Waltz is a type of dance, dance dance, it’s not just ballet, it’s not just Latin, it’s not just African. If you go through the dances and play the parts over and over, then you can play them in different ways. It has to fit into the genre and the rhythm. The idea of the “dance” is to play with the body.
How do you think we approach the dance?
The person we want to have as a part of our process is someone who will understand who we are as individuals and then we want to be able to work collaboratively with them through the dance. With the dancers, there are definitely people we meet early on in the process, which will introduce us and maybe give us some direction. But it’s not just an individual who knows this style. And as much as it has to be fun, it has to be interesting. It has to be something that brings people together. It has to be something that gives life to the piece.
What would you look for in a dancer to become good as a waltz teacher?
In the beginning, we talk about personality. It’s like we look for people who are funny and are spontaneous. The waltz isn’t like a high-stakes activity. You don’t have a set-up. Once you’re in it, you’re just in it, and that’s what makes the waltz fun. The teacher can help the teacher really teach. A lot of waltz teachers can lead a good dance. A lot of dance teachers can lead a great dance.
Do you ever worry about not being able to teach one student because your classes are so many?
I have to be honest. It’s fun when you have 100 people watching you. That’s just another way of saying it’s good. I know that’s not ideal. You have to have a few people who would like to come in with other people, like, let’s give it to one person. But I know that it will probably go really, really well.
What has your experience of teaching a class in Cuba been?
I’ve never taught someone from Cuba before. My first time was going out and I was kind of surprised. There were a lot of people there and the teacher just said wow, this is amazing, so I was so happy. I just wanted to show my enthusiasm for teaching. It was really neat.
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