Funk in Focus

Visit the Funk in Focus channel for more video.

Funk in Focus is an ever-growing system of applications and fundamentals used to enhance one’s natural movement and talent in the dance styles inspired by funk music, namely Boogalooing, Popping, and Locking. Boogaloo is a dance that has its roots in Oakland, CA during the 1960’s. The dance was born out of a time of social and political awareness. Traditionally, it was done to Funk and Soul music as a solo and group dance. Pulling from many resources like James Brown, Vernacular Jazz, Tap, Singing Group Routines, Sci-Fi Films and Cartoons. These various influences allowed dancers to be original in their presentation. A “Boogaloo” is a dancer that understands a variety of sub-styles. FUNK IN FOCUS students will embody this ideal.

Intro to Popping/Boogaloo

Friday 7:00 – 8:30 pm

INTRO TO POPPING/BOOGALOO is an introductory level class geared for those interested in learning the basic movements and historical underpinnings of Boogalooing and Popping. Students will be taught fundamental techniques such as posing, popping, twisto-flex, waving, isolations, robotics, gliding, tutting, and more. This class equips students with a solid foundation in Boogaloo movements, knowledge and individual confidence that will be utilized in the Applied Boogaloo/Popping class.

Applied Popping/Boogaloo

Friday 8:30 – 10:00 pm

The applied class is targeted towards individuals looking to become more advanced with their current understanding in the style. The class will allow the student to find themselves as artists. This will be executed through exploration of fundamentals to create variations and combos. We will also target subjects throughout the semester. This will encourage the student to further understand the who, what, where, when, why, and how? Students will be given specific subjects to research throughout the semester. We will take trips to the clubs to experience cypher culture. You will also be asked to participate in organized contests and battling organically. Students will gain an in depth, well rounded, and personal understanding of the Boogaloo/Popping dance.

Locking

Locking is a dance style that has its roots in Los Angeles, CA in the late 1960’s and 70’s. Born out of a time of social and political movements. Traditionally done to Funk and Soul music. This dance pulls from many resources like Vernacular Jazz, Tap and many of the social dances of the time. This class is for dancers of all-levels. The course will focus on giving a comprehensive view of the classic understanding of Locking and the many innovations inspired by other communities such as the London Locking style.

Intro to Locking

Tuesday 7:00 – 8:30 pm

INTRO TO LOCKING is and introductory level class geared for those interested in learning the basic movements and historical underpinnings of Locking. Students will learn fundamental techniques including the lock, skeets, scoops, points, leo walks, and Scooby-doos. The course will focus on giving a comprehensive view of the classic understanding of Locking and the many innovations inspired by other communities such as the London Locking style.

Applied Locking

Tuesday 8:30 – 10:00 pm

APPLIED LOCKING is an intermediate to advanced level class and is targeted towards those with a working understanding in Locking foundational movements. The class will expand upon the basics in foundational and innovative movement. Students will personalize the style while developing an in-depth understanding of history, movements, and artistry. Students will be encouraged to build themselves up as individual artists becoming active participants inside and outside of the classroom.

Faculty

Rashaad Pearson

Rashaad.Pearson@urbanartistry.org

Born and raised in NYC, Rashaad is the youngest of three children. Rashaad has experimented with almost every artistic instrument within reach, singing, drawing and playing musical instruments. He relocated to the DMV area in 2003 to pursue dance as a full-time career, and found himself through urban dance.

Rashaad now shares his passion of movement as well as his vast knowledge of the history of all genres of dance and music to anyone willing to learn. His notable work includes teaching, performing, competing, and judging in places such as Korea, Japan, Sweden, London, Holstebro, Copenhagen, and Berlin. He has collaborated with numerous companies, including Big City Brains, and has choreographed and directed productions, including Funk in Focus, Origins: One Heart beat, We Got the Jazz, and Free from Me. His production, Digital Funk 5002, won the 2010 Metro DC Dance Award for Excellence in Costume Design. Rashaad exemplifies the true meaning of leadership,and continues to be an inspiration in more ways than one.

Ryan Webb

Ryan.Webb@urbanartistry.org

Ryan Webb began as a solo artist dancing out of Northern Virginia and Washington DC. It was here that his teaching and performance career began at local studios, community centers, and various churches. While attending Christopher Newport and Cal State University of Fullerton, he founded multiple dance clubs that are still in progress today. Ryan moved to California in August of 2005 and graduated out of Cal State Fullerton in 2008. During this time period he was the winner of numerous popping competitions, some of which include Street Skillz, Undadog in Los Angeles, and Juste Debout in Paris, France.

In 2008, Ryan joined the Assassins Crew and Urban Artistry. It was here that he learned the importance of culture and the history behind the dances that he does. Recently, his dance career has brought him to various international countries for work. He has taught, performed, competed, and judged in Korea, Japan, Sweden, England, Germany, Canada and Denmark, to name a few.

Music by THEM (Urban Artistry’s Ryan Webb) is available via iTunes and Soundcloud.