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    Dance professional Andre Keith, a member of the Atlanta-based dance group Groove 2 Musik, leads a workshop for students. Photo by Tia Mitchell / Echo A&E editor

Dance pros provide an Ultimate ATL Experience with students

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Dance professionals, Kenneth Tipton and Andre Keith, held an intense two-hour dance workshop in the Leroy T. Walker Complex Friday, Jan. 29.

Tipton and Keith, both from Atlanta, were invited to N. C. Central University by the dance group House Arrest II, to teach a hip-hop dance workshop for anyone with a love of moving to the beat.

Tipton is an NCCU alumnus with a business degree in finance. Since dancing professionally for six years, he has appeared in productions such as Disney’s “Shake It Up” and the movie “Pitch Perfect.”

Tipton is currently working on a production for the fall “Jungle Boogie.”

Dance slowly grew into more than just a hobby he loved. Now, it’s his passion. “It’s this crazy feeling you get when you go onstage. Performing is the best part of me dancing,”   said Tipton.

Students in motion at the Ultimate ATL Experience Dance Workshop, led by Andre Keith and Kenneth Tipton. Photo by Tia Mitchell / Echo A&E editor
Students in motion at the Ultimate ATL Experience Dance Workshop, led by Andre Keith and Kenneth Tipton. Photo by Tia Mitchell / Echo A&E editor

Andre Keith has been dancing for 25 years, starting from the age of four. He didn’t start formal dance classes until 2008. Missy Elliot’s 2005 BET performance of “Lose Control” was his inspiration to start dancing.

After studying business at Clarke Atlanta University. Keith took his newfound knowledge of business and his love for dance to create the Atlanta-based dance group Groove 2 Musik.

Keith described dance as a trade you can enjoy “even if you don’t get paid … you’d still enjoy it … that’s your passion.”

For those interested in dance as a career, Keith says it’s better to learn different types of dance rather than just hip hop or just ballet. Not only does it show off versatility, but adds to the primary genre.

“It’s helped me advance my choreography,” he said. “It’s helped me develop my ear, tapping into emotion, finding your core and center of balance.”

The first half of the workshop had students doing a hip hop routine to Bahja Rodriguez’s “Next One.” The routine featured fast, cut steps, and foot work along with smooth body movements. The dancers learned their routines both with and without the music, until they mastered the section.

As the students began to become comfortable with the choreography, they became more relaxed, dancing “in the pocket” or adding their own swag to the dances.

The workshop was well received, the students enjoyed themselves and were happy for the experience.

“It helped me know better dances and expand my variety of dancing,” said dance sophomore Ja’Len Walker. “It was a pretty challenging today.”