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    The doors of Safiyyah Dance Company were propped open at 6p.m. on March 12. It was the night of the first ever Midwest MashUp Dance Workshop, featuring three talented choreographers with roots from the Midwest. Not only did adults come to this workshop, but also, kids, high school students, and college students. A few minutes past 6:30p.m., people continued to walk in, and so, the choreographers decided to wait as long as possible so that no one would miss out on any of the choreographies. The studio was soon filled with about 30 students.

    First up was Devin Solomon, an Indianapolis native who lives and teaches dance in California. His choreography was to “Hookah” by Tyga, featuring Young Thug, and it was intricate, smooth, and a pleasure to learn. Devin did a great job teaching it, slowing it down when necessary and answering any questions. Though it was difficult, many picked up on it quickly, and it pushed everyone to grow and learn something new.

     

     

    Next up was a collaboration between Safiyyah Rasool, a Louisville native, and Jean Kelley, an Indianapolis native; both teach in their respective hometowns. Their choreography was to Kanye West’s “Clique,” featuring Jay Z and Big Sean. It was shorter than Devin’s, but it was fast and proved to be a challenge. This choreography kept you on your toes, and you had the chance to put your own style, spunk into it. The choreographers worked with the time limitations and taught us the whole dance while remaining receptive to reviewing specific parts of the choreography and acknowledging any confusions we had.

     

    Due to starting later than expected, some individuals had left before learning the last choreography, but many also stayed. The night ended with a piece by Robert White, a Columbus, OH native who teaches in Ohio, and his choreography was to “Feeling Myself” by Nicki Minaj, featuring Beyonce. Though the class was smaller, Robert kept the energy up and pushed all of us to stay hyped, to hit all the moves, and to really get the dance down.  It was a fun piece to learn and to execute; everyone was killing it with Robert’s encouragement. 

    It was amazing to learn three different choreographies from four choreographers of different styles and teaching techniques. This workshop was worth the money and worth staying half an hour later, till 10p.m. instead of 9:30p.m., to learn as much as possible. It was intense, but it kindled everyone’s love for dance, a feeling we all felt in the studio that night. Safiyyah announced that she will be working to host more Midwest MashUp workshops in the future. It is truly exciting to see and be a part of the growing dance community in Louisville. Thank you Safiyyah Rasool, Devin Solomon, Jean Kelley, and Robert White for putting together and giving Louisville an intense and exhilarating workshop!

    More videos can be found on Saffiyah Dance’s Youtube channel.
     

     

    Photo and Video Courtesy of Irena Tran and Safiyyah Dance's Youtube Channel

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    About Irena Tran

    I studied Art at UofL and now physical therapy at Bellarmine University. I love art, sports, and good food. I'm always looking for something new to try and new concepts to photograph!

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