This past week I had the rare pleasure of being part of an interim intensive week for theater and choral students at Seattle University. I was invited by the organizer and chair of the theater department, Ki Gottberg, to be the “dance deep queen” leading the first hour warm up for their five day intensive that was facilitated by Dianne Meeks.
Opportunities like these are among my dream gigs. Being able to work with bright, open minded students who bring their curiosity, dedication and talent into a focused learning environment is such a pleasure. It is also very fun to share my passion and ideas about movement and culture with young adult bodies who are willing to be outside their physical norms. I also got to play them some wonderful music and artists who have inspired me for a long time. We started with a Habib Koite piece on day one and ended with Virginia Rodrigues’ version of “Uma Historia de Ifa” on day five. In between there was Chebbi Saba, Chiwoniso, Toure Kunda, Obo Addy, Yande Codou Sene………..
Here’s a sweet piece of feedback I got from one of the participants:
“I was initially nervous about taking a Wassa class because I don’t have much experience or natural talent in dancing and I was afraid of feeling self-conscious. There was really nothing to worry about! The dance style itself is so simple and rooted in the body’s natural movements. Plus, the killer music makes it hard to stop moving for even a second. I never felt embarrassed or overwhelmed, only joyous. Lara is a teacher that positively overflows with love for her students, and it was a pleasure learning from her.”