Free Taster Classes

Taster Sessions

From Monday 22 – 26 March, we are giving you a week of free taster sessions of some of our favourite styles of dance.

You can join in one, two or all four classes if you like, completely free of charge!

Below you can find information, videos and links about each style to give you a sense of what the class is like.

 

 

Latin Movers | Wednesday 24 March | 13.00-14.00

This feelgood dance class will teach you the absolute basic steps and rhythms of popular Latin styles of dance. Over the 5 weeks you will learn how to dance to different rhythms, from merengue to salsa, kuduro to reggaeton. Body balance, poise and styling will also be taught no partner required.

Our Teacher, Yamil Cuedo Ferrera grew up in Santiago de Cuba, the second city of Cuba. Yamil was surrounded by live music and dance, both in his local community and in youth dance companies where he started to learn to dance folkloric and traditional dance styles. 

Later, when he joined the Ballet Folklorico Cutumba company, one of the leading dance companies in the country, he worked professionally and full time as a dancer. He started working with Dance Base when he moved to Scotland 12 years ago and has been performing and teaching at a wide range of dance congresses, events, festivals and schools ever since

Take a look at Yamil in action here! 

 

 

 

 

Commercial Hip Hop | Friday 26 March | 18.30-19.30

Learn fundamental hip hop moves and grooves each week then build them into fun commercial routines bring your energy and performance, and think music video! Taught by faculty dancers from House of Jack, a dance studio in Leith focusing on commercial and street dance styles.

Born in Nepal, Ursula grew up dancing Nepalese traditional dance from a young age. On moving to Scotland in 2010 and gaining internet access, she began avidly learning dance from online tutorials, falling in love with hip hop, commercial, afro, krump and more, and practising in her school gym hall during every spare moment.

She became a dance teacher at House of Jack and Simon Says Dance studios in Edinburgh in 2018, teaching hip hop and commercial styles to children, young people and adults, and choreographing pieces for House of Jack's annual theatre show.

She currently teaches weekly (online) classes at House of Jack and Dance Base, and is working on dance and movement projects with Starcatchers Productions for Imaginate Festival 2021, and Room 2 Manouvre's UK-Hong Kong collaborative piece 'Alley Oop' Have a look at her in action here.

See more of Ursula teaching and dancing below:

Murder She Wrote: Dance Challenge

Puri - Cono: TNT Sessions, House of Jack 

Old Town Road: TNT Sessions, House of Jack

 

 

 

Reggaeton | Friday 26 March | 17.00-18.00

Evening Reggaeton party classes are coming to your home! 60 minutes of full Reggaeton tunes and moves. Reggaeton combines Latin dance world to the street styles. Let's shimmy that chest and shake that booty. When you might not be feeling your best, putting some Reggaeton music on and playing with the rhythm and isolations can make you feel those endorphins! It just brings the light and energy back in to your body and mind.

Our Reggaeton teacher Pirita Tuisku (pictured) told us why she loves Reggaeton:

Hearing that rhythm takes you on a journey where the Latin meets Urban world. Shaking all your worries away and feeling you get your power back! Reggaeton has many sides, but mostly it has that sassiness!  

See more reggaeton clips and info below : 

Danza Kudoro by Pirita outside our beautiful building!

A history of reggaeton

Reggaeton beginners dance from Bruno Carlvaho

 

 

Photo credit: Jukka Tuisku, ArcticLightsVideoFactory

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

West African Dance | Tuesday 23 March | 18.30-19.30

West African dance focuses particularly on traditional movement from Guinea, Senegal and The Gambia, encompassing dynamic movement and polyrhythms often played on djembe and dundun drums. Dance in barefeet to feel the ground & wear loose-fitting comfy clothing that will allow you to bend and twist, shake your hips and feel free!

Our West African Dance teacher, Jennifer Ba (pictured), has loved teaching West African dance class remotely during lockdown. Her class is based on traditional West African movement, which she has been learning for close to 20 years!
                                                 
Jen describes the class in more detail and explains why she loves the style: 
 
I love to share the rich heritage of the Malinke & Susu culture through the classes. Through the course, we will explore new choreographies, based upon traditional drum rhythms. This term we have been working on Sinte, an elegant celebration dance. We also explore choreography based on conflict initiation ceremonies, harvest dances as well as creative movement.
 
I love teaching the class as I believe it allows me to celebrate my cultural heritage as an Afro-Scot. Pride in my African heritage, as well as a desire to dispel myths about West African dance is extremely important to me. I feel it is important that we pay homage to the great Masters who have shared their cultural heritage and respect the traditions in which these dances have been born. 
 
Have a look at these great examples of West African Dance:
 
SINTE   
 
KASSA    
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Creative Scotland
Supported by Edinburgh
Supported by the City of Edinburgh Council