ROLE: Hip Hop Teacher
I have been dancing in popping dance style since 2008. I was initially taught by one of the three popping dance pioneers in the scene in Beijing. I have earned some championships but I do not compete often due to my study at the ANU.
I have been teaching for over three years.
Q&A with Leo
What got you into teaching?
I have the passion to pass on the knowledge of popping dance style to more people, so more people would realise the aesthetic of this style.
What styles of dance do you teach?
Popping and isolation
What is your favourite group to teach?
My favourite age group to teach are teenagers starting from 12 years old, because they have a good mindset, energy, and physical state to learn the style. I started to learn the dance when I was 12 as well.
What is your style of teaching?
My teaching style would vary according to the songs used and the vibe. For instance, if it is a choreography for funk music, the vibe would be upbeat and rigorous so I will make the class hyped. If it is a calm or lyrical song being played, it would be a more attentive class to make sure clean or sharp details are met.
What inspires you when it comes to choreographing?
I pick the songs that are trending for the moment. I then study the instrumental version of the song and the lyrics separately. Then I first choreograph the moves that correspond with the theme and lyrics. By listening to the instrumental version, I will then be able to find existing patterns which I make moves for to insert into the choreography to enhance it.
What do you love most about dance?
I love dancing because I can express my feelings through dance to others. It is very significant to me because I like real feelings being expressed through freestyling. I love the feeling that when you dance, you know that you got the most fitting moves to express your own feelings towards the song being played.
What do you love most about teaching?
I have the desire to teach my students how e to express their true feelings through their dance sessions. Dancing for me is a form of body language, so if you expand your vocabulary more and more, you can express your feelings in a more and more precise fashion.
What are your top tips for students to get the most out of class?
All the moves that I teach to my students are foundational and have their own expressions for completely different emotions. Therefore, they should focus much more about every single move being taught to get the perfect feelings, angles and shapes of every fundamental move. They should learn it step by step and have more patience.
What’s your guilty pleasure?
I sometimes play video games for a few hours
Who has been the biggest influence on your life?
Popping Viho. He is my very first dance teacher who brought me into the dance scene. He is one of the top 3 poppers in China, specialising in waving and animation style. He taught me many ways of waving and animating.
Tell us about your personal fashion style.
I like street-dance wear in my daily life and suit-and-tie outfits when I perform. The reason is that popping dance is traditionally being performed with suit and tie.
What’s your favourite quote?
No pain, no gain.
Where would you go on your dream holiday?