Fri | Jul 3, 2020

Christina Gonzalez lights up with virtual dance classes

Published:Thursday | June 4, 2020 | 12:00 AMKrysta Anderson /Gleaner Writer
Christina Gonzales doing her dance moves outdoor.
Christina Gonzales
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The world is slowly but surely opening its doors, but the hottest and safest mode of entertainment is in the virtual realm. Lighting up the dance floor and teaching her signature repertoire is dance teacher and choreographer Christina Gonzalez.

No stranger to the island’s vibrant culture, this dance advocate has ripped the stage with her electrifying performances locally, regionally, and internationally. She brings that same fire to her dance classes, teaching a dance fusion of musical genres soca, dancehall, and afrobeat. There, she thrives on face-to-face interactions and reactions from students of all ages and nationalities.

But when COVID-19 swept the nation, forcing everyone to stay safely indoors, Gonzalez switched gears and jumped on to the virtual art train. She confessed to Entertainment in a recent interview that making the transition was a bit awkward at first. “Dance is a social activity. As the teacher, I usually take my cues from the students. Their facial expressions and general body language dictate if I level up or down in terms of intensity.” She initially went with YouTube Live, taking her cues solely from the participants’ comments.

WELCOMING CHANGE

But not everyone, she shared, wanted to comment while they are working out. “So I eventually had to get into my head and try to pace myself based on my memories of student responses to particular movements and phrases,” she added. That was the stepping stone tha t led to Zoom classes – a warm and welcoming change.

Zoom, she revealed, was a lot more interactive. She was able to see her students and give them pointers.”It still isn’t the same as a physical dance class, but it is the best option right now, and my clients prefer this over everything else.”

These days, she is a converted virtual believer, “I am starting to enjoy this new norm from the comfort of my own home.” With benefits like being an inexpensive and convenient alternative, virtual classes eliminate transportation costs and removes the worry about renting a studio. Gonzalez can schedule her week and send out to her students. “I am seriously considering working online from now on even after the pandemic has ended. The possibilities are endless,” she added. It’s free from judgement and has no negative competition.”

She makes sure that she employs the same teaching style, encouraging people to have fun and be themselves. “People get so caught up with perfection they forget to relax and just enjoy the moment. My technique has a signature vibe and energy. It’s almost like people understand they can relax and laugh at themselves. At the end of the day, if you make a mistake, who cares?”

In the interim, she has taught her own classes, participated in her first online workshop collaboration, uploaded several Tik Tok videos, and gained more popularity and traction in the process.

For more information on how you can join her classes, follow her on Instagram: @chriss_choreo.

krysta.anderson@gleanerjm.com