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Dance as communication

By Nutsa Eristavi
Monday, June 23
The morning begins at 11 o'clock which is a little late for some but a perfect time for him to awaken from his slumber. The first thing Aaron does even before brushing his teeth or any kind of self-grooming, his mind is set on only one thing, turning the music on. No cigarettes, tea or coffee in his mornings, just music and a wide open window for fresh air which helps charge him with the positive energy he craves in the early hours of the day. After having a light breakfast he goes to the Studio for his daily training routine, which involves 3-4 hours of dancing and exercise. During break times he stays updated with past and present styles of dance by researching via the internet. Any free time he has is spent preparing himself mentally and physically for teaching. A dance teacher holds great responsibility. It requires a lot of patience to teach young and elderly people that know very little English, but he still does this effortlessly and seems not to be a problem for him. I would love to know his secret. Aaron has been living in Tbilisi, Georgia for almost 3 years teaching the street dance styles, hip-hop and house dance in 3 well known studios. Aaron is also known as an educator who lives one of his childhood dreams, to travel the world sharing positive energy with whom he comes in contact with. One of many achievements is that he is the pioneer of house dance in the Caucasus region and has even formed a great relationship with Armenian and Azerbaijan dancers and currently travels between the two teaching workshops judging dance competitions.

“I am looking to share my dance and life experience as a person, dancer, educator and teacher to help people around the world.”

A healthy lifestyle, colorful clothes and smile on his face is the reason why his students never miss his class.

Showing documentary films and having discussions about dance and its culture are one of the main elements of his workshops. The first things Aaron tells his students is the importance of love and connecting with the music because without the love they won’t be able to show their passion and without passion they won’t be able to feel while dancing.

Too many people are unclear as to what hip-hop culture really is, hip-hop culture is commonly recognized by its main elements: rapping, DJ’ing, Writing (Aerosol Art), several dance forms (Breaking, Up-Rocking, Popping, and Locking) and the element which holds the rest together: Knowledge. These elements are simply forms of art designed to express a deeper meaning. Within the past 20 years, hip-hop culture has influenced the entertainment world with its creative contributions in music, dance, art, poetry and fashion. Hip-hop is much more than the art and fun, hip-hop is a lifestyle (joy, sorrow, pain, happiness, humor, and dreams). It is the spirit that connects the past to the present and lays the path towards the future.

Official Birthday of Hip hop is November 12th, 1974. Hip hop as a dance style was born in the American Bronx, where people in the club, in the house parties, and in streets were dancing to a different kind of music, they where showing each other different steps, moves, and they were trying to learn from each other and add their personality to the dance. Hip-hop as a social dance saved a lot of people in America from negativity in that time instead of violence, self hate and drug abuse. Hip-hop as a culture has played a big role in conflict resolution and enforcing positivity.

Unfortunately due to society’s lack of knowledge about hip-hop culture, it is sometimes identified with bad behavior like smoking, drinking, objectifying women etc. Aaron Charles is the best example that hip-hop culture and dance is all about positivity, having fun and education.

Unlike Georgian national dance, hip-hop is all about improvisation with specific moves and steps. Aaron always gives freedom to his students to improvise and play with the music to express their feelings at the end of the class. With the dance they are telling their story – whether they are happy or sad.

“It’s the best therapy, said one of Aaron’s student. Dancing makes me free to express myself. It’s the way to fight my depression, I love performing because I am really honest when I am dancing: I can be me… my true self.”

“I am a really shy person, but when I am dancing that leaves me, and the movements hold me there” said 18 year-old Tako

For Aaron, dancing is a good way to communicate with his students without words, his moves are much louder.