Thursday, August 9, 2012

Greg S. reports on his dance workshop with Poreotics

Here's the rest of Greg's report on the Poreotics workshop at Urban Dance Camp:

Well, if that guy says so, how could I reject this opportunity? In the morning, I contacted the wonderful Bettina at Urban Dance Camp to see if there was still a space open for me at the Poreotics workshop. I'm not sure there actually was, but she happily made a place for me anyway. On the off day between Showcase and the workshop, I changed my tickets and switched to a hotel near the studio, then made sure to get tons of restful sleep.

The night before and the morning of, I was pretty nervous to stick out like a sore big toe. I was fully ware that most of the campers would be around half my age, but that never bothers me. It was all about the looming challenge of learning choreo fast. When it was time to walk over to the studio, I'd had enough of nerves and switched to excitement.

When I walked into the studio a little early to stretch, music was already playing and so were the boys. Charles and Lawrence were locked in a game of imaginary beat-tennis, once again displaying that the fun never stops with these fellas. After I got loose, I said hello to the six clown princes of popping and we snapped a couple of silly photos before it was time for business.

The first class dealt with the Charles/Dumbo routine to David Guetta's "Titanium" - which contains my arch dancing nemesis, tutting. I took a deep breath. Or two. The first couple sections went by without much hitch (Dumbo did pull me aside at a water break to show me a tutting move I failed to see well from my vantage point). Suddenly I was getting comfortable keeping up in my first workshop.

Of course, as soon as the confidence rose, Dumbo started a new 8-count by putting his arms and hands in tutting position. This head-dropper and the addition of a few more 8-counts had me experiencing the struggles I'd foreseen for a spell, but by the time we headed to a break between classes I'd nearly caught up with the full routine to music at tempo.

Despite the rally, I spent the entire break working on the tutting moves while chatting with some new friends from the afterparty outside. When I went back in to get ready for routine #2, Lawrence checked to see how it went and offered more support. All the guys were eager to help anyone struggling and I was sure they had seen me get lost in the mirror when the tutting started.

The second class taught us the Super Saiyan bit from their World of Dance 2012 performance, all the parts past when Lawrence is fitted with his blond wig. Once again, I started well and felt more confident. And once again, the piling of several 8-counts together at tempo had me frustratingly lagging behind for a time.

You put one right hand when you're meant to put the left and suddenly you stop for a second, then everyone has passed you and you must find your way back in on proper time.

However, as in the first class, I finished fairly strong and (if I must say so myself) kinda killed the closing section that gave others more trouble. It had been an entirely new experience for me, but one I was very grateful for. At the end, I quickly assured Lawrence and Chad that I would get into a regular class upon returning home, which made them quite happy.

The boys gave everyone a quick thank you speech before pumping up some beats for a freestyle goodbye session. One by one, they took turns picking a handful of campers from the 45 or so at the workshop to dance for everyone. Considering my previous friendly talks with the guys and my obvious patches of struggle during class, I just knew that I would be one of those chosen to freestyle. Knew it.

Sure enough, as visiting spectator Millie popped to everyone's delight, Jet Li started my way. He walked just past me as if to go by, but suddenly I felt a back pushing me out into the circle. Great, I thought, I get to follow Millie!

Though the song playing wasn't normally something I would dance to, I did my best to throw out some original moves and Millie was there with a smiley handshake when I finished. After saying some thanks and goodbyes to the boys individually, the experience was over, my feet were sore and my grin was beaming. Even if I didn't fare as well as I wanted, the challenge inspired me to train harder and learn more.

I've thought a lot about it since and the entire three days I spent in southern Germany was one of the best times of my life, no doubt. The whole Urban Dance Showcase and Camp vibe is a beautiful thing. Everyone - campers and dancers alike - are like family and I cannot wait to see everyone again in 2013.

And if it seems to you like I'm trying to twist some arms out there to attend next summer, then you are very perceptive. Don't mind me, though - I'm just a robot freshly programmed by Poreotics and so many others to spread the love for dancing and dancers. I've been sent from the future to inform everyone that next summer is going be more amazing than one could imagine. You can bet on that.

Click here to leave comments and return to the first page. Thanks again Greg -- I'm jealous!