Are you ready for this jelly? The Bey Dance Workshop opens for business at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe
List writer Maud Sampson steps up to master some of Beyonce's moves
This article is from 2014.
Let’s be honest – who doesn’t want to dance like Beyonce Knowles? She is the definition of sexy; in her Destiny’s Child days she wrote smash-hit song ‘Bootylicious’, a word that months later made it into the dictionary to mean a sexually attractive woman.
Fresh from a sell-out run at the Adelaide Fringe, the Bey Dance Workshop promises to turn you into ‘the obnoxious person outshining everyone else on the dance floor with all the steps to Beyonce’s iconic dances’. l admit I’m feeling apprehensive before going along to the class, led by Aussie Liz Cahalan at the Gilded Balloon Teviot. For a start, I don’t think I’ve ever tried to move like Yonce this early in the morning. But on arrival I’m relieved to see the other participants don’t look like Bey’s backup dancers and Liz immediately reassures us no dance experience is required, only enthusiasm, emphasising that finding your inner Sasha Fierce is just as important as nailing the dance moves.
We dive straight into a bouncy warm-up, and using inspired anecdotes to help us get into character (‘walk like you’re squishing a bug with every step, ladies’), Liz teaches us some individual moves to nail Mrs Carter’s routines. The art of keeping the whole body still whilst only moving your hips is particularly difficult to master, but it gets the class laughing and our inhibitions begin to lift.
Liz’s unwavering love of Beyonce as a dancer and independent woman is infectiously feel-good (‘dance like you know everyone’s watching and you don’t care, you do look damn good’) as she breaks down the original choreography into manageable steps. In one class we manage to get through a routine set to Liz’s own mash up of Beyonce songs, combining pop-cutesy 70s boy band slides in 'Love on Top' with dancehall-inspired and reggae body-popping in 'End of Time'. Throughout, Liz constantly tells us to inject more sass into our moves and it seems to be working: by the time we end with 'Diva', I feel a little bit more like the diva herself.
It doesn’t seem to matter that none of us have really got the routine down by the end of the two hours, and this is what makes the class work. A final ‘performance’ is filmed at the end and put up on the Facebook page so we can practise our moves at home, and I leave the class feeling sweatily satisfied that girls do run the world.
Bey Dance Workshop, Gilded Balloon Venue 14, 7–10, 14–17, 21–24 Aug, 10am, £8 (£7).