Dance Workshop Extraordinaire!
The kick off to February for me was DNJFest'24 and gee did I have fun. This was my first dance related event I have gone to and I have to say I cannot wait to go to next years! What is it so you do not miss out; well, let me explain.
Let's start with a key ingredient to this whole thing; Dance New Jersey. Heard of it? No? Get yourself over to their page stat and sign up! They connect the dance community through education and advocacy to sustain a diverse and equitable dance community for New Jersey. I learned about this organization from a dear friend who has been an integral part of my growth over the last year. As he is a former Jersian, he was a member for years and encouraged me to join to grow further in the community. So, back in December, I joined as a vendor. They provide bi-weekly newsletters about the happenings throughout the dance community, including grant options, auditions, shows, and other useful items for dancers, educators, and vendors alike.
So, Dance New Jersey hosted and organized DNJFest. It was a day long festival of dance, including workshops, auditions, vendor market, lectures, and of course lunch... I mean dance. I attended as a vendor and (shocker, I know) a photographer. My new friend Ginger of Haithcox Photography and Modern Motion and I stepped into each of the workshops to observe, grabs some stills and some video. It was amazing to see not only the different styles of dance available, but how dedicated the students were! They were putting themselves out there to new styles of dance and not always with people they knew.
Then at the end, everyone came together for one HUGE class with Rennie Harris and we got our grove ON. I felt like I was back in my early 20's and dancing at the club. I may have had a camera in my hand but I HAD to join in the party! The craziest thing may have been us older folks knowing all the words and the youngens just watching.
At the vendor market, we had some AMAZING people representing different parts of the industry. Audition Method, Being A Dancer, Pro Tutu Studio, Gaynor Minden, and the Dance Bag all had tables with information and products to look at and order. And some new friends to make along the way.
Sound fun? I did not even mention Darryl McDaniels of the one and only Run DMC giving a talk about the evolution of Hip Hop and Hip Hop Dance. I got to hear part of his thoughts and it resonated hard with me how so much of art and the constructs are so similar, regardless of the medium. He was, hands down, one of the sweetest, most chill person I have met.
Do not miss your chance to join us all next year! I can only imagine how amazing next year will be. Check links below for Dance New Jersey and all of the amazing vendors from that day!