Urban Soul Line Dance : ArtSteppers Thursdays 7pm

Yep, it's coming together. The SoulSteppers Urban Soul Line Dance Club starts up this month at Artrageous Community Arts in Deagon here in Brisbane.

Having served a few years as President of Artrageous and having run  a few workshops and  theatre courses there, I is back remade as  -- excuse me -- a dance teacher!

Who woulda thought?

That doesn't mean I'm any great hoots as a dancer  nor am I an experienced or trained one. Maybe 'facilitator' would be a more appropriate term.

Line Dance Facilitator/Animator.

While I have the inclination and focus -- and the obsession -- to put in the effort to learn the  choreography, the group -- that is,  the other  hoofers that make up the 'line'  --  get to pull it together while I remind folk that when you put your feet here or there you are supposed to do it  in sync with all those one and a- two and a- three and a- fours.

We will start with a semester of Zydeco dances and thereafter, touch wood, we move north from the rhythms of South West Louisiana to embrace the great choreographies coming out of the cities further north -- especially Baltimore and Philadelphia. I'd like to tackle some James Brown routines at some stage if the group is keen  and I know that we will be dabbling in Hip Hop without getting into all that dislocating and athletic  poppin.

Hip Hop is pervasive.

Urban Soul Line Dance may be  vigorous at times but you remain upright and moves are feet and hip formatted: slides, shuffles, twists and turns. You  lean into the moves and drop the shoulder ... and shake your tail feather.

I was thinking about the 'soul' part and I guess the point is that while you dance in 4x4 time and within standard rhythm and an 8 bar blues template, the dance steps are like riffs. You could dance the same choreography to any number of songs and it would fit right in. But that's not the point. It's not like the Fox Trot or the Waltz.  It isn't about regimentation (or any Strictly Ballroom filagree). It's about  improvising  as is the R and B norm  -- not so  much  notes on a guitar but feet on a floor.

The mix of steps are seemingly endless and dance groups keep changing and adapting the choreography they borrow. The line dance culture within the US Afro American community is endlessly creative and keeps pushing the envelope.

But the intention to move as one -- unison in a line --  rather than serving to stifle creativity,  fuels partnerships between any number of people fostering a rich vitality unobtainable from single or paired dancers.  

Moving as one with others to the beat of such music: 'tis wonderful.

Thursdays 7pm
Artrageous Community Arts Centre
Loftus Street, Deagon
Click here for more info.


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