NEW CLASS! We are so so excited to bring DanceHall with Alia to VMAC!!! You won't want to miss this!
PLEASE NOTE: All classes starting in February will be held at our NEW LOCATION 116 SE Yamhill.
DanceHall — All Levels
Wednesdays 6:30pm (Starting in February)
Pre-register by clicking on tickets above or by going to vmacpdx.com
Dancehall is was born from Reggae music in the 1980s, on the island of Jamaica in the Caribbean. Dancehall dance and movements are defined and referenced to a Jamaican cultural aesthetic, history, social, and socio-economic context. Dancehall as a genre, is open-ended and continues to grow as codified steps are constantly added to it. The principles of Dancehall dance include movement that is grounded, curvy, fluid and polyrhythmic. Within Dancehall there is also a spiritual component or «vibez» that is part and parcel to Dancehall dance experience that allows for the dancer to «elevate», or feel a higher vibration.
There are different styles of Dancehall that relate to the era (80s, 90s, 2000s) and the bpm(beats per minute)of the music as Dancehall music gradually began to get faster as years went by. The styles are termed old school, mid school and new evolution (present day) Dancehall. Another style that is specific is the female style of Dancehall. My class will touch on all eras and styles of Dancehall.
Alia Lux Bio
Alia Lux has been a dancer for the majority of her life. She started ballet, tap and jazz with Miss Kay Schneider at the Academy of Dance at age 5. She continued into her teens and performed in 3 different productions of the Nutcracker. When Alia hit a certain age and her body changed she no longer fit into the “ideal” body type for the Academy and felt too much pressure to change her natural body type. In response she quit dancing all together, but that didn’t last for long.
In 2002 Alia moved to the San Francisco/Bay Area, where she got to dive deeper into admiration and love for Latin dance. She spent a lot of time learning about Cuban culture and dance, and learned to dance Casino style (Cuban) salsa in San Francisco. It was also there she developed a connection and respect and admiration for AfroCuban/Orisa(Lukumi) dance and culture. She studied with Jose Francisco Barroso from Cuba, who serves his community as a Babalawo(priest and folklorist) and is the founder of the Obakoso Drum & Dance Ensemble in the Bay Area.
Alia came to the NW in 2005 when she moved to Portland, Oregon. She spent much time in the Salsa scene for many years in Portland. She also became part of the Obo Addy Legacy Project which was a project created by West African (Ghanaian) based dance company that connected African dance to the diaspora and beyond. In 2014 she performed in the DiaTribe showcase with the Obo Addy Legacy project. She eventually she was invited to dance with the company Ase Dide, led by Donna Oefinger. Throughout the years she has had the opportunity to dance, train, and perform in Hip-Hop styles, Rio style Samba, Samba Reggae, AfroCuban, Haitian, and Brazilian dance along with bringing her long time passion to Portland, which is Dancehall.
Alia has always been influenced by Jamaican/Caribbean culture, being raised as a Rasta from an early age and having a diverse family with Caribbean roots. With that she was naturally drawn to Dancehall, a style of dance that was born in the streets of Jamaica. She has been traveling and living back and forth from Jamaica since 2002, and has been immersed in not only the street culture of Dancehall, but has also trained with some of the best and most well known dancers of Jamaica (Kimiko Versatile, Latonya Stylez, Orville Xpressionz, and many more). She has been featured on videos and performed on stage for Dancehall artists like QQ AND Baby Cham. She holds classes in Portland at Center Space, teaching all styles and eras of Dancehall (female, DHQ, oldschool,midschool, newschool).
In 2015 she created and started teaching Dancehall Fit! at the very popular dance cardio facility in Portland called PulsePDX. Dancehall Fit! combines Dancehall steps and flow with high intensity dancing, cardio, and fitness circuits.
In the summer of 2016, while in Jamaica, Alia competed in the World Reggae Dance Competition with the group called “D'Originals”, and they made it through the the semi-finals and the finals. She also completed the Level 1 training and certification for the iconic “Stylish Moves” style of Dancehall that was created by the female dancehall pioneer and owner of Dance Ja Studios, Latonya Stylez.
This past summer (2017) Alia was awarded a Professional Development grant from the Regional Arts and Culture Council in Portland, Or to do an intensive training and dance collaboration with Orville Xpressionz and the Xpressionz Family in Kingston, Jamaica where she focused on the roots of dancehall from the Afro diaspora influence in Jamaica. Orville Xpressionz is the artistic director for Theatre Xpressionz, the professional company that operates the popular dance group DANCE XPRESSIONZ and XPRESSIVE MOVES dance workshops. Orville is also the resident and chief judge for Jamaicas n°1 dance program Dancing Dynamite for 7 seasons. Orville Hall is iconic and has placed his name in the history books as being the person to have written the dancehall course for the college, the 1st in any institution in the caribbean.
In 2017 Alia hosted Dancehall dancers Kimiko Versatile(Jamaica) and DHQ Moiika Stanley(Jamaica/LA) to come to the NW and teach workshops and her goal is to continue to help grow and build up the Dancehall scene in the Pacific Northwest, and create a platform for authentic Dancehall and Dancehall culture.