The Power of Performance

Sometimes when I watch a dance performance, it’s like eye candy. Everything is bright and colorful and visually stimulating.

Sometimes it feels analytical. I’m impressed and intrigued as I observe the technique and skills of the dancers.

Other times, there is an energy that’s infectious, and I feel a light, joyful or peaceful connection with the dancer.

But something rare happened this weekend at Kosmos Dance Camp. Each night, our amazing teachers perform their style of dance. This year, the Global Street Dance teacher Rashad Pridgen performed a solo. As soon as he started, I felt like I had been pulled into a tractor beam. I was frozen, mesmerized.

He danced to Gregory Porter’s “1960 What?”, and with each movement it felt as though he was inflating a bubble around us that pulsed with the emotions of the dance and the music. We were experiencing it with him, not just watching. It was so emotional and captivating.

Rashad teaching Global Street Dance at Kosmos Dance Camp, 2014

Rashad masterfully fuses a variety of styles of street dance, many of which I’m not familiar enough with to name. But I guess it doesn’t really matter. His dancing was terrific, yes, but it was the soul behind that reverberated through all of us. (As I was watching, I started thinking, “this audience is going to go CRAZY when he is done” – and we did, all jumping out of our seats, clapping and hollering.)

I thought about going up to him after the performance to thank him and tell him how captivating he was, but I felt a little shy and I knew it would be hard to find the right words to express how his dance affected me. I’m sure he knew though. The energy and connection between all of us was palpable. It reminded me of what incredibly powerful creatures we are when we express ourselves through music and dance.


What about you? Have you ever watched a dance performance that felt like a powerful shared experience that you’ll always remember? Tell me about it in the comments!

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