Ever since she was a toddler, Natasha Clarke, (29), has cherished to bop. The choreographer and trainer at Clarkes Dance Studios, Belfast, has fond childhood reminiscences of being within the studio along with her dad and mom.
I began dancing at three years outdated, as my household run Clarkes Dance Studios and it was one thing I at all times was concerned in,” Natasha says.
“I rapidly grew to become focused on music and dance; I couldn’t preserve nonetheless. I used to be skilled by my mum and pa in Latin American and ballroom dance from the age of 5 and I competed in lots of competitions all through the republic of Eire and the UK, taking house quite a few titles.
“I then began Hip-hop after I was seven and knew it was one thing I used to be going to actually get pleasure from. I felt it was extra me and though I loved Latin and ballroom, I additionally loved the liberty hip-hop gave me and the extra present music decisions in school.
“I continued my coaching in Hip-hop and in 2009 I started educating within the studio, getting a really feel of choreographing my very own routines, working a category, and having independence in my dance type. I certified as a dance trainer in 2013 with UKA Dance. I began educating Okay-Pop on the finish of 2018 after just a few children in my Hip-hop courses launched me to it.”
Natasha’s Okay-Pop periods run each Thursday and are appropriate for kids aged 10 and over.
“Okay-Pop is brief for Korean pop music and it originated from South Korea,” the trainer explains.
“My courses are a mixture of newbie to superior dancers — all share a typical love of Okay-Pop. The songs all have their very own fashionable dance routines which you’ll be able to simply study your self on-line. However what makes my class completely different is that I train my very own choreography to the routines.
“We study choreography over two weeks and end the category with the ever-popular random play dance; we play a playlist of fashionable songs and if you understand the unique choreography you stand up and carry out.
“The category cheers on and helps everybody who will get up, creates a loving and inspiring atmosphere.”
Since Natasha first began educating Okay-Pop, curiosity within the class has grown steadily.
“The youngsters requested me to show just a few Okay-Pop songs in one in every of my Hip-hop courses, and after listening to them, I might see why,” she says.
“The music is catchy and simply turns into caught in your head. The colors and outfits the group members put on are eye-catching and vibrant. On the time, there wasn’t another Okay-Pop courses for kids, so I seen a spot to start out my very own.
“The category began with about 5 or 6 folks in it, and now now we have roughly 25-35 folks each week, and a gaggle chat with over 60 members. The category is extremely fashionable. Throughout the pandemic, simply after the world opened up, we needed to restrict our numbers. The category would promote out in 10 minutes.
“You don’t want any dance expertise to attend, only a love of dance or Okay-Pop or each. Queen’s have their very own Okay-Pop society and lots of the college students additionally attend my courses too. They’ve competed in a Okay-Pop competitors in opposition to societies from different universities.”
The choreographer says the advantages of attending her class and dancing typically, are quite a few.
“Dance in itself is a improbable outlet for kids and youths, and an excellent supply of train,” Natasha provides.
“The category has an exquisite supportive vibe for everybody of any age or potential. They’re extremely welcoming to new folks and I’m very fortunate to have such an excellent community of youngsters and younger adults who frequently attend.”
To oldsters who’re contemplating sending their youngster or teenager to Okay-Pop class, Natasha encourages them to enroll.
“I consider each youngster ought to dance and in the event that they love Okay-Pop even higher,” she says. “Okay-Pop is catchy and energetic. It’s much more PG than Hip-hop. The dance routines are largely straightforward to study and that itself attracts folks in. The melodies are addictive and the expertise the artists have is simply superb.
“My class encourages range, individuality and creativity. Come be part of a improbable group of like-minded people the place you’ll study so many new abilities and make so many new associates.”
Natasha’s personal abilities had been noticed by JSL again in 2021 when she was chosen as a backing dancer to carry out with the boyband.
“I auditioned for a backing dancer position for the headliner help act on the JLS tour and I used to be chosen for the Irish leg of the reveals; two in Belfast and one in Dublin,” Natasha says.
“I used to be requested once more to bop backup for the headliner the next 12 months — two reveals in Belfast and one in Dublin. It was an incredible expertise and gave me a style of what it’s like to bop in entrance of hundreds of individuals. The adrenaline rush is simply incomparable.
“When you have got dreamed of being a backing dancer from if you had been a bit of lady and also you get that chance, it’s only a fantastic feeling and I’m so fortunate I used to be capable of get that likelihood. As a lot as I might have cherished to go on to audition and pursue a profession in backing dancing, I’m a homebird and my love of educating, and persevering with on the legacy of our studio and in nurturing younger dancers, in the end saved me at house.
“I’ve been educating for over 12 years now and as I’ve gotten older my love for nurturing dancers, younger and outdated, simply continues to develop.”
Okay-Pop courses value £6. For extra data please go to www.clarkesdancestudios.web