Who's taking your hip-hop dance classes?
I teach street hip hop, which is really structured, and primarily I start at age 8 and up, and yeah, I do have more adults than I do kids, ranging from mid-20s to mid-30s. I have more men than women ask about learning, but mostly women show up to the classes.
Do you have to be physically fit to take hip hop?
No, but if you stay with it, you'll have to get fit eventually. I also teach hip-hop aerobics. If people are just in it for exercise, I usually guide them to that.
Where would a person use these moves?
At clubs, any dances, weddings. I also teach how to incorporate some of the moves into line dances.
Have you had anyone you just couldn't teach?
No, I haven't got anybody like that. At the very beginning, I do a rhythm test. You can't teach rhythm-—it's something you feel. If you can't snap or nod your head to the beat, you don't have rhythm. I've never had anybody fail the rhythm test. In fact, I've only met two people in my life who, when I was in their presence, didn't have rhythm. You've got rhythm, I'll get you on the moves.
What about self-confidence, can you teach that?
Yes. That's the energy behind the move and it's the hardest part to get people to do. A lot of people think putting in more energy, you're going to look stupid. But if you see someone pushing it, with all their energy, that's when they look really good.
Do you have one song you typically use with beginners?
In every beginning class I teach a warm-up dance routine to "Summer Love" by Justin Timberlake.