Saturday, you can dance with the stars in Grayson – well…almost!
Darnell Powell brings his expertise in hip hop dance and style to the Gwinnett School of Dance from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday at the school, located at 1142 Highway 78, for his one-day workshop. Tuition is $25/$15 for students already enrolled at Gwinnett School of Dance.
Powell says he loves to teach and loves to dance and wants to share his love of it all with folks of all ages.
“I have been dancing all my life,” said Powell. “Even the people in my high school always said I would be a choreographer.”
He and his twin sister entered talent shows and won, and at home they’d dance in the living room to keep the momentum going.
And, as if his life-long love of dance wasn’t enough, Powell happens to also be a well-known choreographer and performer and has worked as a touring dancer with all kinds of acts including: Outkast, Ciara, Kid Money, Kilo Ali , Dj Tazz, Da-Organization, Jamtam/The Faculty and Virgo.
With his more-than-a-decade of entertainment experience, Powell brings his experience and desire to choreograph and teach training techniques that will inspire others to enhance their own dance skills. He says that if potential students are nervous about being able to dance hip-hop, Powell wants to urge them not to be.
“With desire and training, almost anyone can do it. Dance is universal. The expression of dance is through rhythm,” he said, adding that all dance is done through rhythm, wether its hip hop or jazz or any other genre.
Nina Baldridge, artistic director at Gwinnett School of Dance said they know what they’ve got in Powell.
"Darnell has this really great 'smooth energy' to him and it reflects in his choreography. We are all just striving to look as cool as he does with the moves he is teaching us," she said.
And, since he’s made it look so “cool” for the famous, many ask him what it was like to dance with all those big acts that he toured and trained with.
“Outkast was fun and hard work – I got a lot of resources, development and ideas for different people,” Powell said. “But, as I got older, I couldn’t take the punishment of being on the road and dancing so hard.”
The bonus of being off the road and teaching dance classes? He loves it when he sees a former student go on to continue to dance after he’s worked with them.
“It’s fulfilling for me to see a lot of the young dancers with R. Kelly, Ciara and Beyonce now, making it work,” said Powell. “I know I put my hands on them and trained them and I love that I helped dancers go on to greater things.”
To get in on this class, or to find out more about Gwinnett School of Dance: