Ase (they/them) teaches All Levels Hip Hop @ UMA 2100 Chestnut location on Tuesdays at 7pm. This class is the bridge between you feeling immersed in a music video or a bumping party. Expect to listen and jam out to bangers, both old and new. Ase and Alexis (the Thursday teacher of All Levels Hip Hop) are pursuing careers in commercial choreography and performance, so they will be able to share all of their knowledge and experiences with you. But they're not going to be trying to trip you up. This class is open to dancers of all levels. The goal is to provide you with tools to grow and find your groove while letting loose and having fun!
I asked Ase to share more about their dance journey and All Levels Hip Hop class. Hear more from them below!
How did you get into dance?
"I look at dance as expression as opposed to codified techniques. Dance is more often than not a spur of the moment physcalized feeling.
In this regard, it has always been apart of my life. However, beyond my innate curiosities to explore movement, my initial entry points into dance were the black Christian churches I’ve attended, the filmed version of “The Wiz”, and the ever changing world of street dance.
In church, Grandmas, Uncles, “churrin”, it didn’t matter. People held on their skirts or suit jackets and tapped their feet. Everybody danced like they had something that needed to get out of them. Something they were holding back on. I also enjoyed “The Wiz” where the dancers stretched their smiles just as far and wide as their limbs while moving. Always reaching towards something greater. Lastly in street dance, I so graciously witnessed how people had conversations through movement that coincided with not any ol’ music. But music that in my childhood was my absolute favorite kind to listen to. Pop and Hip-Hop."
What are your choreographic influences?
"I am blessed to be around such kind hearted people. Whether they are friends, family, teachers or co-workers. They all inspire me to create. Creating art is so precious to me, because it’s how I express myself with agency. My loved ones encourage me to be confident in my capabilities, and they are my biggest artistic influence."
How do you see the current commercial scene- What are the lanes, who are the music artists to chart and follow?
"Sean Bankhead, Fullout Courtland, and Parris Goebel are the 3 that seem to be on the front line of social media. Danyel Moulten and Lyrik London are the 2 people I hope to work with the most. I love that before accentuating their body, they play with character, facial expressions and an intentional energy they’d like to give off. They dance from deep with in."
What is your favorite part about teaching your class at UMA?
"Commercial Hip-Hop at Urban Movement Arts is a very joyous weekly celebration. We come together ready to explore and try new movement we’ve never done before. I appreciate the consistent turnout of attendance. It uplifts me to see people of many different levels of dance in the same space. Some people have been dancing for 10 years or more, some people take their first class ever with me. Everyone is so committed to themselves wherever they’re at. People surprise themselves every single class. I may have hard days, but walking into Studio A at UMA Tuesday nights really positively reshapes my entire day. That to me is worth celebrating!"