JazzDayz Bamberg 2024 is just around the corner, and will be featuring world renowned teachers including Jorge Vasquez. We caught up Jorge about his upcoming Lyrical Jazz Masterclass and delved into his past to find out what inspires him, and how he got to where he is today.
What can the dancers expect from your class?
In my class dancers can expect a set warm-up and an across the floor, followed by (in this situation) a lyrical Jazz combination. Be ready to be self-indulgent and just enjoy the drama of it all. I like to have a fun in class, I like class to be a good experience for all and I hope that my students leave with having learned something whether it be from me, from watching other dancers or by self-discovery. Also… expect to be pushed, and if you don’t get that that day.. PUSH YOURSELF! Worst dancers in class….. the lazy ones.
What got you into Dance?
I had a girlfriend at the age of 14 that was a ballerina and she got me to take a 4-week dance course at my school. I was hooked after plies. After that 4- week course I went to her ballet school and then at the age of 16 I discovered musical theatre and the stage and I knew that that was what I wanted to do FOREVER!
Who was or is your inspiration / Idol?
My first inspiration was a man named Clay Stevenson. He was extraordinary. He was the director of our youth theatre and he was passionate about the work. He also taught ballet classes and I went to everyone that he taught. He knew everything about theatre and he was an incredible human being. I wanted to be just like him. Then Ohad Naharin, who I worked for in NY for three years, Fred Benjamin, Michael Pieter and.. the King himself, Michael Jackson.
If you could give your 18 year old self one piece of advice, what would it be?
Don’t give up!! When I turned 30 I thought that my dance life was over. I was so devasted that I had not achieved what I had wanted to by that time and kinda lost my “Lust” for it all. I stopped going to the gym, took less dance classes, didn’t go to any auditions and frankly lost a lot of time. And then there was a shift and my dance life got a kick start, when they say life starts at 40…. Believe it! So…don’t give up, don’t waste time!
What does Dance or Jazz Dance in particular mean to you?
Jazz Dance to me means, freedom. Under the name of Jazz Dance I can do a lot. I can pull from all my dance educations and dance experiences and use them whenever I want, I can be lyrical one day, funky in another, or be influenced by my Modern/Contemporary background. And I love that I have the license to be self-indulgent in movement, that I can hit accents and throw some head rolls and its ok. I remember the first contemporary class I substituted, I asked the teacher for tips to sub his class, he told me, Just don’t do any accents. I lasted two 8’s. I was so happy to get to my jazz class the next day.
Excitement is building for JazzDayz Bamberg 2024 with Melanie on board. Secure your spot now! Don't miss this enriching opportunity at Body & Soul on February 3-4, 2024. Register now!