a musical instrument it is called an instrument. But, it is not an instrument until you master it, then it is an instrument by which you can bring forth your music.
That is what we are after with Salsa De Soul. When you see it, making it beautiful , means making it look smooth (which is just part of the “cool” family). And when you see two people doing it together, you will say that look so connected, their dance so romantic, and they appear to love what they are doing, lost in their own world. You will say - their steps and movements are so clear, and they seem magical; captivating, so ALIVE.
Looking forward to seeing you in class,
Muhammad Abdullah, "the Professor, the Cat in the Hat"
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