Yifeng Wang

What Do I Talk About When I Talk About Dance

I need to talk about dance.

Dance is the surprising and wonderful delight I found in 2018. It all began with when a friend suggested we did something new and tried out a hip hop dance class for a Saturday morning. That was fun, I thought. I went back the next week, the week after, and the week after that... Before I knew it I joined a performance workshop, danced with some most amazing instructors and students, and met many wonderful people that I now call friends.

I'm by no means a natural dancer. One would think dance is a just another form of sport that takes some adjustment and technique learning. Well it was not. Shocker. I received really great feedback from some dance friends. One said my shoulders were not open. Another said I forgot that I had arms when I danced. You see the idea. Groove? I don't have. Isolation? Not really. It took me three months to really understand what people meant when they said I was moving my shoulders when I was supposed to move my chest. None of those mattered though. I still found so much joy in it. I stayed. And I’m probably going to stick around.

The type of class I partake the most is usually referred as urban choreography or urban dance. Here is a video attempting at explaining what it is. The first 30 seconds is pure comedy gold if you already have an idea about urban choreography, which is more of describing an activity than a certain dance style. It’s the practice of people coming together and dance. It’s about building a community. While commonly hip hop, the instructors come from all kinds of dance background and employ different styles to express what they see and feel in the music.

It has been an unreasonably stressful year and dance provided me tons of positive energy to push through. I was so lucky to take class from incredible local talent such as Sila Poe to shiny stars such as Larkin Poynton and Ellen Kim. I sort of performed on the same stage with Les Twins, Kida the Great, and Chris Martin. My YouTube homepage started to fill with dance videos. I started to deliberately look for bass and snare when listen to music. It was wonderful and I'm grateful. I understand I need to foster a better relationship with myself and destress myself from the inside but dance has given me so much while I learn to do that. To much more dance to come.