No! Really! It's true. He's a wise guy and man, he can get down. Want proof? Just look here. He's the, um, wise looking guy in the front. :)
Anyway, every Wednesday, I go to his "groovin'" class. Really, that's what it's called. It's what is considered a "non-choreo" class because we don't run through a bunch of 8 counts and then put it all together at the end. Pretty much in this class, we just bust a move...and listen to the instructor's inspirational and often hilarious speeches about art and dance and creativity. It's my Wednesday wind down.
It's amazing how much certain ideas apply across so many of the arts. Try a few of these on for size:
- Hip Hop: "You can't memorize my steps and then look all fine their doin' it. You gotta put your own stamp on it. Like, show your style through the move. Show your personality!"
- Writing: Don't just stick to the 3 act formula hard and fast. Change it up to show your story. Make it fit what you want. Otherwise, you're gonna look like a white girl dancing hip hop. (ie: me)
- Hip Hop: "You gotta feel this. Feel the music. Let it flow through you! Close your eyes! Hell, come drunk to class if you need to to let loose of your inhibitions! If you don't feel it, you're gonna look like an idiot."
- Writing: Remember to feel your writing. Remember to love it. Remember why you started writing in the first place, not because you want to be rich and famous (I hope...cause the likelihood of that, well...), but because you were driven to do so. Feel the drive. Carry on.
- Hip Hop: "Listen. I'ma show you this video 'cause I don't think you all see it too much here in Vancouver. Y'all gotta know what you're trying to do. I want you to know where all this stuff comes from. I mean, for some people, this shit is all they have. They're like...dancin' to stay alive. Know what I mean? You gotta watch the greats. Watch these guys that live for their dancing and then go home and practice. Practice what they're doing till you think you look as cool as them."
- Writing: You don't write in a vacuum. READ! Read other people's work. Read in your genre, read in other genres, read the classics. And then practice your writing. Look at it (like you would your dancing in a mirror) and then write it again. Write it again until it's perfect and can sit up there against the other stuff you've read.
I think it's so important to look into other creative genres to see how they get by. How do they keep their creativity flowing? How do they continue to improve. How do they deal with rejection and bad criticism? There's a book by dancer Twila Tharp all about the creative process. I've read snippets of my friend's copy, but am looking forward to getting my own because it's sheer brilliance.