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