Radix prepares to launch inaugural season

  • November 3, 2015
  • by Chelsea Thomas

A new dance convention and competition is coming to America this winter! Radix will offer workshop classes for all levels and in all styles of dance, plus a competition that’s fun and supportive. With 18 Regional Events and a Nationals scheduled between December 2015 and July 2016, this new crew of stunning teachers and choreographers will stay busy touring to various locations across the U.S.

Radix is spearheaded by Director Eddie Strachan, a professional dancer who has performed and taught for several companies worldwide and is a choreographer who has produced numerous full-length shows that are featured on Oceania five-star cruise ships touring the Mediterranean.

Strachan’s comprehensive training in multiple disciplines of dance—including tap, lyrical, jazz, musical theatre and even gymnastics—has clearly prepared him to be the perfect leader for Radix, which he said is all about bringing the dance community’s focus “back to its roots in order to prepare today’s dancers for tomorrow’s success.”

“Radix will have a thread going throughout where we try to bring focus back to core fundamentals of dance and what truly makes a great dancer,” Strachan explained. “It won’t be leaning more toward one genre or another, but rather focusing on the work that needs to be put in for a dancer to get where they want to be in their career.”

With so many young dancers inundated with other dancers’ pictures and videos on social media these days, it’s common for them to try and rush their training and to skip steps in building their technique and physical prowess. But, as Strachan pointed out, it takes work if you want to build a solid foundation, and your foundation is critical.

“I think if we get back to the core, showing that work does need to be put in and these things can’t just be forcibly attained, that would be huge,” he noted. “It’s all about building a strong foundation and I think this convention is really going to help provide that.”

He said the convention classes and the competition atmosphere will seek to promote well roundedness because “training in one genre of dance always ends up benefiting another.”

Strachan explained, “For example, the musicality and timing developed in tap really helps a contemporary dancer, or any dancer for that matter, with their timing in combinations. Obviously, the technique of ballet is beneficial to modern dancers, and really in my opinion, every style. Just understanding your body and having spatial awareness is huge. I think everything helps everything!”

To lead this movement, Strachan has picked top-notch faculty. The roster boasts many high profile dancers and choreographers. So, who can dancers look forward to?

First up, Napoleon and Tabitha D’umo teaching hip-hop. These world-renowned choreographers, also known as “Nappytabs”, are perhaps best recognized for their Emmy Award-winning work on So You Think You Can Dance, although they were also an integral part in the success of MTV’s America’s Best Dance Crew and are currently serving as performance producers for ABC’s new show Sing Your Face Off. They’ve worked with Jennifer Lopez, Madonna, Carrie Underwood, Prince and Christina Aguilera in addition to choreographing Cirque du Soleil shows.

Second, another Emmy Award winner, Tyce Diorio, will teach Radix’s jazz/musical theatre classes. Dancers will have the opportunity to learn from one of Taylor Swift’s very own choreographers (he was the artistic force behind her RED World Tour and her famous “Shake It Off” video.)

Next, star tapper Jason Janas, an amazing performer and teacher dubbed “the best in the world” by Strachan, will coach aspiring tap dancers while former commercial dancer Tiny Caspary instructs jazz, showing off her exceptional expertise after working in the entertainment industry and running her own studio for a decade.

Commercial dancer Janelle Ginestra joins the crew fresh off her success touring with Pink and Jennifer Lopez in recent years, not to mention her work on Nicki Minaj’s record breaking video “Anaconda” and with William Adams on a new Disney show. She’ll be teaching jazz funk/hip-hop.

Contemporary dance will be taught by none other than Capezio A.C.E. Award winner Talia Favia and her principal dancer Chaz Buzan. Former SYTYCD contestant and Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet dancer Billy Bell will appropriately lead contemporary ballet. The classical ballet teacher has yet to be announced.

On how fantastic the faculty is, Janas said, “I’m so honored to be on faculty working next to so many award-winning choreographers! They are all top in their fields and I believe we are going to make an all-star team, a dream team even! With the teachers Radix has, it’s so exciting to imagine how high the ceiling will be for this convention… it’s truly incredible!”

Favia agreed,I’m so honored and excited to be a part of Radix faculty and to be teaching with such well respected artists and incredible teachers! They all know how to speak and get through to the next generation so well, and I think that is a big part of what is going to make Radix such a beautiful place to learn and grow.”

Equally enthused, Ginestra said, “I anticipate many breakthroughs for students, confidence building moments, friendships made, and lots of positive, happy and impactful moments that will give people memories forever.”

In addition to training under these choreographers, dancers can win scholarships and cash prizes.

“Kids can win single convention scholarships, the year-long scholarships and also scholarships related to what we’re calling ‘Core Performers’, which will be our dancers of the weekend, so to speak, with the opportunity to go to Nationals to compete for ‘Core Performer of the Year,’” Strachan said. Other scholarships are still in the works.

For more information on Radix and to see why Favia said she “cannot wait”, head to Strachan pointed out that Radix is currently offering each studio one free tap routine (4-9 dancers) and one free ballet group routine (4-9 dancers) for the inaugural season’s competitions. Don’t miss out!

Produced by Dance Informa.

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