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.

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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!

Dance Camp!

Just finished packing before heading out to carpool with some friends to Kosmos Dance Camp….and found this in my old posts! A draft of an unfinished post after last year’s dance camp. Maybe this year I’ll actually publish a complete post after attending, but for now, here’s a little peek into the experience and why it’s one of the best times of the year for me.

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A few days ago, I was laughing, talking and dancing with new girlfriends, living together sleepaway camp style in a 10-bunk bed cabin in the redwoods of the Santa Cruz Mountains.

After taking classes with some of the best teachers in the Bay Area, we’d eat dinner, get cleaned up and spend the night watching performances and dancing to live music.

It was amazing. It was Kosmos Dance Camp.

Another world

For four days, you’re immersed in a world of dancers and musicians – everyone filled with joy at the opportunity to dance and play all day every day.

You get up in the morning, go to breakfast together, and then dance to your heart’s content. Want to take every class that’s offered that day? (That’d be seven hours of dancing.) Go for it! Want to take it easy? Take a few classes, hang out at the pool and take a nap.

Whatever you decide, you’ll be surrounded with people feeling joyful, open and adventurous, exploring everything from Bollywood, Afro-Peruvian and Afro House Hop to Reggaeton Fusion, Salsa Reuda and Contemporary.