Going to Dance Class with Val: Kaelynn Harris

Going to Dance Class with Val: Kaelynn Harris

Photo by U4ria Dance Studio

Story by Valeria Munoz, Copy Editor

Upon hearing about Kaelynn Harris’ class, I purchased my ticket and printed it out on the same day without thinking twice.  A few days later, there were only fourteen coveted spots left to attend her workshop. Having grown up watching Harris and her crew, 8 Flavahz, compete on America’s Best Dance Crew, I knew that the studio would be jam packed with students. When I arrived, the line of people was already a substantial length. Once Harris began class, her choreography spoke for itself. Set to Rihanna’s “Pose,” her choreography was mature, quick, and feminine filled with intricate movements and hairography (hair choreography).

Since the studio was packed with people, there was no doubt dancers would run into each other sooner rather than later, but of course that’s a small detail we’ve all learned how to handle. In this particular case, I happened to run into Harris herself. She was completely down to earth and even apologized although it hadn’t been her fault. A little girl next to me was completely star struck as she said “Did that just happen?”

Harris marked moments in the song by playing with the tempo and rhythm of Rihanna’s voice. She matched Rihanna’s tone of voice with her movement, showing her versatility as well as musicality. The most challenging part of the choreography for me was the floor work. Harris recommended throughout the piece to “not break character” during the whole dance, especially the floor work section.

“Feed off of each other’s energy and don’t be afraid to dance with the other person. When I take class that’s one thing I like to do. So many people nowadays seem to dance separately when they are right next to each other instead of being inspired by the other’s energy,” she said while organizing us into groups.

Another twist Harris added to the groups was that she split us up by age. Instead of having the traditional group one through four selected by assigning numbers, Harris made the experience more entertaining and personable by having students perform with people around the same age range.

Harris taught us that performing doesn’t come in to play just during rehearsals or recitals but it is a factor to use to your advantage during class too. After all, those who incorporate facials and their own flair to choreography are the most entertaining to watch and seem to have the most fun.

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