Chatting with Alcina
What’s your experience been like at iDance?
I think everyone who starts at iDance feels intimidated because it’s “open level” which isn’t necessarily for beginners but then I think that iDance’s studio is very much like a home. So when you come here you feel more comfortable than other studios, because usually you just sign in and that’s it, but here it’s like, “Hey! How are you?” And I think that’s a better atmosphere for people who are new. And I find that the instructors make it a lot like a home.
Oh nice! Who would you say are your favourite instructors?
Ooh that’s a tough one...but for me that would definitely be...Jocelyn.
Oh cool, how come?
I find that she challenges you in her classes every time and I feel like because she challenges you and pushes you to go further past your comfort zone that you improve a lot more. I think maybe it’s just because I’ve done hip hop before but it’s good to have someone to push you. And the way she does it too, she gets you hyped up, she has such an energy and you feel it too so it makes you want to do your best.
Yeah for sure. So would you say that’s your favourite class too or what are you favourite classes? Or top three?
Hmmm...that’s hard. Top 3? I guess it depends on how many I’ve taken, because I’ve taken house and dancehall a lot, those two would definitely be at the top, plus, I don’t know...I really like all the classes. But I guess those two are definitely at the top.
Yeah how many days a week are you here? Like 7?
Almost 7, I’d say like 6, I usually take Sundays off.
That’s allowed ;)
Would you make any suggestions or changes at iDance?
I think things are really good the way they are. I don’t think anything needs to be different. We have a lot of hip hop so maybe we could have some different fields likes street dance or street jazz. I find that those genres are really good at getting you into different mixes of things. I find with street jazz you can do a lot with it too, and I think I like those vibes.
Cool. So how much dance did you do before coming to iDance?
When I was in university they offered it at the athletics centre, so I guess I’ve only been doing 2 to 3 dances a week.
That’s still a fair amount! For how long?
Well, I’ve been doing it since I was in first year so that was a couple of years. Back when I first started to dance it was only maybe once a week. But you know, you expand with time.
What would you say to people who’ve never danced and are thinking about coming to iDance?
Well, if I had to say something it’s that, don’t look at what other people are doing because I find when you look at other people you feel like, “Oh I’ll never be like them, I can’t do it.” But that’s not a good mindset to have when you’re dancing. We all start somewhere, and maybe some people get it faster, some people do, some people don’t. But if it’s something you want to do then I say do it. And when you come here don’t think, “Oh my god I can’t do this, I can’t get it or something.” Think about the one thing you did get. I think that’s a good mindset to have, “Ok I could do this step really well,” think about that and maybe you can improve on that. So I think for me, advice to beginners, don’t feel intimidated by people who are regulars because they’ve been doing it for awhile. So I think they should just come here thinking like, “I want to do something, I want to learn something.” Think about something you want to get done, and you can keep growing and growing, because like I said, everybody starts at the bottom. We don’t all start being really good at what we do.
So when you’re in a class, do you think about a goal for each day, or what do you focus on nailing down?
I usually think to myself, I’m going to just vibe and feel the music out, because if you don’t feel the music out then I won’t feel the choreography really well. Then I’m going to focus on nailing a move because I know the move. Nail that move and you’ll feel really great about it. And even when I make a mistake I just laugh at it, because, well, I made a mistake but next time we go through it I’m going to do it better. I’m not thinking about oh no I’m going to do it wrong, I just think about ok, I’m going to nail it now.
What about doing the choreography in groups, what do you think about that? Do they scare you?
They don’t scare me really. I wouldn’t say don’t look at other people but you know, just feel it out.
Everyone’s usually just looking at the teacher anyway. [laughs]
Yeah usually everyone’s just going to stare at the teacher to see how to do it, or people might be watching just because they want to follow along and do it right too...maybe sometimes someone might be watching you, but maybe it’s because they’re think, “Hmmm they’re doing it THIS way” because everyone is doing something different, because everyone has their own style, so that’s why if it’s me who’s watching a group or doing it in a group, I’m more focused on myself because I’m thinking to myself, ok there’s more space so I can take more of that. Sometimes when you’re in a packed room doing groups is good so you have an understanding of how people are dancing it, and then you might take something from it too. Sometimes it is intimidating but sometimes I feel like it’s a good way to have a reference, because you might find someone where you really like their style and think that you want to do it the way they’re doing, because it’s not wrong to take their style because it’s good to influence people.
Yeah definitely. Tell us about you. What’s happening in school?
I’m studying communications and media studies at Carlton University. It’s a 4 year program and it’s an honours from what I can remember...
And I’m doing a certificate program in TESLA which is teaching English in a second language. So my year is going to be busy, the next two years doing those courses plus my major.
And you’re doing Japanese as well!
Yeah that’s my minor.
So I need credits in that.
Oh my gosh. Sounds intense.
So what else do you like to do when you’re not studying or dancing. Although that may take up all your time! [laughs]
I like to sing.
Oh really? Cool!
Yeah I take lessons now with an instructor, and every once in awhile I do a cover in Japanese or so. But lately I’ve felt I need to improve, it’s like dance, you feel you need to improve. And sometimes having a teacher is really good, so someone who can tell you what you can improve upon. I’ve been doing lessons every two weeks.
So many great skills...So are you from Vancouver?
I’m definitely a Vancouverite, since day one. I went to Vancouver Technical high school. I didn’t do anything in high school except dance. You know the teacher who will sometimes do a feature here, named Lineke?
Yeah totally, love her!
Yeah, well she’s been my teacher since day one, since I could dance.
Oh really? That’s awesome.
Yeah, so all my basics came from her. I guess it was progressive hip hop, so you do moves a lot and you groove a lot, and I find her class gave me a lot of muscle memory. I find it really helps, when you’re a beginner, sometimes it is good to do a progressive. But there are classes here that do have their basics too. Sometimes it depends on the teacher, what they want to do. And I find the warmups here really do help you. Sometimes they might put the basics in there, so don’t miss the warm-up. That’s my advice, don’t miss the warm-ups because they will help you!
Very cool! Thanks so much! Good luck with school, and hurry back!