You may have noticed that there are some new faces at the front of the studio at the Dance Center. Over the year, LINES Dance Center has launched some new opportunities to move with new genres, styles and teachers. One of the new faces is San Francisco native, Kyle Limin; choreographer, professional dancer and now Hip Hop teacher with LINES Dance Center and Teaching Artist with LINES Community Programs.
Kyle brings a unique spark and energy to his classes. His Beginning Hip Hop on Friday nights at 6pm pulses with excitement and joy as dancers let go of their weekly-woes and join him on the floor exploring new movement structures, rhythms and influences. He jokes and encourages his students with a kindness and authenticity that makes you want to come back and try again. Starting a new class at LINES is not always easy, especially on a Friday night. But, Kyle’s depth of knowledge and versatility as a teacher has defied the odds for a Friday night class. His class is now a fixture at LINES and a great start to the weekend.
Coming to dance as a teen in San Francisco, Kyle has an interesting lens through which he views teaching, trying something new and connecting his work to the mission of Alonzo King LINES Ballet. We took a moment to sit down with Kyle and hear more about what drives his teaching and choreography. Here is what he had to say about teaching dance at LINES and throughout San Francisco:
Tell us about how you started dancing and more about your background:
I grew up dancing socially at family parties, talent shows, and school assemblies but was introduced to the discipline in junior year of high school by two of my closest friends. From there, I joined several hip hop teams including Funk Beyond Control, Mind Over Matter, and Funkanometry SF. I’ve even had the chance to be a soloist and contributing choreographer at a number of these companies.
It wasn’t until receiving my B.A. in Dance at SF State that I ventured into the contemporary/modern dance community. I teach workshops around the country and most recently taught in the UK and German.
How would you describe your teaching style?
My teaching style is rooted in facilitating play.
By putting the movement above any ego in the room, it allows less stress in investigating how and why we move. I relate shapes to memories and harness analogy-driven imagery to best communicate my choreography. My movement is simply the medium I use to open a discussion on how we learn and work with others.
What has your LINES teaching experience been like for you?
I love teaching at LINES because it has been a dream of mine since high school. Ever since Stacey Printz mentored my high school dance company, I set LINES as the bar for prestigious dance education.
Having the perspective of both a student AND teacher at the Dance Center, I’m constantly impressed and humbled by the amount of discipline, respect, curiosity, and love that the students and teachers bring out of each other.
There is a magic in the studios that encourages movers of ANY age, background, or skill level to be vulnerable in order to feel their best selves. To feel, in general.
You are stepping into a new role at LINES soon as you begin to teach in LINES Community Programs and work with students in the school setting. What do you think about that?
In teaching LINES Community Programs, I hope to uphold the philosophy of the Alonzo King. I genuinely admire the dialogue he creates between Western ideologies of “technical” dance and Eastern practices of dance for the soul.
As a person of color growing up in inner-city San Francisco, I take responsibility in showing my community that there is even technique and a regality to social dance forms like hip hop.
I hope to see youth, and adults alike, build confidence and become better listeners and team-players through the creative outlet of dance.
For anyone considering something new at the Dance Center, what advice would you give?
TRY IT. On your own time. And try it FULLY PRESENT. We all have our own reasons to evade our first time: the weather, your friend flaked, nerves. But when you finally get around to being somewhere because you know it was YOU who willed yourself into the room, you’re going to value it more. Commit to the discovery and sign on for all of it. The mistakes, the potential embarrassment, the possible realization that it’s easier/harder than you think are all part of the learning experience. Going in not knowing anything grants you a feast of more knowledge to consume. Be gluttonous.
Kyle Limin teaches Beginning Hip Hop on Fridays at 6pm and Intermediate Hip Hop on Sundays at 11:30am. Join him for an honest, rejuvenating and inspiring time.