January 5th, 2017 was one for the books!
Dance Austin Studio invited Yanis Marshall to teach Street Jazz and Heels Master Classes last night, and Austin dancers showcased their amazing talent and individuality through the bold and alluring choreography. Before Yanis arrived, the lobby and convention room at Red Oak Ballroom were bursting with energy. Dancers received mini DAS tote bags with some pamphlets about upcoming performance opportunities as well as this Saturday’s Free Day of Dance with Dance Austin Studio. Chi Chi Randolph, DAS Director, got onto the stage to get the crowd excited for his arrival. Dancers warmed themselves up to a dance playlist, setting the night’s tone.
Once Yanis got there, the warm-up began for Street Jazz as dancers focused in on their mind and body. The room swayed in unison as everyone tried picking up the steps, and observers were literally dancing in their seats with Britney Spears’ new single “Slumber Party” playing.
Heels is the unique style the world knows Yanis for. By the time groups were selected to represent his choreography, Austin dancers were rooting each other on. The community feel had such an impactful positivity that one DAS dancer/instructor fell to the floor in tears after dancing through her fears.
Here’s what she had to say about the night...
“Yesterday I experienced one of the best moments of my life. My entire dance life I’ve had a fear of forgetting choreography in class. In most master classes, you have an hour to learn a combo then do select groups where the choreographer watches you and picks out the people he/she feels are capturing their vision best. When it comes time to do it in groups, I usually get too in my head, and I forget everything. I told myself that 2017 I was going to break that fear and put myself out there. Well, 5 days into 2017 I got my first test in Yanis Marshall’s Heels Workshop. He gave me such an incredible opportunity and called me out to do it alone in front of 75+ of my peers. They were so supportive and filled my heart and that room with so much love that it brought me to tears! Thank you, my dance family, and thank you Yanis for helping this girl face and overcome her fears. So grateful and so full of love.”
Every time Yanis asked the class if he could move on to add more choreography, they replied with an enthusiastic, “YES!” When explaining concepts and ideas, he stated “No one can dance like you except for you”. He asked the dancers if what he was saying made sense to them. Again, the room shouted, “Yes!” in response. Talisa Davis, DAS Assistant Director/Dancer/Instructor, gained the most from him encouraging everyone’s unique personality and abilities.
“I learned how to bring out my feminine side in a way that felt natural to me. He made the connection to the music easy and stressed the importance of listening before expressing.”
When the classes finished, people lined up to take a photo with Yanis, and the energy radiates through every photo! We look forward to bringing more amazing artists to this growing city and experience new styles and choreography!
Thank you, Austin, for taking part in such a fabulous, special event!