Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Benji's workshops were a lot of fun. Tough but fun. The warm-up was killer; my thighs were starting to shake from the strain of all the stretches, and the abs section of the warm-up felt like some kind of boot camp work-out.

The first workshop was a 1.5 hour Swazz workshop. Swazz, for the uninitiated (and that included me just a few days ago), is the dance style which Benji came up with for his solo dance for the So You Think You Can Dance finals. It's a solo jazz dance which has a lot of swing elements, and is pretty fun to do. I'm not a big fan of jazz dance but I definitely enjoyed myself even though I felt a little out of my league given the number of people who came from a jazz dance background in the class. It's great learning from someone who's so passionate about dance, and yet at the same time, loves to goof around without being so pissy about the proper technique and needing to have the perfect jazz kick and so on.

And the best part of that workshop? He asked us to film him dancing so he could put it up on his MySpace to show others that Singapore has dance too. I'm really glad I have this habit of bringing my digital camera out to any big event I go to.

The second workshop was a 1.5 hour West Coast Swing (WCS) workshop. WCS isn't danced in Singapore, as far as I'm aware, and so, every one of us in the class started off more or less on the same level. Benji pretty much taught the basics of WCS, starting from the anchor step, and including basic steps such as the sugar push, whip, inside arm turn and so on. One of the great things about WCS is that it can be done to any kind of music. I've been looking for a social dance with one particular feature for so long so it's nice to know that that kind of dance does actually exist.

Sadly, there wasn't any social dance during the workshop given how much he had to get through, but I did get the chance to partner him when he was demonstrating a move. Fortunately for me, it was also the time when he wanted us to dance to music, so after he went through the routine with me, he continued dancing and doing some rather different and cheeky moves for about 30 seconds to a minute and while I was intimidated (which he - and everyone else - could see), it was most definitely a lot of fun dancing with him. (Cue total and complete fangirl gush and meltdown a la time I danced with Daniel Heedman)

These past few days have been absolutely fantastic, and the Benji dance workshops are most definitely icing on the cake.

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