KATY (Covering Katy News)—Music is one of the key components to influencing a dance style in a dance class. A teacher may find instructing ballet to hip hop a little difficult, however, there are some styles of music that reach a realm of dance styles. Music can be upbeat, perhaps a little more freestyle, sometimes as a “pick me up” to the spirit of their students. Then the accompanying dance can feature moves where the dancer is isolating a particular muscle or executing an extension of the arm or leg.
Marcello Gomez at Levitate Athletic Academy and Dance, 3539 Schlipf Road, said “dance moves can get pretty complicated and challenging at times. Dancing varies on the teacher. I like a lot of acoustic music with a nice, upbeat, flow.”
Gomez cited Camila Cabello, the Cuban artist, as an example of the music he uses in his classes.
“Jazz dance doesn’t necessarily follow jazz music,“ Gomez said. “It’s a lot of improvisation. It’s playing off each other. Dance isn’t as composer-structured. Jazz dance does not necessarily follow the musician’s interpretation, though you do have it as inspiration.”
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Gomez, describing his own personal experience, said he’s been dancing throughout his life.
“I’ve been a studio kid since I was four years old and I danced through high school,” Gomez said.
Gomez’s resume includes dancing with the Houston Metropolitan Dance Company for two years.
“I really auditioned to get audition experience,” Gomez said.
He comes to Levitate with a wealth of experience. Gomez also has been teaching with Marching Auxiliary for All American Dance (a drill team corporation) for 13 years, and still coaches and choreographs for the Alief Jazz Ballet.
Gomez is one of the three dance instructors at Levitate. Gladys Hovis teaches Ballet and contemporary. Hovis began her dancing career in California, where she danced in the Los Angeles Junior Ballet. She went to college, majored in dance, and moved to Houston, where she taught ballet for five years.
Hovis then taught in Galveston for three years and Columbus for 16 years before joining Levitate.
“We offer contemporary, jazz, and ballet combined,” Hovis said. “We also offer tap, hip hop, and ballet.”
Teaching is fun for the instructors, but they remain committed to ongoing professional development. Hovis, for example, is attending a two-week conference in Florence, Italy.
“It’s a conference of ballet teachers,” Hovis said. “We learn from people in Europe and listen to lectures. We’re continuously learning about our art and how to improve what we do. We have experience, but we keep growing as teachers. And we love what we do. We love dancing, and we love kids. It’s a win-win.”
Brenden Winkfield is the third instructor.
“He does the hip hop and the tap,” Hovis said. “He does the fun stuff.”
Along with teaching at Levitate, Winkfield also dances for the Houston Rockets.
Gomez said all members of Levitate dance staff have danced professionally.
“I think that sets us apart from a lot of other studios,” Gomez said. “We have a different perspective. Between the three of us, our performing and rehearsing experience, we just know what the dance world is all about.“
Classes are open enrollment. Hovis said many students sign up for classes after school begins and things settle down in terms of their schedules, and deciding what extracurricular activities they wish to pursue.
Hours are 4-8 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Friday, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday.