It surprises me how many dancers travel to Lisbon to 'learn how to dance' or study dancing. Last Summer the parking lot in front of Jazzy Dance Studios (the biggest and most known dance school in Lisbon) was crowded with caravans. The location is absolutely perfect, its physically on the brink of Rio Tejo and therefore the scenery is a-w-e-s-o-m-e. And its most probably pretty cheap... Imagine living in a house wagon. Whaaaaat? Pretty cool.
I am going to briefly explain some topics related to dancing. This is the first time I am stating my opinion. Anybody is free to be of another opinion and also state it. But I ask, please keep it civil. No attacks on me. Obrigada.
1st A dancer is a dancer Anybody who dances can call him/herself a dancer. You dance = You are a dancer. If you run, you are a runner etcetera. Got the picture?
After dancing for some years and various styles, I can honestly say that you do NOT need a seniority, experience, status, accumulated years etcetera to be able to present yourself as a dancer. You dance? You are a dancer! Congratulations.
2nd Dance classes If you choose to attend classes for any reason; to know more about the style, to get exercise, to find peace, its a hobby.. you need to respect co-dancers. Again. Even if you would be the "best" dancer in the school or you have danced X-amount of years or you are in a crew, you cannot take space like you own the place, or walk in front of another dancer. Respect others. Believe in Karma.
3rd Learn the foundations I am the worst in this. When I freestyle, I want to do everything else (or my body wants to). Learning a dance style is like learning a language. You need to master the foundations before building your own style on top of it. It means millions of hours of repeating the same move. This applies to any style. If you skip the foundation the dance style looses its meaning. For example: English, if you do not know the basic grammar and have vocabulary, how can you have your personal way of speaking English? Omg you would sound Mongolian.
4th Enjoy! Have fun! There are people who have the grimmest face when dancing. Its about becoming the best (my personal experience). For years I danced 15-20 hours a week. Because I needed to be able to call myself a dancer. And I needed to become the best. But I had no goal, no one I looked up to, I didn't want to become a professional either...Then I lost motivation.
Have fun!! If you have a goal, try to reach it. But remember what brought you to your very first dance class or what made you groove the way you do. The more you enjoy, the better you get.
5th People are different There are the fanatics. Respect. Then there are all the people who come and go. Feeling based. Time based. Personal reasons etcetera. We co-live the community. Let's build it together. Everybody does not have the energy to put every breathing moment into dancing. But when dancing together, lets build the future of dance. Through foundations, por favor. Lets learn from each other.
6th A freestyle dancer and a dance class dancer are both dancers. Now I stepped on toes. These are two branches of dancing. Respect each other.
7th Anybody can dance or state an opinion. I am sorry to say this, and I am sorry to read people attacking each other for the opinions/styles they have. If I choose to dance Hiphop combined with Irish Dance steps (Mastering foundations), it is my way of expressing myself. Let me be.
Finally, dance is a veeeeeeery big word. Think about dancing as a tree. The tree is called dance. The roots are the foundations, the thing making dance what it is and the one keeping dance alive. The branches are the categories, sub-categories and styles. Finally leaves are the dancers. The tree is always growing, new branches are forming with new sub-branches and leaves. But dance cannot survive without the roots.