It has happened! It’s officially official and here to stay. You’d better play some imaginary drum rolls in your heads, because you won’t want to receive this great news in silence. Ready?? A whole new season of high standard professional dance classes opened up yesterday! Yes, ProDance Leeds is back!!
To celebrate such awaited return and to kick off the autumn term nobody would be better than the local Akeim Buck, a dance artist raised in Chapeltown where he also trained at the Northern School of Contemporary Dance.
Starting in a circle, Akeim leads a warm up interlacing wavy patterns with yoga moves and breathing, aiming towards a total body work out while sharpening our focus. When the tension of the yoga postures meets the undulation of the ripples our bodies begin to mobilize and soften. At this point of the session I can’t avoid but noticing the grooving sound playing in the room. Every so often Akeim runs to the stereo corner, grabs a mike and spits out some improvised beats which get layered onto the already existing ones. That corner job keeps ongoing during the class as he adapts the music to fit the demands of the exercises.
Then we cross the studio space with material that covers different levels, starting in the floor to end up standing. Contemporary dance patterns like animal crawling, rolls or balances precede; then Akeim’s Caribbean roots take over. The West Indian vibes challenge rhythm, mobility and gracefulness. At the end of the session, Akeim teaches a couple of phrases fusing contemporary and Caribbean dance with subtle traces of ballet and capoeira here and there. Oh! And all of these at the sound of live beat boxing.
Without a doubt Akeim delivers a spicy yet sweet infusion of flavours overthrowing convention and challenging the movers.
By Anna Cabré-Verdiell Bosch
-You can still catch his class Wednesday and Thursday at NSCD from 9.00 to 10.30-