So, you want to learn how to dance, huh? On Saturday, May 10, you will have the opportunity through "The Masters of Dance Seminar" (MODS) presented by CSULB through University College and Extension Services (UCES). The event, to be held in the Walter Pyramid, is open to individuals ages 8 and up, and will run from 7:45 a.m. (registration) to 5 p.m.
The event is the brainchild of Regina Quiambao, UCES’s director of corporate education, who says she came up with the idea in July 2007.
“I love all the dance shows on television now and in a former life I was on a dance show called ‘American Bandstand,’” said Quiambao. “My brother and I danced on the show for many, many years. I’m not a professional dancer, just a lover of dance. I thought how fun it would be to have the industry’s hottest dancers and choreographers (the ones that are seen on those television shows) teach classes to anyone who wanted to learn.
“I then presented the idea to Sheila Thomas, acting associate dean, who gave the stamp of approval and within a few of weeks, MODS went from just an idea to an actual scheduled event.”
The seminar will offer a day-long experience of learning techniques from some of the hottest dancers and choreographers in the entertainment industry through one-hour group sessions. With something for everyone, featured dances will include hip hop, Latin ballroom, modern, lyrical, Broadway and jazz.
“Whether you are young or an adult, the experience is all relative,” said Aaron Cash, a highly accomplished dancer and choreographer, who was one of the original Tap Dogs and Twyla Tharp’s personal Pas De Deux partner. Cash is the coordinator for the event and will serve as master of ceremonies.
“You’ll get something out of this no matter what level you are dancing at. You will certainly be inspired to do better by seeing so many other dancers,” said Cash. “It’s been my experience that you rise to the occasion. It’s not a competition so much as it is a great learning experience. There’s always someone better than you and the more things you learn, the better your repertoire.”
Popular Carrie Ann Inaba, a judge of ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars,” will give a keynote speech talking about her experiences. Every participant will have a chance to work in a group with each of the master instructors, including Adesola Osakalumi (hip hop), whose latest film is "Across the Universe;" Artem Chigvintsev (Latin ballroom), who was a finalist on "So You Think You Can Dance;" Charles "Bubba" Carr (modern), who is choreographing Cher’s Vegas Show; Carlton Wilborn (lyrical), who was Madonna’s lead male dancer for more than a decade; Kelly Connolly (Broadway), who has been featured in numerous Broadway shows; and Nathan Prevost (jazz), who was a $100,000 Star Search winner.
At the end of the day two dance scholarships will be given away, courtesy of Inaba.
“This will be a great day of dance for anyone who comes,” said Cash. “To be able to see these master dancers alone will make it worth your while.”
The tentative schedule is:
7:45-9 a.m. Registration
9-9:40 a.m. Welcome, introduction of master dancers, and keynote address by Carrie Ann Inaba (The Pyramid)
9:40-9:50 a.m. Group Warm-up (The Pyramid)
10-10:50 a.m. The Pyramid - modern dance
11-11:50 a.m. The Pyramid - Broadway dance
11:50 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Lunch Break (not provided) with a lunch-time exhibition of some of Southern California's hottest Hip Hop Dance Crews.
12:30-1:20 p.m. The Pyramid - lyrical dance
1:30-2:20 p.m. The Pyramid - Latin Ballroom
2:30-3:20 p.m. The Pyramid - jazz dance
3:30-4:20 p.m. The Pyramid - hip hop dance
4:30-4:45 p.m. Closing and awarding of Carrie Ann Inaba Scholarships
4:45-5 p.m. Pictures, autographs, etc. (may run longer)
Registration fee is $149 through April 30, with a late registration fee of $175 from May 1-10. For CSULB staff and students the registration fee is $50, but they must use/mention the code: MODS-DANCE. There is also a spectator fee of $10. For more information on registration, instructor bios, and scholarship application process, please visit www.modsuniversity.com or call the UCES Customer Service Center at 562/963-2250.