Going To Dance Class With Val: Brian Abadia


Story by Valeria Munoz, Copy Editor

Recently, I had the opportunity to take a hip hop class from Brian Abadia. He is a faculty member of Showstoppers Dance Studio and also teaches at Focal Dance Point Studio in Miami. He has trained in hip hop choreography, B-boying, tricking, popping, and contemporary. He has performed on many television shows, award shows like Premios Lo Nuestro, and participated in world tours.

His hilarious movie references such as the 1997 movie Flubber throughout the hour made the atmosphere amicable and less competitive. This was definitely a master class where all stress to understand the choreography was taken off my shoulders. In fact, he used different voices and poses to make himself look silly so that we would feel less embarrassed if we were to mess up. Another small detail which made a huge impact on my experience was that before class he learned everyone’s name. Nowadays in many master classes, instructors put themselves on a pedestal and don’t take the time to be personable with the students. Abadia, however, was quite the contrary. He even customized the choreography for people who had difficulty with the timing of certain steps. People’s experience of a master class can be clouded by frustration and take away from the fun of venturing out of your comfort zone, but he got rid of all the stress factors that dancers often inflict on themselves unknowingly.

He emphasized the importance of clean lines as one of the key features that makes a better dancer. By clean lines, he was referring to the precision of the shapes that dancers portray or the straightness of the arms throughout the choreography. He taught to How Deep Is Your Love by Calvin Harris and The Disciples, and let me just tell you, the musicality of the piece was amazing. I truly feel that he gave each and every one of us in his class “a moment.” The moment I am referring to is when people meet a person they admire and the celebrity says or does something specific to that person. Basically, the moment will leave a lasting impression on the individual which they will cherish. For instance, my moment was when I got to dance and freestyle alongside Brian Abadia after class. I believe that teachers should focus more on making the experience of taking their class enjoyable rather than a competition and Abadia really achieved that.

Abadia urges young aspiring dances to have fun, to stay away from the drama, and not to compete with anyone else in the room. In doing so, he promises that “you will stand out.”

“You know why? Because that’s different. People are going to wonder ‘What makes her different?’ And it’s because you don’t care about competing with anyone else, you just care about having fun,” he said.

In fact, his tip for auditions is to smile and show that you are living in the moment. After all, other people may have the choreography but if they see you smiling, and enjoying yourself they are going to pick you. Since you proved to them that you have great energy, they’ll remember you from among the crowd. Therefore, they will be more willing to forgive you for any mess-ups in the choreography in comparison to a professional that performs the choreography stoically and seems unable to connect with the audience or the judges.

Brian Abadia is not only an accomplished choreographer but a considerate person overall which in my mind makes him stand out in the dance community. From Big Hero 6 inspired handshakes to spontaneous freeze moments, I can promise you that there will never be a dull moment in his class.

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