PITTSBURG — Dance students learned to find their groove at a hip-hop dance workshop on Friday.
The YMCA hosted the workshop with Manual ‘Lukky’ Harvey as a guest instructor.
Harvey is a dancer, instructor and choreographer who educates students on dance during his travels. He is the creator of iPush the Community, a training and performance company.
In May, Harvey came down to Pittsburg to choreograph at Pittsburg High School. Dance Instructor Makaihlah Gibbs said she was impressed and decided to invite him to do a workshop at the YMCA.
Gibbs said it is good for dancers to experience being instructed by different teachers because it gives them an opportunity to see what it is like in the dance industry — where many of these students plan to be in the future.
“It’s good for instructors to come from the outside to teach the kids,” she said. “It helps them learn about the industry and creative movement — it teaches them good style.
“It also helps them to adapt to new teachers.”
The workshop had three sessions, beginner, intermediate and advanced to make sure it wasn’t too hard, but also push them.
“Every dancer grows in their own time and process,” Harvey said. “My job is to determine where the artist is individually.
“We don’t want to make it too easy or too hard, or it will be overwhelming.”
Harvey said hip-hop is more than just dance moves — it is part of a culture.
“Grounded in hip-hop, is culture,” he said. “It goes further beyond teaching dance moves.”
During the dance session he showed the students some footwork, they would step and cross their legs with the beat, but Harvey encouraged them to do more — to let their body move, get in the groove.
“Without groove there’s no dance,” Harvey said. “This is how you stay in line with music and compliment it with your moves.”
He said it is important to teach the fundamentals and footwork while encouraging expression and groove.
“Always stick to the roots,” Harvey said. “Grooving is the foundation of dance.”
“The first time you hear a song your head moves and then repetitive movement.”
Harvey said teaching the students at the YMCA was a good experience and he looks forward to coming back.
“The energy was amazing,” he said. “I will definitely be back soon.”
— Stephanie Potter is a staff writer at the Morning Sun. She can be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her on Twitter @PittStephP and Instagram @stephanie_morningsun.