Playshops

I like calling my workshops playshops.  We all got into dancing because it’s fun, yes?

Village Playshop

This is the best expression of who I am in this world as a dancer, facilitator and person.  It’s incredibly difficult to set up, promote and keep running.  With support from some amazing people, I have organized about 15 in San Francisco and New York, but none yet in Boulder.

The idea is simple: have 10 friendly advanced dancers spend a day welcoming 10 new dancers.  Dancing with them.  Offering feedback.  All while I hold space, create community.  We share meals, we stick around afterwards and dance.  It transformed me.  It will transform you too.

Next one:  None planned yet.  I’ll either gather up the old crew in SF, or build a new group of friendly advanced dancers in Boulder/Denver.

 

Energetics of Dance

A collaboration with Anna-Lisa, this delves into the world of subtle energy.  Turns out this is an incredible short cut for great dancing.

Next one:  San Francisco, 11am-6pm, Feb-11 – RSVP on Facebook or register here.

 

(Blues) Dance Anatomy Workshop

This can be a four-week series or a four-hour workshop.  I’ve been excited to teach it for a long time, and when I finally did in Boulder, it got rave reviews.  Over my 15 years of dancing, I’ve offered and received lots of body mechanics advice.  This is my edit, the best four hours of that advice, organized by body area.

Arms:  (My) priority list for arms, The Pinkie, wings not claws, what to do with those pesky shoulders.  If time: elasticity in pull-pull connections.
Legs:  Support and non-support legs, why wobbling your knees works, accented landing.  If time: walking, especially flight and swing.
Core:  Lower abs crunch as the foundation of literally every movement, foot-L3-T6-head line, rhomboids and lats.
Head and Relationships:  Kelp/helium balloon neck/head for followers, importance of neck/head.  Various cross-body connections to feel into.

 

Authentic Relating Through Movement and More
A work in progress still.

 

Custom Workshops

I’m happy to work with the local organizer to custom-design something for a particular scene.

For example, Adin hired me to teach a 3-hour workshop in Ft. Collins on Feb-5. I started off by sending him some class descriptions and asking him what he wants me to teach.

Adin:  My only suggestion is to do something geared towards intermediate
blues dancers. Our scene seems to need help with connection in
positions other than close embrace, creating dynamics in their dancing
(especially when it comes to using lows too and not just highs) and
musicality. Does that give you enough to work with?
Mihai:  Lovely.  What kind of musicality would you prefer, classic blues or pop?
And by lows, do you mean more grounded, or lower energy?
Adin:  Let’s do classic blues for musicality. By lows I meant low energy. We
have a lot of leads who don’t even have a low energy mode. That sounds
great. If you could email me description asap that would be great.
I’ll be making an event page on the website with preregistration
options. Would love to get it all done before tomorrow afternoon
And here are the three class descriptions:
Dynamic Flow
Great social dancers work hard on their body control.  Their partners appreciate the feeling of safety and flow.  For leaders, this means being able to dance with very little or tons of muscular tension, to communicate this range well and to transition smoothly, with no jerk.  For followers, it means to have access to the same range of muscular tension, to respond promptly to the leader’s transitions and to use this same range to contribute to the partnership.  This class is all about creating that state of embodied flow in yourself and with your partner.

Open Embrace (Blues) Dance

Blues dancing has traditionally been a close embrace dance.  However, when the music picks up and we’ve got some lindy or west coast swing dancers, social blues dancers in larger scenes often mix in open embrace and open connection dancing.  Some definitions to start with.  Close embrace means chest-to-chest, whether offset or straight-on, apilado-style.  Open embrace means leader’s hand on follower’s back.  Open connection means hand-to-hand.  This class will focus on adding open embrace to your repertoire, to expand your range in another category.
Classic Blues Musicality
How many of the following are not blues musicians?  John Lee Hooker, Sidney Bechet, Nina Simone, Eric Clapton, Etta James, Lightnin’ Hopkins, Jimmy Witherspoon, Aretha Franklin, Buddy Guy, Big Mama Thornton.  If you came up with 3.5 names, we agree.  Though we all “blues dance” to a variety of music, classic blues has a special feel.  Part of this class will be devoted to training your ear and body to identify and respond to that special feel.  The rest will introduce you to the 12bar structure, point out where the changes in intensity happen and implore you to, again, recognize and respect it when you find yourself dancing to it.

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