New York lessons

2011-08-13 00:00

A TRIP to New York City has re-energised Durban dancers Danny Guselli and Chontell Randles who together own and run the D&C Dance Company and studio on The Bluff.

Specialising in hip-hop, street jazz, break dancing and zumba, the pair have worked hard to build up their business from the ground up.

“It’s taken us five years to get to where we are,” 24-year-old Guselli said. “When we started there were no teachers. We’re self-taught and we found our own groove. But we both believe that it’s important never to stop learning and growing as dancers, that’s why we went to New York. We wanted to get some inspiration and to share new ideas with our dancers.”

Guselli and Randles, who also teach classes in Hillcrest and Pinetown, spent two weeks being students at the Broadway Dance Centre and Steps on Broadway.

While in the United States they worked with some of the best choreographers in the business, including those who’ve appeared on the reality show, So You Think You Can Dance, Rhopsody who choreographes for Madonna and Beyonce Knowles, and choreographers who have worked with the likes of Janet Jackson, Britney Spears and Ciara.

They also discovered that those who want to succeed in the dog-eat-dog world of American showbiz are willing to put in long hours of training to achieve their goals. “The classes are an hour and a half long and you warm up for 40 minutes,” 28-year-old Randles said.

During their American visit, the pair also learnt how important it is to listen to the rhythm of the music. “Our ultimate goal is to change the perception of hip hop from being hard and masculine and to have it be more lyrical,” Randles said. “Since being in America I’m really hearing the music in a totally different way. I’m hearing the rhythm, the lyrics, the off-beat.”

Both Guselli and Randles believe there is a massive pool of talented dancers in KwaZulu-Natal and that all they need to succeed is the right kind of inspiration. “At the moment we’re all really complacent, but there’s always room for improvement,” Randells said. Guselli agreed, adding: “If our talent is properly nurtured, I believe we can be as good as dancers overseas.”

NEED TO KNOW

THE D&C Dance Studio in the Bluff teaches break dancing and krumping on Tuesdays between 4 pm and 6.30 pm, children’s hip-hop, zumba and open street jazz class on Wednesdays from 6 pm to 6.30 pm, and teens’ hip-hop, adult breakdance, zumba and adult hip-hop on Thursdays between 4 pm and 7 pm. They also teach out of KZN Dance Studio in Hillcrest and Pinetown on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays. For more information, phone Danny Guselli at 082 895 1387.

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