Skip to main content

Yes, Work, Get Your LIFE. Street/Dance Workshop Jacob's Pillow 2020 NYC

My Life at the Pillow..."
~by JR Glover

Today was a Pillow Day. As an Alumni, I traveled North to help facilitate and support the Recruitment Tour amidst other beautiful dancing bodies. It's amazing to see how we have all grown through the years as Dancers, Creatives, Choreographers, Directors and lifelong students. Even more, it's inspiring to know that we are all keeping at it--pursuing Excellence and honing our craft day by day.

What was meant to be a standby experience turned out to be a Full Dance Day for me. I give thanks to my peers who encouraged me to dance. It was a risk--knowing that I had not danced or taken a technique class proper in several months. However, due to the nature of GYROKINESIS as an instructor, I never lost body awareness, posture, alignment etc. So it was just a matter of tipping over the edge again to see where my body goes....and catching it again. It was a necessary challenge in fact, with the chronic pain of Trigeminal Neuralgia and Cervical Dystonia as a result of it, it can be challenging with my eye sight, my directional focus and at times even my memory. But God.

Tap & Contemporary Dance Program Pillow Alumni

There is a quote that goes...."Good Teachers, deserve Good Students." This is exactly what Milton Myers is, his tool as a Teacher is so fine tuned, his voice is from the Heavens and his devout demonstrating assistant Aya, always gives a good class. As a dancer, you feel as if your movement is important to the World, has something to offer in society and your body--a messenger of God through this Horton technique-- that is in the words of Martha Graham. It is also Mr. Myers' choice of accompanist that transforms dance the room. Paula Jeanine Bennett, provided an ethereal experience of sound and context playing the Djembe Drum and other instruments, using her voice to whisper melodic sounds into the space to remind us of the Power of the Breath.....take air in. This is something we forget to do, in all of our doing as dancers and as people.

ME, in the far right corner in blue leggings. Lateral T.

So, thank you.
before class, Gentry George speaking with the Accompanist.
Gentry is a Pilates Instructor, Teacher at AMDA and Artistic Director of the Zest Collective.

 Pillow Advocates, Observers & Supporters, Charles & Deb

Paula Jeanine, Aya, Milton Myers

"....hey, Ms. PJ do you take photos for Social Media?"
"What am I, 90? of course, I do!"

While taking Street/Dance Voguing Workshop with Archie Burnett, I discovered that all of the expressions that I've been holding inside these days--the ones that I keep to myself for fear of offending, challenging or getting attention of others is exactly what I was meant to do. I just needed the right place to do it. Cultural and Social Stigmas are real and effectual--they can control how we feel, our choices in life, they can even shape our reality. This is not always a bad thing, however it is fact--from the 50's through the 80's cities, metropolitan areas, urban environments etc. were impoverished, struggling and gang and drug infested....full of culture and life....and yet the Drug Lords, Runner Boys, Prostitutes, Pimps, Players, Gunman and Mobsters ran the streets. This lifestyle was the rhythm of  our nation for people of Color and the confidence that one kept, the gestural conversation, the way in which they wore their clothes and the colors, all of these things created an authentic look, style, attitude and presence. Without a stage these learned behaviors became movement and transformed into a codified style as we know it today.

For example, a simple eyebrow lift while someone is talking to you could suggest you might disagree, doubt or question their motives. This in turn by force the person to challenge or try and overrule your thought, anticipate a wise rebuttle and or carry on a sense of cattiness back and for as long it will last. All from a facial expression. However in Social and Street Dancing it is an expression of raw humanity a connection that is deep and purely love, that says "....I'm not concerned about coming for you. I look too good feel too good and I know that you know it, so here come closer." 
The facial muscles in fact have some much power and dynamic, if we were to exercise them more we would begin to appreciate them for the freedom it gave us to Express. 

Here is a bit of the terminology that I've heard so often before....never realized the depth of:

 Contraposo: Italian Pose/Stance

S-Curve in back and neck with bevel 
Push: leaning in the hip, knee or ankle
Giving Face: a gesture of lift you Mask off and handing it someone else because yours is better; the beauty, the personality, the style and way in which they live.
Vogue: an exaggeration of the Female Body and Aesthetic, Charming and Delicate 
Serve: presenting the face before your audience or competitor
Eat: enjoy me; indulge in me; love me
Dip: a lowing to the floor in a final layout or position
Chile Please: a dismiss, dis, hand gesture or arm extension with sharp bladed fingers and a broken wrist
Twirl: a fast spin around one's self

As a Contemporary, Ballet, Modern and Jazz Dancer...I was able to identify with the placement and position of my body during Archie's class. However, I had to really go for it and put myself out their....tap into a place unknown and draw from personal experience to make something unique. He gave us the floor so we could do so a few times. Myself and another dance, who's style was so different from mine--PERFECTION. I am glad, I didn't box myself....this experience was once in a life time. I hope and look forward to many more and applying it in the future for Auditions and Production work that need a character who understands the roots, the technique and the lingo.

Quotes from Archie:

"Give the Camera your best. Show your Best Line."
"Don't Cheat."
"Know where is coming from. Make it Real to You."
"Believe it."

Find & Follow Archie Burnett:

Taught at the Peridance Studios NYC


  1. Nice reading, I love your content. This is really a fantastic and informative post. Keep it up and if you are looking for solid wood bed frame then visit The Organic Mattress Store Inc.


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Keeping Dance Alive, St. Croix Arts Community Outreach

 In 2017, I was at home in Washington DC bedridden and removed from everything that I knew.  My life as a Dancer as I knew it....was no longer. I could barely walk, performing menial tasks around the house was a burden for me. I often felt faint and dizzy. My nervous system had taken a hard hit from the brutal cold winter of Chicago. The winds  shook my bones and my days of job hunting, street performing in the Chicago O'Hare Airport for bills and just aimlessly walking in the snow drove my body into a state of shock. PH. D Chenzira Davis Kahina & Ms. Charlita Charlita Schuster,  great friends discussing a paining in the UVI Cultural Center After my last gig as a Broadway Dancer, there was nothing more for me in the Windy City. I'd returned home with question in my mind and heart as to how I would move forward. I was diagnoses with a rare chronic pain condition, Trigeminal Neuralgia. The International Association for Blacks in Dance had just revamped its organization, was g

Remote Work Saves the Day!

  People tend not to understand. Being an Artist means that you get no days off. It’s a 24/7 kind of job whether a Creative Commissioning Artist, a Teacher, Administrator, Advocate or Affiliate there is no way to clock in and clock out of Inspiration. It just hits you and you have to be ready. That’s why it ’ s helpful to just check out of life and into a hotel at times. Not to vacation, but to get a good night's rest, wake up and actually get things done. Maya Angelou, Pulitzer Prize Writer said that she couldn’t write in her home because she was surrounded by too beautiful of things. I get it. There are layers to inspiration in if you’re not in the right setting it can mess with your mental space too. Follow IG: @na.bee Travelista Blog or Getaway, not to Escape Reality — but to become it.” This is one of my many #beebodi quotes about wellness vacations, remote working travel excursions. Travel is a way of life and renders culture usually inspired by the surro