Trending

Rudy Abreu's Music Suggestions for Contemporary Are All About Passion

Photo by Julianna D. Photography, courtesy of Abreu

Although Rudy Abreu is currently JLo's backup dancer and an award-winning choreographer—his piece "Pray" tied for second runner-up at the 2018 Capezio A.C.E. Awards, and a variation of the piece made it to the finals on NBC's "World of Dance"—he still finds time to teach. Especially about how he hears music.


When Abreu started choreographing as a teenager, he was drawn to hip hop, dubstep and the electronic beats of Skrillex. His music tastes paired with his traditional dance training helped him to create his own style, which he considers nontraditional contemporary. "I don't normally choreograph to the music or lyrics," says Abreu. "It's more of a feeling that inspires the movement."

Whether teaching his all-male company, Embodiment THE Collective, leading a class at EDGE Performing Arts Center in Los Angeles or setting a competition piece, he encourages students to understand the musicality of a song. Abreu finds this helps dancers to create raw and authentic performances. "I like technique and tricks, but steps without intention are absolutely meaningless," he says.

Artist: James Arthur
Song: "At My Weakest"

"I love James Arthur, and every time I hear him sing I feel his soul really leading his lyrics. I really feel his passion, and this song, specifically, was easy to create to."

At My Weakest www.youtube.com


Artist: Post Malone
Album: beerbongs & bentleys
Song: "Stay"

"Although, a lot of music today doesn't really have meaning, I do like to stay current with my song choices, so more people can relate to the music. This song is an exception—it's on the charts and is very meaningful, which is why I was inspired to move to it."

Stay www.youtube.com


Artist: Bad Bunny
Song: "Amorfoda"

"My roots come from Miami, Florida, home to many people who are Cuban, including my family. 'Amorfoda' has a deep meaning of love and the ugly effects it can have on you. I could relate to this from previous life experiences, which is what really motivates me to create."

Bad Bunny - Amorfoda | Video Oficial www.youtube.com


Artist: Sia, Diplo and Labrinth
Song: "Genius"

"I love these artists, normally with their softer sides, but this song showed me a new version of them, and I love listening to artists evolve into new styles of music."

LSD - Genius ft. Sia, Diplo, Labrinth www.youtube.com


Artist: TroyBoi
Album: Left Is Right
Song: "Sensei"

"Sometimes my motivation to move just comes from cool sounds in everyday life, like a car alarm, rain pouring, microwave going off, etc. 'Sensei' is such a cool song, and this type of music drives me to create in a different way."

TroyBoi - "Sensei" OFFICIAL VERSION www.youtube.com

Teaching Tips
A 2019 Dancewave training. Photo by Effy Grey, courtesy Dancewave

By now, most dance educators hopefully understand that they have a responsibility to address racism in the studio. But knowing that you need to be actively cultivating racial equity isn't the same thing as knowing how to do so.

Of course, there's no easy answer, and no perfect approach. As social justice advocate David King emphasized at a recent interactive webinar, "Cultivating Racial Equity in the Classroom," this work is never-ending. The event, hosted by Dancewave (which just launched a new racial-equity curriculum) was a good starting point, though, and offered some helpful takeaways for dance educators committed to racial justice.

Keep reading... Show less
Higher Ed
The author, Robyn Watson. Photo courtesy Watson

Recently, I posted a thread of tweets elucidating the lack of respect for tap dance in college dance programs, and arguing that it should be a requirement for dance majors.

According to onstageblog.com, out of the 30 top-ranked college dance programs in the U.S., tap dance is offered at 19 of them, but only one school requires majors to take more than a beginner course—Oklahoma City University. Many prestigious dance programs, like the ones at NYU Tisch School of the Arts and SUNY Purchase, don't offer a single course in tap dance.

Keep reading... Show less
Teaching Tips
Getty Images

After months of lockdowns and virtual learning, many studios across the country are opening their doors and returning to in-person classes. Teachers and students alike have likely been chomping at the bit in anticipation of the return of dance-class normalcy that doesn't require a reliable internet connection or converting your living room into a dance space.

But along with the back-to-school excitement, dancers might be feeling rusty from being away from the studio for so long. A loss of flexibility, strength and stamina is to be expected, not to mention emotional fatigue from all of the uncertainty and reacclimating to social activities.

So as much as everyone wants to get back to normal—teachers and studio owners included—erring on the side of caution with your dancers' training will be the most beneficial approach in the long run.

Keep reading... Show less

Get Dance Business Weekly in your inbox

Sign Up Used in accordance with our Privacy Policy.