Each and every day, I lose myself in the immediacy of the moment, find myself in the joy of the movement. Each and every day, I learn more and more...and, within that new knowledge, realize that I have so much farther to travel.

Shallom Johnson is a contemporary dance artist, visual artist and freelance writer based in Vancouver BC. She holds a Bachelors of Fine Arts degree in Contemporary Dance from Simon Fraser University, and has been active in the Vancouver dance community as a choreographer, performer, and instructor since her graduation in 2004.

Shallom is interested in art in public spaces, site-specific performance, interdisciplinary collaboration, and community involvement. Her street-based artwork, performance and photography examines and documents who gets to make art, where it gets made, and where/how the creative process and product is viewed. In the future, she hopes to explore this theme further via new media and technologies, new methods of creation, collaboration and community engagement.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Thoughts about Hip-Hop

I've been thinking lately about my qualifications as a dance instructor, especially in the realm of hip-hop and street jazz, styles in which I am less experienced. I taught a hip-hop workshop at St Mary's College and felt really nervous going into the class - I love hip-hop, and I teach a lot of into/beginner kids' classes for the City of Burnaby, but I wouldn't describe myself as a hip-hop dancer, and I sometimes feel like my ballet/modern/jazz training has given my dancing less of an urban style. And I worry that this affects my confidence as a teacher, and my ability to give a good class.

I think that physically, I need to focus on cultivating the short, sharp places in my movement - to find the spots where the free flow stops, and becomes bound. I need to work on isolations and develop the sense of being lowed to the ground, less pulled up and held away. I need to go to hip-hop class more often. I think that not only will these qualities help me to improve as a hip-hop dancer, but also to deepen my range in my contemporary work.

Just things that have been on my mind lately, is all...

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