MOE BRODY- MY JOURNEY WITH HARBOUR DANCE CENTER

MOE BRODY: Owner of Vancouvers Hottest Dance Centre

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After finishing her degree in Human Kinetics at UBC, Moe returned to dance with the NBA Grizzlies Extreme Dance Team and then choreographed the CFL’s BC Felions and the creator of UBC’s Dance Team. She has done movies with Hayden Panetteire called I Love You Beth Cooper, for Ashanti and Brittany Snow in the movie John tucker Must Die, Dr. Doolittle 3 and Percy Jackson and The Lightening Thief. She’s done commercials for McDonalds, Barbie, Kyocere, Coca-Cola and Disney. She is also on faculty with The Source, Rise, Danzemode, Groovestreet Productions and Broadway Bound International. As an adjudicator at dance competitions, she derives much satisfaction dispensing helpful advice which she hopes will inspire future dancers. She is co-owner of Harbour Dance Centre in downtown Vancouver where her favorite place to be is in class, sharing a good story or two.

Please enjoy her amazing journey and know its never to late to do what you love!

MOE BRODY- MY JOURNEY WITH HARBOUR DANCE CENTER

How did I become one of the owner’s of Harbour Dance Centre? I have to take you way, way back. It was a long journey, but a great one.

In grade 8, my dance teacher shut down her studio. I found out she started teaching for some friends of hers that had opened a new adult studio. What was it called? Harbour Dance Centre? Never heard of it. I took class from four amazing women: my teacher, Valerie Easton, Belinda Sobie, and the two owners, Pam Rosa and Danielle Clifford. Now you’d think I would have found this haven and never left right? Haven’t you heard of a thing called High School? The drama, fitting in, new friends…yup, they pulled me out of dance and into some excess pounds on my thighs. I stayed at Harbour until about grade 10, then it was bye-bye dance.

My teenage years were hard. I moved out of my mother’s home in grade 12 with no money but a lot of drive to work. I went to UBC with four courses on my plate and three jobs to pay for it all. Dance wasn’t even on my radar. However, it was all I knew. I had no relation to any other passion in my life. Because of this I studied Kinesiology; anything to relate to the body. We analyzed the momentum of a baseball swing or the anatomy breakdown of a basketball free throw….but no one liked my idea of the velocity of a pirouette. Dance was still in me, just way down deep. After graduation, I got a job in Sports Marketing for a new sports franchise in Vancouver (The Vancouver Voodoo Roller Hockey Team). It was here that things took a turn. The President of the (Vancouver Voodoo Roller Hockey) Team suggested we get a Dance Team, some sexy girls to fill the arena. He asked me to do some research on how much this would cost. He and I were shocked to find out how much dance choreographers actually charged. (I had no idea. Like really, no idea). He then said, “Moe, isn’t dance your thing? You’re on salary, this us one of your new tasks in your job description. Get on it!” I panicked. I was now 24 years old and hadn’t really danced in 9 years. I knew how to do the six-step prep for a clean double pirouette, and that about summed it up. Crap! What was I going to do? Wait, Harbour Dance… I wondered if that place is still open. What? Belinda is still teaching? I better get back into class!

With the same dance attire that I left with, parachute shorts, leg warmers, ripped flashdance t-shirt, I put it back on! She gave us a thrashy jazz combo, and I was in heaven. Everything felt so natural, so easy. Why did I ever leave this? In between groups, Belinda stopped the music and walked over to my spot. She got right up to me, face to face and said…..”Moe……you still got it. Where have you been?” Let the bawl-fest begin. Between the tears and the sweat, I left so dehydrated you’d think I was in the desert.

The Dance Team audition went well. Some old familiar faces came through, Joanne Pesusich, Laura Bartlet, Lisa Stevens, Sandi Croft….the old “young” Harbour gang. At the same time, Joanne was planning her move to L.A and had some studio teaching hours to give up. She asked me if I wanted to teach dance. Me? I didn’t know anything except what I learned in the 70’s and early 80’s. She assured me nothing much had changed. So back to Harbour I went to get into ballet and jazz class (as well as some new dance style called hip hop, funny right? )

Since you’ve read my novel, you know my history with Harbour Dance Centre. When I started back up in dance in the mid 90’s, I knew this place was something special. In 2009, Danielle was thinking of retiring. In 2010, it became a discussion. In 2011, it became a reality. Again, I am one lucky girl. The place that gave me my passion back is now something I can call mine.

Special thanks to this weeks guest blogger Moe Brody of Harbour Dance Centre.

Blog made possible by: www.harbourdance.com, www.daniellelgardner.com & Impact Dance Productions

Follow us on Twitter: @IMPACTDancePro / @daniigardner 

“What I want the world to know about ballroom dancing” by Melanie LaPatin

The day has come and we couldn’t be more pleased to share this fantastic blog by the Icon herself

MELANIE LAPATIN

Choreographer on SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE

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On Behalf of Impact Dance Productions please enjoy

 

“And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music.― Friedrich Nietzsche

If people would only try ballroom dancing! People that have not experienced ballroom dancing don’t understand the sheer brilliance of the emotional, spiritual, physical, and mental freedom you can attain, and the growth you can embrace.   Every celebrity on Dancing with the Stars and every competitor on So You Think You Can Dance attests to their newfound respect and love for ballroom dancing, which is one of the reasons I love both of those shows.  What other sport allows for the technicality, character, musicality and physical connection that can be achieved in ballroom dance?

While most dance styles have specific techniques, most do not have rules within those techniques. Ballroom dance is based on a syllabus that, while allowing for certain variations, requires mastery of a strictly defined set of steps and the nuances of each, the settling of a hip, the……  Furthermore, it requires a partner.

What other form of dance requires you to, in the span of only a few seconds, embody the Latin flavor of a Cuban salsa,  the fiery passion of a Brazilian samba or the lighthearted energy of a USO dance from the 1940’s?

Beyond literally changing your form, you have to adjust your mindset and your musicality, while at the same time giving that character to your partner.  Yet, for all its intricacies, ballroom dance is accessible to anyone, regardless of age or ability.

I believe ballroom dance, even competitive ballroom dance, is about challenging yourself to be better than your last performance and living your own personal greatness on the dance floor rather than competing against other couples..  What can possibly be more satisfying than this?  The hours, the money, the time, the blood sweat and tears invested in ballroom dancing are well worth it if…..the chase what you get out of it. ­­­­

My career in ballroom dancing has taken me from dancing on a three by five foot stage at an old theatre in New York City, to performing at the Hofburg palace in Vienna where Mozart used to play.  It has put me on the same stage with Jimmy Hendrix, Led Zepplin and Eric Clapton at the Royal Albert Hall.  I have looked out over a crowd of 40,000 strong at the Tokyo Dome in Japan.  At the time, because I was so focused on the dancing, I didn’t really have time to appreciate it all, but looking back, I have come to understand the joy that dancing can bring to people and the places it can take you.  In short, it can change your life.

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Melanie LaPatin- So You Think You Can Dance Choreographer

Blog made possible by: Danielle Gardner & Impact Dance Productions

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