If you're not on our email list, you're missing some of Vince Johnson's personal reverie's on dance. Sharing his latest below:
In operating a school that stems out of African Diaspora traditions, there is one thing that I hope that we all activate in our lives, which is the ability to emote in dance, or even better--Let's call it rejoice. Rejoice shows up in a variety of life circumstances. It can take many forms. In Hip Hop dance, I'll argue that it is as fundamental as bounce and groove. For some, the experience of rapture is tapped into easily. Let's take me, for example. When I first began dancing, "snappin," "getting open," going off," (all synonymous with the occurrence of rapture when dancing) were easier for me than "getting busy," which is knowing your vocabulary and being able to speak eloquently, laying it down righteously. Snapping without getting busy at the same time does't work in Hip Hop, which requires adherence to vernacular and thereby intelligibility. Subsequently, I'll argue that there is a fundamental order of progression in hip hop required to truly transpose into rejoice, which is expressed through this theorem: its first through a rigorous process of sensing one's environment while simultaneously self-examining, self-controlling and deliberating and applying unique concept that one is able to unlock the door for true rejoice within the ritual of hip hop dance. Keep in mind that this order is occurring in the moment of improvisation or dancing choreography. Might sound complicated and that you need to be an expert in order to tap such a state. But the truth is this formula can be applied early in ones practice. You simply must have some grasp of the basics and the ability to move to the beat. The key point is that many of us get our two step to the beat, but never unleash into full rapture. But this experience of ecstasy is there for all of us. We all will know when it happens for you, as it happens in testimony. UMA exists to promote this moment for all who step to the floor.
So that we know more about what this looks like, let's take a look at the clip of Meech and Tasha that I've shared. It's worth taking a closer look from 2:49min to 2:53min. Notice the shift in Tasha's attention. At 2:49 she is smiling from enjoying Meech's round. But when she looks back at 2:53min, it is clear that she is somewhere else. It is important to immediately note that this is beyond her being engaged in performance. She is sensing the environment and transfixing on a variable of sensations. She is locked in by 2:55, all with just simple bounces to the tempo, the basics. Then by 3:00min, she raises more complex technique. Now it is a mix of feeling the external and feeling herself. Lift off into Ecstasy (sans the pill). By 3:27, she is hopping on one leg, flapping her arms like wings. The MC is going "aww shit." Meech is drawing his hands to his chest at the same tempo. Tasha is providing access for the entire room to witness and grasp what she is feeling. At 3:33min there is a magnificent sychronisity of Meech touching his chest as Tasha gives space for herself to stand glorified and in perception of what she is generating. Furthermore, the qualities of this being beyond a plotted theatrical performance exists in the expressiveness of her face. Her facial expression at 3:47min shows where she has landed and what this place is doing to her. She grasps onto the moment, for the expression of the face is both a reaction to what she is feeling and a device for her to sustain and feed her present moment. Meech wants some and successfully takes his own trip on the bridge that Tasha has drawn. The room is pumped not by how cool and sophisticated Tasha's moves were, but by the contagion of jubilee yielded from her public rapture.
UMA is the space for this. Let's recognize so that we can snap and show out more!