Class, Is It In YOU?

Jason WintersWell, it is that glorious time of year again here in NYC… SUMMER!! A time when people travel from not just all over the Unites States, but the entire globe, to take class and train from some of the most influential and challenging teachers in dance today. Growing up and travelling to New York, I remember the awe and mystique that came along with taking a class at Broadway Dance Center or STEPS. Boy, did I have to build up the courage to even walk in the door, much less stand (and dance) beside the lead in Broadway shows or the principal soloists from Contemporary Companies I had long admired. Needless to say there is a history and prestige that comes from taking these classes, and now that I am on faculty teaching at STEPS with my own classes, I realise the responsibility and honour it is to be among such an incredible lineage.
Over the years of working in so many different genres of dance, I always found comfort in the fact that at any time and in any place, I could find a dance class to take. In that room I went back to being a student and remembered all the incredible reasons why I loved what I do. The freedom, the artistry, the passion, the hunger, the desire to move and inspire those around me. It was a perfect place to get revitalised when I was feeling down or exhausted from daily life. Better yet, I found a new motivation to try something I have never done before! African, Swing, the multitude of Hip Hop, etc. I never even entertained the idea of not taking class, especially in an art form that is ever changing and developing. I express in every class I teach, the reasons why I am so drawn to CONTEMPORARY dance as my ultimate form of expression. No, it isn’t because it is trendy, that is just pure circumstance. It is because it’s a form of dance with NO RULES, NO BOUNDARIES, NO LIMITATIONS, AND EVEN NO “NO’S”. If you know what I mean!! A perfect blend of past, present, and future movement, utilising all kinds of music and sound, or even none at all… SILENCE. How often do we stop and listen, just listen, without comment or judgement? That is the endless world of Contemporary dance to me. The only way to stay in this magical realm is to train, study, communicate, and exchange with other artists in our world. This is class, and it is always there for you. When you are lonely. When you are sad. When you have just recovered from an injury that could have possibly taken your entire career away and you at only 20. When you are the happiest you have ever been because you just got that audition that 1000 other people showed up for. When you are in love. When you are hungry for new inspiration. When you want to relive the 80’s. When you haven’t gotten a gig in months. When you want to learn the latest steps. When you hear of a teacher that has the gifts to change your life with just a few words. When you can’t think of any other way to express yourself from the inside out! The list is endless and so are the amount of opportunities there are to take class. So search out those teachers and facilities that provide this treasure to you, and the next time you are in NYC, grab that eternal student within you and come to CLASS!! I will be waiting 😉
I will be at STEPS on Broadway for the next 6 months but also teaching in many parts of Canada and the U.S. Don’t think I have forgotten about you Sydney!! I will hopefully be back in Jan. ’09 so keep up to date by checking out my web page for dates and details.
Much Love & Light,
– Jason Winters

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