Dancing from coast to coast


Blacksburg, Va., April 9– West Coast Workshop: The annual dance workshop hosted by Dancing’s Our Poison brings together dance communities from both the east and west coast. Photo: Kate Monick

by Kate Monick–

West Coast Workshop came to life in 2013 as an annual dance workshop held by Virginia Tech dance team Dancing’s Our Poison (DOP). DOP hosts the event as an effort to expose the local dance community to professional talent flown in from the west coast. The local dance community is targeted at the Blacksburg area, as well as North Carolina, Washington D.C., Maryland, and all of Virginia – although guests from anywhere are welcome.

This year’s event featured three professional choreographers – Nic Ballecer, Amor Ledesma and Devin Pornel – from the San Diego, California dance team, Choreo Cookies. According to the Choreo Cookies’ official website, the group was founded in 2002 and reestablished as a competitive dance company in 2007. Since then, the group has maintained a name as regular competitors in many major dance competitions.

At West Coast Workshop, each choreographer teaches an hour and a half long class, entailing 30 seconds of choreography to one song. Attendance to one class costs $12, while access to all three classes is $30.

By hosting West Coast Workshop, DOP aims to provide the local dance community with an opportunity to dance with professionals while learning from their guidance and experience. With a turnout of over 50 dance enthusiasts, DOP looks forward to hosting West Coast Workshop in 2017.

“It’s gives us exposure to different kinds of dance, exposure to professional dancers, [exposure to] harder teachers who are more willing to push choreography and have different types of movements that we may never have seen before,” said Adriana Negrón, a member of the Dancing’s Our Poison team.

Negrón discusses the importance of West Coast Workshop in the Blacksburg community the audio slideshow below.