My friend Sharon knows how to do the seventies disco dance “the hustle.” This week at work I would sing to her, “Do it! Do the Hustle!” Sharon would stop what she was doing (teaching kids) and “Do it! Do the Hustle!” Ahh, the power disco dance has to make us happy!
|Bruce Wood, my favorite choreographer|
Bruce Wood turned up the music to Ray Charles’ I Got a Woman in studio C at the Booker T. Washington School of Visual Arts and tried to remember his choreography to an excerpt of Smoke, a very fun and sassy dance that easily puts a smile on your face.
Melissa Young, dancer from the Dallas Black Dance Theatre, stepped in to give Bruce Wood a hand when she noticed Bruce was leaving out details from the reparatory class. Bruce Wood has said, “I usually don’t explain dances.” He is very much like Nike with the Just Do It attitude and an in the moment, get inspired by the music kind of dancer. He graciously accepted Melissa’s help and we learned the exact choreography from Smoke.
The most popular style at Planet Dance was hip-hop. The TV show, So You Think You Can Dance has attracted so many more kids. It was hip-hop dancer and choreographer Teresa Espinosa who headlined Dance Planet this year. She has worked with superstars Britney Spears, Pink, Mariah Carey, Miley Cyrus, Selena Gomez and more. The acclaimed hip-hop dancer got her start on Janet Jackson’s HBO special, The Velvet Rope. Espinosa is a Dallas native and Booker T. alumni who lives in LA and teaches at the Debbie Reynolds Studio.
Espinosa says this about dance, “If dance were a food, it would be a stew. For me, dance is more than just steps, it’s about how it all marinates together and comes out with a distinct flavor and a distinct message. It all comes down to expression.”
I think of dance as a language. I love the romance of France (ballet) and the spirit of Spain (flamenco), but we should all be exposed to many languages and styles to understand what Martha Graham said, “Dance is the hidden language of the soul of the body.” It’s up to the audience to translate, and it’s up to us to Do It!