International teachers coming to London!

Dance Backpackers’ TV and Cindy Claes Productions, supported by East London Dance,

are proud to present an international DANCEHALL & KRUMP workshop

on MONDAY 20th FEBRUARY

6pm – 10pm

at Stratford Circus

 

BOOK TICKETS HERE – LIMITED SPACES

 

Kimiko, straight outta Jamaica; and Krucial aka Queen Weapon, straight outta Los Angeles, will be sharing knowledge, technique and a piece of their artistic life journeys with us for one whole evening.

Kimiko has toured the world as an ambassador for Dancehall culture. She trained in traditional Jamaican folk dance forms, is a member of the DanceJA movement, and is a powerful female leader in the Dancehall industry.

KIMIKO:

 

BOOK TICKETS HERE – LIMITED SPACES

Krucial is a passionate artivist. Co-chair of Black Lives Matter in Los Angeles, she has been dedicated to use dance as a tool for social change. She has toured the US with the documentary Stand, doing leadership and education work amongst the community.

KRUCIAL:

 

BOOK TICKETS HERE – LIMITED SPACES

Workshops are open to all levels, from beginners to advanced (16+).

MON 20th FEB

6pm – 6.30pm: Registrations & jam

6.30pm – 7.15pm: Cultural Panel discussion on Dancehall & Krump

7.15pm – 8.30pm: Krump with Krucial aka Queen Weapon (Los Angeles)

8.30pm – 9.45pm: Dancehall with Kimiko (Jamaica)

 

BOOK TICKETS HERE – LIMITED SPACES

Dancehall classes in April, an amazing line up!!

You want to learn more about Dancehall culture, it’s history and steps?

The month of April is giving dancehall enthusiasts an opportunity to train and develop their skills with a variety of teachers!

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Classes are on every:

TUE 6-7.30pm at Studio68 (Southwark tube)

WED 8.30-10pm at Maryland Studioz (Stratford tube)

THURS 7.30-9pm at iAstudios (Oval tube)

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In April, Cindy will be teaching two special Back To Old school sessions.  We also have special guest teachers such as Judith Palmer, Shelaine and international guest Vendela Blackout from Sweden / NYC.

 

Each class will be an incredible opportunity for students to understand Dancehall at a deeper level, experience a variety of teaching methods and expand their knowledge of dances of the african diaspora.

 

All dancehall classes are drop-ins and welcome all levels!

 

Backtooldschool_April2015

Vendela goes to Jamaica on a regular basis to train, perform and shoot music videos.  Her experience of the Dancehall scene is pure, authentic and full of passion for the culture. We are excited to have her at Badda Beats Thursdayz!

Vendela_v2

Shelaine is a Queen and she “bruk out”!!!!!! When she see Shelain in action inna di Dancehall, you just step aside!  Be ready for rather crazy a Female Steps Only collabo class!!!

Shelaine_Collabo_iAstudios

 

 

Judith is from Jamaican heritage, and has studied African & Caribbean dance forms in depth for almost 3 decades!!! She is an encyclopedia of knowledge and a library of know-how, her dance skills will leave you speechless!!  So you think you can whine…..? Come to class!!!

 

Judith Palmer special guest April 2015

 

 

INTERNATIONAL DANCEHALL COLLABO Class with Sir Ledgen from NYC

The Dancehall LAB presents:

INTERNATIONAL DANCEHALL COLLABO CLASS

Sir Ledgen, all the way from New York, will be teaching a collabo class with Cindy Claes on:

Tue 24th March, 6pm-7.30pm 
at Studio68 (London / UK)
(£8)


*** we will be in the big studio downstairs!!***

***pay at the door***

 

Cindy Claes Productions values international exchanges and believes there is a lot of power behind these artistic encounters.  We are very excited to be working with Sir Ledgen and can’t wait to share a lot of energy with all students!!

 

Sir Ledgen - final flyer

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Here is what is awaiting for you: pure groove, flow and vybz!

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(**The Dancehall LAB will exceptionnaly be held on a Tuesday instead of Thursdayz.)

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AND HERE IS A REMINDER OF WHAT’S HAPPENING THE REST OF THE WEEK, special FEMALE STEPS ONLY FOR THE LADIES!!!

 

FEMALE STEPS ONLY flyer March 2015

Dancehall Classes – **Female Steps Only**

Cindy-Claes-Dancehall-Classes-Oct-Nov-Dec-2014

 

Here is some news that will make a lot of women smile!!!

***DANCEHALL WORKSHOPS & CLASSES focussing on FEMALE DANCEHALL VOCABULARY***

 

Due to popular demand, I will be teaching “Female Steps Only” once a month to celebrate the huge contribution of Female Dancers to the Dancehall scene.  Female Dancehall vocabulary is rich and vibrant. During class student will learn about technique, culture, history.

PS: For those who like a challenge and would like to learn how to do headtops (headstands), come to the Thursday class!

TUE 6-7.30pm at Studio68 (near Southwark/Waterloo station)
WED 8.30-10pm at Maryland Studioz (near Stratford)
THURS 4-5.30pm at Studio68 (near Southwark/Waterloo station)

A Dancehall Dancer’s Dream – Interview series at DanceJA – episode 3 with Nicky Trice

During my last trip to Jamaica I had the opportunity to host the new DanceJa talk show. I interviewed Jamaican Dancehall dancers, asking questions about their artistic journeys and about their dreams for the future.

Let me introduce you to Nicky Trice, a member of Rifical Team… “Love” is what they stand for, and “family” is what they represent. Listen to Nicky Trice’s dream for the future… his answer literraly blew my mind away. A spiritual lesson of life and how we relate to one another. Rifical is, as they say… spiiiiriiituuuaaaaaaallll!!!!

May your wish be granted and may your dreams come true Trice!!! <3

Cindy

Women in the Dancehall – Interview series at DanceJa – episode 2

During my last trip to Jamaica I had the opportunity to host the new DanceJa talk show. I interviewed Jamaican Dancehall dancers, asking questions about their artistic journeys and about their dreams for the future. These interviews gave me the exclusive opportunity to research and understand Dancehall Culture more in-depth.

As a European Female Dancehall-passionate, I often wonder about women in the Dancehall. While Jamaican male and female dancers couple up, and while females in Kingston perform their latest head tops and tricks under the spotlight, there is me… looking at the scene in awe, observing relationships in dance and looking at these whining swerving bodies.

Kimiko is a female dancer, brought up in Dancehall Culture. She is a hardworking lady, and a charismatic performer. She told me: “Guys always want to come and dance with us, it’s cool, but also… give us some space! There are times I just wanna bruk out and enjoy. Many girls stopped dancing because of that.”.

That’s exactly the way I feel… I just wanna bruk out too! Shake it, whine it and one drop it when it’s our time, without the pressure of having a male dancer interrupting me. Even though we can choose to dance, or not, with a partner afterwards.

What does it mean to be a women in the Dancehall, a male dominated scene? What does it mean to aim for the spotlight when male dancers are now getting so much attention?

Kimiko believes that female dancers are extremelly talented and that they shall claim their space again in the Dance Hall.

I hope our conversation will inspire you as much as it inspired me!

Cindy

Why I teach and my love for Dancehall…

I currently teach 2 weekly Dancehall classes in London.

TUE, 6pm at Studio68

WED, 8.30pm at Maryland Studioz

It is to me more than a dance class. Of course, we sweat (mirrors are always steamed up!), and we work out, and we learn about technique. I also wanted to create a class where spirit would take over. Dancehall empowered me as a woman, as an artist, as a human being. I wanted to teach a class that would mirror what Dancehall is, a social dance form, that gives away the message that everyone stands out and that every person is special.

My Wednesday evening class is called #BigUpWednesdayz. It is that time of the week where students take time out to “big up” themselves, their achievements, their curves and the way they move & grove. Mistakes are allowed and valued in class as much as getting the steps nailed. Students truly smile when walking out of the door cause something special always happens within their dancing souls. I want them to feel proud of themselves, proud about what they accomplished during class. When looking at themselves in the mirror, I want them to smile, and more importantly: shine!

I have been a Dancehall lover for 16 years. I travelled to Jamaica several times to train & research the art form. I did extended research on Dancehall and its Culture, and I continue doing so as Dancehall is a vibrant sphere that never ceases to evolve. I also recently started working on setting up a Dancehall Theatre Exchange between JA and the UK as an ADAD Trailblazer. (More information soon in upcoming blog articles about what we have achieved so far, both in the UK and in Jamaica!)

Setting up the class has been a very exciting journey so far. To celebrate our one year anniversary I set up an event called #BigUpWednesdayzINTERNATIONAL with a guest teacher from Brooklyn / NYC: Blacka Di Danca!! This was a true inspirational, educational, emotional and spiritual experience! In our second year, I was able to bring over Shady Squad straight from Kingston, Jamaica to teach my students! I wanted the workshops to be a humble and authentic experience. Training with Shady Squad was “heaven on earth” for dancehall lovers.

I hope my weekly class will keep growing over the years. My aim is to generate more interest & appreciation for Dancehall. My classes have as purpose to promote the beauty and the positiveness of Dancehall culture.

Classes are open to all, hope you can all join us inna di studio soon!!!!”

Cindy Claes

FULL SCHEDULE OF MY DANCE CLASSES

Yo! Wah Gwan – Dancehall Interviews at DanceJa – 1st episode

I just came back from a 6 weeks trip to Jamaica (as an ADAD Trailblazers 2013-14).

Every time I have the priviledge to hit Kingstonian’s soil, I do everything I can to research more in-depth Dancehall Culture as a whole.

I train with dancers, I go to parties, and now that there are Dancehall dance schools in Jamaica, I also take classes! But Dancehall is not just about the dancing, about the steps, about the Old School and the New School… Dancehall is a Culture… in other words it is something you “experience”.

I am an observer, and part of doing research is to watch and listen. It is while living, jamming, “liming” as they say in Jamaica, that you get to know people. It is simply by spending time and by having conversations that new worlds unfold around you.

I had the opportunity to lead a series of interviews for DanceJa during my trip. Yo! Wah Gwan is about getting to know the dancers, getting to know where they come from and what they dream of. Hosting this “YouTube TV Show” was an opportunity for me to understand more about Dancehall Culture and Dancehall people.

I spent weeks with these dancers, we talked, we danced, and we worked together on the “Dancehall Theatre Exchange Program”. These guys have so much talent and love to give… I hope that through my questions and their answers, you too, will see the beauty of their souls and the drive of their artistic hearts.

In the meanwhile… enjoy & share!!! I also discovered in me the talent of a TV presenter… I must say, I loved it! 😉

Cindy

TIME FOR AN UPDATE!!!

It’s been so hectic in Cindy Claes Productions’ Headquarters that I realised an update was mandatory!

What have we been up to since January 2014? Here is just a small list of what we achieved over the last few months:

UK:
– Not only did we sell out two Dancehall Theatre shows at Sadler’s Wells in London, the show was sold out 3 weeks prior to the event!
– We organised a professional development program, a one week course aimed at dancers/teachers and choreographers looking for authentic Dancehall training and wanting to further their knowledge in Dance Theatre. Not only was the DTxTP program sold out as well… we actually worked with a whole team of European students! People came over from Belgium, France, Czech Republic, UK etc to attend the program.
– We were able to invite and work with a Jamaican based multi award winning Dancehall crew: Shady Squad. The international exchange happening in London was… POWERFUL and magic!!
– We worked with a whole team of interns who went on a journey of growth! Look out for the new team who are ready to take over the world again!
– We performed a new fresh version of “Is My Whining Winding You Up?” at Wild Card: Dancehall Takover. Three women on fiyah!
– The company received Arts Council England fundings to support their dance theatre activities and international exchanges with Jamaica.

Belgium:
– Cindy Claes worked set up a new company called PuzzelB in Belgium… 8 dancers aged 15-32 who’s drive is creating tornado’s of creative happiness!
– PuzzelB was initially a one hour production produced in association with Zinnema in Brussels, Belgium. The show was massively successful, a powerful and political Hip hop Theatre production challenging society in many ways.

Jamaica:
– Cindy is an ADAD Trailblazer 2013-14 and went off to Jamaica for 6 weeks. Her main aim was to set up a Dancehall Theatre Exchange Program between the UK and Jamaica, as well as train and perfect her skills in Dancehall.
– Cindy met with the Minister of Youth & Culture.
– She also performed a new 8min solo (“Time is Ticking, Phone is Ringing”) at Dance Umbrella festival at UWI in Kingston Jamaica.
– Cindy lead a series of Dancehall Theatre rehearsals at DanceJa.
– She also produced a one hour and a half showcase at the outdoor theatre venue at DanceJa, showcasing some Dancehall Theatre work and the talent from all the crews teaching at the school. More info on Talent Pree: Dancehall Theatre Takeover coming soon!
– She lead interviews with dancers at DanceJa, she discovered a new passion: being a TV presenter, and it gave a new insight to her research on Dancehall culture.
– Cindy performed at several occasions with Shady Squad in Jamaica.
– Not only did she network and meet people about the Dancehall Theatre Exchange Program, she also featured on TVJ (Television Jamaica) Smile Jamaica to talk about the project. This interview took place at 7am on the same day she was flying back to the UK. A true highlight!!!

This is just what happened in a nutshell over the last 3 months…

More blog posts will follow with anecdotes, videos and more happiness to be shared to inspire others.

Stay tuned!!

Cindy