This week Portland got the opportunity (and still has the chance) to be taught by Princess Lockeroo. Lockeroo taught a waacking class at Centerspace. I chose to sit out for physical reasons, but reality is, you don’t just pass up a class by Lockeroo. We live in Portland y’all, not New York City. We have to take advantage when we get the opportunity to learn from the best.
Waacking is a style of dance that originates in 1970s LA funk and disco music. Dancers use their arms to propel the beat while they hit poses and move around the floor.
“Princess Lockeroo is a Waacking Specialist and emphasizes the freestyle element of the dance which encourages the development of each individual dancer to become a living embodiment of music.”
This sums up what I see when I watch her dance. She embodies the music. I can see the music in her. Her musicality is on point. She executes each movement with fierce intention, strength and elegance. I’ve taken a class with her in NYC but by watching the class in Portland, I gained a different appreciation for her as a teacher and as an artist.
She’s direct. (Thank goodness).
She drills her students, has them repeat the same movements over and over again.
“Get your line straight.”
“Get your arm up.”
She’ll then demonstrate what she sees in her students and what she is asking of them.
She could come off as intense for the relaxed NW culture but to me, she is pleasantly refreshing. After she demonstrates, asks and demands the same drill, you hear her praise,
As the students repeated a series of 6 or 7 moves, she made them hum along with the song playing. This was so they could embody the movement better.
At the end of class, she taught a series of poses and actually had the students sing words, instead of just hum.
They repeated, “Ha, yes, right now, I want to dance with you.”
With each word there was a feeling. I could see the dancers embodying the energy of the word when they said it aloud.
Lockeroo said, “When you assign a word to dance, it comes alive.”
And it is true. Even though I was only watching the class, this morning when I went to repeat the poses, I could remember the series because she put words to it.