Teaching Quick Notes from MezzJelly Toronto 2013


Sitting here on the train back to Montreal after a great weekend at MezzJelly at my old stomping grounds of Toronto and pondering the meaning of life, love, and dance.

Haha, just joking… but whenever I’m on the train, I seem to always be contemplating whether I should be productive and write or just chill and play Football Manager for six hours straight. Today I think I will be productive…

four days later…

Okay so I wasn’t very productive at all but teaching at MezzJelly was a special experience for me because the last MezzJelly event in Canada was also my first ever blues event. Circle of life or something like that eh?

For the event, I was hired to teach two solo dance classes – a “guys routine” and a fun “urban/hip hop” routine.

For the “urban” dance routine (hehe), I choreographed it to Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines”, which is charting at #1 in most billboards around the country right now. I chose that song mainly for the cheesy but infectious rhythm and mind numbing hook. Since the song itself is pretty party-time silly, I figured it would work well for MezzJelly. If you know the song, you might be thinking to yourself, “hey, that’s not a blues song at all”. Why yes you are right. That’s why the class title was called “urban dance” class. Whatever that means. Lawlsies. Anyhoo, the class was right after lunch so students were a bit slow coming in but as soon as the warm-up was over, the class was pretty packed. I don’t really remember much of the class besides getting everyone to do body rolls but I do remember leaving the class very happy that most people had a bumping time.

The second class I taught was a “dude’s routine” to a soul song (Temptations’ “Papa Was A Rolling Stone”) which focused a lot more on grooving and body movement. What was interesting for me as a teacher for this class was that there were multiple people just filming the entire class. At the time I thought it was a bit sketch as I can’t imagine filming an entire class being a kosher thing to do during a workshop but someone did put together this video of various runs we did:

There were a few things I could have probably done a bit better for the second class such as having a bit more time for practicing for the moves and going a bit more in-depth on the techniques. Admittedly I still have some teaching methodologies to work on when completely mixed group of dancers and I do have a tendency to just assume that most dancers are fairly experienced in solo dancing. Will work on it, promise.

All in all, I was pretty happy to be part of the event and also see so many of my friends come together for a great party. It was also awesome to be paid to just do my thanggg. See you guys at the next Toronto event :)

Two Years On…

Me and the famous Caroline Rossi during an invitational jack and jill at the rialto. I tripped her. haha oops :(

Me and the famous Caroline Rossi during an invitational jack and jill at the rialto. I tripped her. haha oops :(

I just realized the other day it has been two full years since I moved to Montréal! Wowzers! Some days I wake up and still think I live in Vancouver but stepping outside and seeing the city not populated by asians snaps me back to reality (also only being only able to understand half of what people are saying to me… hehe).

Whenever I fire up wordpress, I feel like I should write a long blog post on my recent experiences living here. There are so many events that happen or great moments that I take pictures of that I never get the chance to publish or stay in perpetual “draft mode”. Mostly due to laziness, I admit, but also because there are just too many things going on all the time here that I never have the chance to just chill out and write. Don’t get me wrong, I love having so many projects that I’m working on. Really at the end of the day I would rather be producing and being in the studio than writing but it’s always good for me to take the time to reflect as part of my learning process. It’s also great lawls reading it back later on.

A quick summary of my past two years here in the city would be – lots fantastic dancers to learn from/work with and a hellavua lot of social dancing. What more can I really ask for really? Montréal really is the social dance capital of Canada and if you are serious about this crazy art of ours, you owe it to yourself to at least spend a chunk of time studying here.

I could probably spend more time learning the language though so people don’t think I’m stoooopid. Well I am a bit, but that’s a different kind of stupid. Wait what was I writing about again? Le sigh.