Hip-hop dance instructor visits Lakie for artist in residency program

By Garrett Simmons

Lethbridge School District No. 51

Communications Officer

Ajay Musodi has taught dance at many schools over the years.

Musodi is with SoundKreations, a company that specializes in dance residency programs in schools.

He made the trek to Lethbridge Monday to begin a one-week residency at G.S. Lakie Middle School.

Last school year, Lakie applied to the Alberta Foundation for the Arts for an artist in residency grant, and received full funding from the AFA as a result.

Working with students in Grade 6 to Grade 8 at Lakie, Musodi quickly discovered these students could dance, thanks to a strong foundation of fundamentals instilled in them by Lakie teacher Kristi Legge.

“I did feel like when I came in, the kids did have some good experience already,” said Musodi, who added his hip-hop dance instruction focused on adding and emphasizing things students had already learned. “Usually, the kids have zero experience, so when I came here, it was all about adding advanced skills.”

It was Musodi’s first time at Lakie and in Lethbridge, and he was quick to point out he was impressed with the dancers he taught. It made his one-week residency very rewarding, not only for himself but also for the students.

“It actually allowed me to break into more advanced technique, harder routines, understanding technique and adding variations.”

Musodi added he put the focus on individual dance, and allowed the students to experiment and use their creativity.

For Legge, the opportunity to bring in an instructor like Musodi was simply too good to pass up, as she added her students enjoyed the week.

“He was super inspiring. He taught them two dances and he was just incredible. I believe all the dance students were very inspired by Ajay's performances in class this week.”

On Thursday morning, students hit the stage with Musodi, after a quick solo performance, and showcased what they had learned.

“We are very thankful to have had this experience,” said Legge. “The dance students are still buzzing with the energy from class and their performance opportunity. It's always nice to expose students to new instructors that have a different dance style. Ajay was an outstanding hip-hop teacher and a great role model for the kids!”

Date posted: Oct. 20, 2017

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