“Carry Out,” Timbaland Afro-Caribe Warm-up

Tonight was a sad night, my last to teach in the studio formerly known as Melonlight Dance Studio.  I get it–Dance studios are hard to keep alive, especially when they have to compete with big chain-gyms that offer fitness and fitness dance classes…  the privately owned dance studio sometimes just can’t keep up!

melonlightstudioBut we’ve had a good run in this beautiful space!  It was the first class I felt was truly “Mine” – not something I took over from anyone else and not a space I’m simply using under another company.  After Melonlight left, we had the space–US.  Afro-Caribe….  and we were making it ours.

I’m not sure exactly where we’ll end up but this dance form is something that is alive and growing!  And people are asking for it to be brought into other cities…  so please, spread the word, come to a class, stay connected and join in the booty-shaking, undulating, hip-grinding, sexy, fun dance form, Afro-Caribe whenever you can!  I’ll be sure to keep you all informed as far as where I’m teaching.  As for now, you can join me at Belliston Dance Academy at the Littleton location on Wednesday mornings at 9:30 and Saturday mornings at 9:00 (all except the 2nd Saturday of each month).

As for now, this is a warm-up we’ve been practicing, that my student and friend Jennifer was kind enough to record tonight on my iPhone for those of you who want to give it a try at home!

I’d love to know what some of you think and if you’re able to follow it all and practice at home.

Beyond that, keep shaking it and stay connected to the growing world of Afro-Caribe!  I’ll be sure to keep sharing here so stay tuned!

For the Love of Your Life!


Love is Wicked

….I don’t really believe that love is wicked!  It’s the name of a song that is actually one of my favorite choreographed pieces that we use for Afro-Caribe.  This particular piece was choreographed by Lysiane Ayita and is used as a “moderate” level dance, just after a warm-up or just prior to a cool-down.

When I was in La Grande, Oregon last month, this was one of the pieces that I shared and I’ve had multiple requests to post it on-line so that participants could practice it at home.  While this is far from anything professional, I was grateful to have one of the other instructors offer to record it on my iPhone last night, and one of our dancers, Kelly, was gracious enough to allow herself to be filmed as well!

For those of you who are interested in more postings of dances you’d like to try or practice, just let me know!  At some point, we will have a more professional instructional DVD to offer but, for now, we can at least play around with this type of sharing!


Love is Wicked” by Brick & Lace

For the Love of Your Life!







You’ve all been hearing and reading about Afro-Caribe on my Facebook page, my blog posts, etc, enough to either be thoroughly annoyed or fairly intrigued—at least from the responses I’ve seen!  And while we haven’t yet had the capacity to bring this powerful, sexy, sultry dance form to many parts of the country, I believe it will most certainly find it’s way….

I’ve put together a short, very “low-tech” warm-up—a simple introduction to a very basic series of movements that I would usually lead at the beginning of an Afro-Caribe class—whether beginner, intermediate or advanced.  This style of warm-up is used to activate the muscles we utilize in the style of dance from which our choreography pulls—foundations such as Latin & Carribean, West African, Reggaeton, Middle Eastern, Dancehall, and R&B.

While this piece is nothing outrageous or very difficult, it can provide a sense of the type of movement that is both required and utilized—meaning practiced to the point where it becomes foundational—for building the more advanced level aspects of the choreography.

Afro-Caribe is founded in traditional dance forms and integrates a variety of movements from around the world.  We speak to the meaning of the music—a dialogue that takes place primarily in our bodies as we explore how the music moves us.

If pieces such as this one become helpful for those considering either coming to class or a “Break-It-Down” workshop, which happen about once a quarter—or possibly even becoming certified and bringing Afro-Caribe to your home town! …Please share your responses and spread the word!

There are other videos and images that will provide more of a feel for the overall style and techniques that are utilized in classes.  And please come to our  Afro-Caribe Facebook page and “like” us!   Check out the schedule of classes and come and join us sometime!

And I’ll say one more time, as I step into my vulnerable and transparent offering here, this is just ME.  In my basement.  With my iPhone on a bench.  Sharing a very small bit of something I deeply love <3

I hope you enjoy!



Artistic Mamas

For the past two years, I’ve had the opportunity to be a part of a group of Mothers and women bringing together their creative efforts in sharing unique and vulnerable styles of art and expression–Artistic Mamas.  This creative effort was literally Birthed by a courageous and awake Mama, Jacquie Van Horne, who had a vision…  a vision to gather the bold spirit of powerful mothers and dedicate an evening to our embodied expression.

Mother’s do hold a place in the world for powerful expression of all that we hold–both in our arms and in our hearts. To offer a space for Mama’s to gather, support, hold space, and share the stories which have been woven through communities and histories, providing the foundation for our children to bloom; this has a been a gift to many mothers in the Denver Metro area by the Artistic Mamas Organization.  I believe it is a gift that continues to give!