Chatting with Jocelyn Heaps
Tell us a bit about yourself.
I’m Jocelyn, I’m a dance teacher here at iDance, and I teach the intermediate hip hop on Tuesday nights at 7:45pm. I did most of my training in New York and I’m happy to share my passion here.
Well we love having you here! Where did you do your training in New York?
I did it at New York Conservatory Dramatic Arts [a professional actor and theatre training program] and Broadway Dance Centre [a top dance training school with renowned teachers and choreographers].
Awesome. And where are you from?
I am from Chilliwack [laughs], so not too far from here.
And what kind of dancing have you done?
I’ve done a little bit of everything, however I really enjoy teaching hip hop, street jazz so that’s definitely my favourite style.
What do you think of iDance?
I love iDance because of the atmosphere here. The clients that it brings in, the energy that everybody has in class, it’s a home for most people.
What do you think of Amanda?
That’s a good question!
Well I actually met her when I moved back to Vancouver from school, I reached out to Kyle, and asked, “What should I do, do you know anyone hiring…?”
Yeah, him and I used to dance together, and he was like, “Oh my gosh you should meet Amanda, she reminds me so much of you!” And so then I got to meet Amanda, and after the first interview I helped her behind the front desk a bit, and then we got into classes right away, and then she and I, honestly our friendship has really grown over the last couple of years. Not only do I work for her but we’re also roommates [both laugh]. And I think she and I are really compatible together, and we have a lot of good ideas we share. I would say she is someone who I really get along with [laughs]. We just have a really good friendship. We enjoy not only our studio time together but also our weekends together!
That’s so perfect. So how did you know Kyle?
We did a little gig, we danced for an artist way back when, I want to say five, six years ago.
Crazy, I didn’t know that!
Yeah, small world in the lower mainland.
Yeah. What would you say about the clients that are usually in your class?
I would say no matter what kind of day you have we always guarantee a fun class, even if you don’t get the choreography everyone’s down for a good challenge, and I think that’s why they come to my class because they never know what they’re going to expect, and we have good laughs and a good talk before and after class, and it’s just the atmosphere we look forward to on a Tuesday night.
Cool. And what would you say to someone who’s nervous about coming to your class?
Oh my gosh I think that’s the best! I think nerves are great.
Yeah I think it’s fun. Even if someone is a little intimidated I really encourage it because it’s also the people in the class who are going to encourage you too. So I promise when you come to a class on Tuesday night you’ll always make a new friend.
Yeah for sure. And what if someone says they want to take your class but they’re too scared?
I would say I promise you’ll walk out and you’ll want to take this class again because it’s really the atmosphere. I think that all the clients just have a lot of fun. It’s not even about the choreography. And I always encourage them, everyone’s going to perform the choreography differently. No other dancer is going to perform it like another dancer. You come to the studio to dance for how you want to be as a dancer.
Yeah for sure, Alcina [one of iDance’s clients] mentioned in her interview how she loves how you teach and also seeing everyone else doing the styles slightly differently, and then you pick up on that.
Yeah I really encourage that, like freestyle at the beginning or the end, so no matter what kind of day you’re having you just let it go walking in the studio. You can just dance how you want to dance tonight because at the end of the day it’s your hour to let go and be you.
Yeah definitely. Oh Rebecca Tow was also talking about how she loves you, she loves your energy.
Oh yeah? Well I also feed my energy off of them too, so I like to think that it’s not really work coming here. It’s like a fun Tuesday night. And every class is different, either a slower hip hop, or more contemporary hip hop, or a street jazz, and it’s nice because they never know. So it’s nice for a little surprise on a Tuesday night.
Sweet. Are there any little known facts about you that people might not know?
I love food. I’m definitely a foodie. I enjoy all the restaurants in Vancouver, all the little places, you know, in Yaletown, or upcoming restaurants. I would say in the weekend I look forward to trying new restaurants.
Cool. What else do you do to fill your days?
I enjoy hiking, I teach a lot of young kids as well. I teach in a lot of different studios in the lower mainland. I’m really invested in the growth of every one of my students. Their passion and love keeps me driven so there’s no greater feeling than watching their growth. I love seeing my students kill it! So a lot of students, lots of competitive recreational kids, which I really enjoy. It’s nice to come here to switch it up to some older clientele. But yeah, I enjoy that and do it full time outside the studio. Seven days a week. Privates. Everything. But I love it so I can’t complain.
That’s awesome. Where would you like to go with dance in the future?
You know I love teaching and I think that’s why I really enjoy Tuesdays, and tech classes or drop in classes because I can really share all my ideas with everyone. And at the end of the day I really want to pursue choreography. I really enjoy coming up with new choreography to new music and sharing it.
Would you love to travel the world and do it?
Oh I would love to, that would be the dream job! To be able to travel, which I love doing, and to be able to teach everywhere would be the best job ever.
So you obviously love to travel. Any plans for this year?
I absolutely love to travel and do it as much as I can. In March I’m going to Thailand for three weeks so that will be a nice little break after working all these long days and teaching, it will be nice to go there and relax.
Sounds perfect! Thanks Jocelyn!