I was on a meditation course this weekend with my favourite teacher (a Buddhist monk called Gelong Thubten).
We talked in-depth about the importance of integrating compassion and kindness to our practice of mindfulness.
During the meditation practice, our mind will inevitably wonder and thoughts will pop up, all in the name of distraction.
If people tell themselves things like “common’ you, can’t you focus!” it raises their stress levels.
If on the other hand, we kindly, gently bring ourselves back to focussing on the breath, without judgement, oxytocin is being released, which makes us feel safe and calm.
How compassionate are we with OUR creativity?
I am guilty.
I have definitely attended dance classes where I thought: “Common’ Cindy! You aren’t getting the groove right!”
Looked at my poetry thinking: “This isn’t good enough. You are not sharing that with the world.”
Preparing a show: “Girl, you better hurry up. Doesn’t look like ideas come quickly to you, or is it?”
Meditation combined with the practice of compassion brought me on a different journey.
Being kind to myself when ideas popped up transformed my relationship with my creative juices, but also with how I share it with the world.
Creativity and making this world a better world
As an artist, I always reflected how my creativity could make this world a better world. Whether I am creating a show, teach a class or perform, I want it to benefit society in some way, shape or form.
In Buddhism, we dedicate our practice to the benefit of others. Meditation is not a selfish act to improve our own lives, it is also a practice to benefit others, making all lives more peaceful and joyful.
I believe that when we tap into our most profound creative potential, we have the ability to impact our communities, relationships and environment. I want to see everyone feel confident in their creative approach to life.
When I talk about creativity, I mean ALL creative ventures:
– finding solutions to business problems
– being creative in our public speaking
– putting ideas on the table during a meeting at work
It is because I believe in the compassionate power of creativity, that I set up the:
DYNAMIC CREATIVITY RETREATS
A full weekend of dance, theatre, storytelling, creative writing… and compassion!
No previous experience necessary. All welcome.
SAT 25th & 26th AUG in London
The benefits of engaging in fun and mindful creative tasks impacts all areas of our lives (personal and professional).
Join us to tickle your funny bone and learn to think on your feet!
The objective of this Retreat Weekend is to:
- cultivate a creative approach to life
- a solution-orientated mindset
PS: we have early offers on at the moment, book your spot now 🙂
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
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.
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.
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)
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!
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)
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!
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!
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!!!
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!!!
Afro-beats and Dancehall lovers… Make sure you reach!!!
Thurs 19th March at iAstudios…
7.30pm-9pm —–> The Dancehall LAB presents a COLLABO CLASS: Dancehall & Afrobeats with Cindy & Verona!!
9pm-10.30pm ——> Afro-beats Fusion with GOP Dancers
£8/class or £14 for both!
How to get to iAstudios, here is a map:
iAstudios (1-3 Brixton Rd, London SW9 6DE)
And Tue 24th March 6-7.30pm —-> INTERNATIONAL DANCEHALL COLLABO CLASS!!!
Sir Ledgen from NYC & Cindy Claes
at Studio68 (in the big studio downstairs)
Badda Beats Thursdayz is moving into a new home iAstudios this week!!
Our lovelly intern Sara has made a map for our students, so you won’t get lost. Only 1 min walk from Oval tube station, GOP Dancers and myself are super excited to start the event in a beautiful new and big space!
iAstudios is also fully wheelchair accessible!
Badda Beats Thursdayz
every Thursday at iAstudios
7.30-9pm —> The Dancehall LAB with Cindy Claes & Guests
9-10.30pn —> Afro-Beats Fusion with GOP Dancers
The Dancehall LAB presents
THE COLLABO CLASS SERIES
on THURSDAYZ, 7.30pm-9pm
(1-3 Brixton Road, London SW9 6DE —> 1min walk from Oval Tube Station)
£8/class OR £7**
Dancehall + House (with Caramel Soldier) – 12th March
Dancehall + Afro-Beats (with Verona) – 19th March
INTERNATIONAL Dancehall + Dancehall (with Sir Ledgen NYC) – 24th March —-> exceptionally held at Studio68
Dancehall + “Female Steps Only” (with Shelaine Prince) – 23rd April
Dates to be announced soon for the following workshops:
Body Percussion + Dancehall with Asha Jennings-Grant
Hiphop Theatre/Performance skills + Dancehall with Franck Wilson
Afro-vybz + Dancehall with Fay-B (from Belgium/Burkina Faso)
The art of “whining”, back to the roots & African Dance with Judith Palmer (live drumming)
The Dancehall LAB:
From concept choreo classes, to freestyle classes, students will also have the opportunity to engage in Dancehall Theatre sessions and explore dance storytelling through Dancehall.
Another exciting part of the Dancehall LAB are the series of upcoming COLLABO CLASSES!!! Be ready for London, national and international collaborations to come!!!
Badda Beats Thursdayz is a night of regular classes for Dance lovers passionate about dances of the african diaspora.
Every Thursday evening at iAstudios:
7.30pm-9pm ——->The Dancehall LAB with Cindy & Guests
9pm-10.30pm ——>Afro-Beats Fusion with GOP Dancers
£8/class or £14 for both
Please visit the website for regular updates: www.cindyclaes.com
Looking forward to see you in the studio with us on Thursdayz!!!
Here is a taster of what awaits you for the next few months, take out your diaries and put those dates down!
March is about to kick off with a series of super exciting Dancehall classes!
INTERNATIONAL GUEST TEACHER:
Sir Ledgen, all the way from New York, will be teaching a collabo class with Cindy on Tue 24th March 6-7.30pm at Studio68!! (£8 only)
We have a collabo class coming up almost each week for our Thursday Dancehall LABs. Explore new dance forms, come and have fun, learn new techniques and how to fuse them with Dancehall. The collabo classes are an opportunity for different dance communities to come together.
FEMALE STEPS ONLY
Cause the ladies have been waiting and requested it! Female Steps Only is back to celebrate the huge contribution of Women in the Dancehall!
Shedule for March is below:
Badda Beats Thursdayz is moving venue…
Join us at iAstudios from THURS 12th MARCH!!!!!!!!
We are very excited to soon be moving into our new “home”:
1-3 Brixton Road, London SW9 6DE (near Oval tube station)
**Classes will run as normal on Thurs 26th Feb, and Thurs 5th March at Husky Studios.
**Please note there will be a few changes (time & price) when changing venue. See info below.
**You will LOVE the new studio!!!!!!!!
Thurs 26th Feb at Husky Studios
7-8.30pm – The Dancehall LAB (Collabo Class – acting for dancers & dancehall)
8.30-10pm – Afro-Beats Fusion
Thurs 5th March at Husky Studios
7-8.30pm – The Dancehall LAB (Collabo Class – dancehall & dancehall)
8.30-10pm – Afro-Beats Fusion
£8/class or £12 for both
From Thurs 12th March, we will be based at iAstudios:
7.30-9pm ——-> The Dancehall LAB (with Cindy Claes)
9-10.30pm —–> Afro-Beats Fusion (with GOP Dancerz)
£8/class or £14 for both