Tuesday, June 12, 2007


Over the summer I will be hosting Adriana Lira of Brazil, for a weekend of workshops in New York (more about that in the weeks to come!). All this thinking of workshops has got me reflecting on my own workshop experiences and what I liked and disliked about them.

Most recently, I attended a workshop by Fahtiem, and one by Suhaila. Although the workshops were held on the same day, that was about the only thing that was similar about them!

The Suhaila workshop was intense. Suhaila is amazing, and I do love her dance style. However, I think her style is one that is better learned over time, and not in a three hour workshop. The class I took was on drum solos, and Suhaila uses a lot of layering in her drum solo work. I consider myself good at layering, but I felt like an uncoordinated goofball during this class. The movements that Suhaila incorporated into this dance were outrageous - I felt that only the most seasoned Suhaila student would walk away from that class feeling like they knew what they were doing.

The Fahtiem workshop was definitely more my speed. Fahtiem is a like a butterfly - her moves are effortless and she floats, rather than dances. I also found her to use a lot of jazz and lyrical type moves (not a shimmy in sight, actually), which were very easy for me to pick up, considering my dance background.

I left Fahtiem's workshop feeling like I had accomplished something. I had a choreography I could remember, and use, and I was enjoying myself during the class. I think all of these things are key to making a workshop successful for the individual dancer. It was definitely worth it for me.

So, what workshops have you taken? Who was your favorite? Why? Are there some things that make or break a workshop for you?