Contemporary Jazz with Hagit Yakira – Class Review

November 23, 2012

Contemporary Jazz with Hagit Yakira – Class Review

Last night I took Hagit Yakira’s contemporary jazz class for the first time. It was amazing; she is amazing.

Over the last month’s though, on Monday nights and Thursday nights while leaving Danceworks, I would always find myself stopping to watch Hagit Yakira’s Contemporary Jazz class. I loved the freedom and fluidity of the class; moreover, the teacher was so passionate and positively supportive of her class. I am a 46 year old American who works in investment management here in London. I started going to James D’Silva Garuda class at Danceworks almost 10 years ago. In Jan 2011, I started adding other classes such as Hugo Camacho’s Cardio. A year later I added Mohammed Dordoh’s African Dance, Solange Dias’ Samba, Nelson Batista’s Salsa, and later Brendan Isaac’s Street Dance and Brendon Hansford’s Hip Hop. I also go to Troy’s Boxing Circuit and Doni Fierro’s Latin Burn.

Before Danceworks I had never really done any formal dance. Ballet, jazz, contemporary, and modern seemed a little alien to me. I love to watch these dance forms, but I thought that it might be something you needed to have started early in life.

After a few months of watching the class, fate would have it that I ran into Hagit in the members lounge and got up the nerve to ask her about her class and if beginners with no experience could take the class. She asked me what other stuff had I been doing. With that, she said I should try it but I should give it 4 weeks to ‘get the structure of the class, routine, etc.’ I was then able to watch a complete class that evening.

Last night I took my first contemporary jazz class. The takeaway is that it is an amazing class and Hagit is truly an amazing teacher. The energy throughout the class is hugely positive and kinetic. The one hour warm up should be called something else as it combines following organic, fluid movements at varying pacing with interludes of freestyle improvisation.

The last 30 minutes is about a routine that is done over the course of four weeks which borrows a lot from the movements during the warm up.

The large following was broken up into three groups and after each group’s performance all in the class would join in more freestyle improvisation to the amazing music.

All in all what I really liked about it was the dynamism and passion that the teacher brought to the class which is infectious. I also loved the feeling of organic fluidity and freedom that the teacher/class inspired.

For someone who has only done one Contemporary Jazz class in his life, I’m hooked and look forward to Hagit Yakira’s class on Thursday.

Nick Street – Danceworks Member