Intro to Waacking and Vogueing with Rashad Pridgen

October 3, 2012 by Katzendame

The Spectre of the Rose and I attended Rashad Pridgen’s Intro to Waacking and Vogue a couple of nights ago. It was all that we hoped for and more! Well worth the $15 cost, it was an hour and a half of popular dance history, challenging and fun choreography, as well as a thorough warm up.

dancer and teacher Rashad Pridgen

Photo of Rashad Pridgen by Assad “Invent” Conley

Rashad took the time to talk about the origins of waacking in the 1970’s and it’s relation to locking and that indeed, it’s one of the styles that was seen on Soul Train. He also took the time to break down each of the steps and made sure everyone knew where the movement originated from in the body as well as the attitude behind the movements.

It was also quite thrilling to dance to Masters of Work and Jody Watley, among others, in the huge and spacious Center Space Studio. It’s rare that you get to hear this kind of music when you aren’t in a crowded nightclub and can really move!

Some of the voguing steps we practiced were the duck walk, tossing the ponytail, a basic walk and of course the glamorous poses that are the hallmarks of vogue dancing. Rashad made sure to show the the butchier styles for the male attendants and point out the difference between old voguing styles and the newer vogue femme styles.

Willi Ninja

The Legendary Willi Ninja vogues in Paris is Burning

One thing that I find challenging with the vogue poses is that I tend to want to pose with my hands on my hips and use my whole body, when the vogue style is really about shaping the face with the hands. Everything happens at shoulder height and above, which is not how I naturally pose. It’s interesting taking club and street styles into the classroom, because they really are about personal expression and personal style. Is there really a right way or a wrong way? How do you take a set of directions and evolved moves and make them your own? It can be a little bit difficult to feel fierce in the classroom environment, but Rashad had everyone form a circle at the end and show a little of what they had learned. Remember it is freestyle dance!

It was quite a vigorous workout and The Spectre of the Rose and I both found ourselves dripping with sweat. Those of you just looking for a workout would be whipped into shape in no time when doing these steps. Rashad was so fabulous and fun as a teacher and described one waacking movement as “tossing a glass of champagne.”

Originally from Portland, OR., Rashad currently lives in Northern California and teaches Afro House Hop every Saturday at Dance Mission Theater in San Francisco. He is also known by the name Soul Nubian and regularly teaches special workshops when he is in town. Check back for updates on this great teacher! For more information and updates on classes he is currently teaching you can visit his website at afrohousehop.com. You can see Rashad waacking in the beginning of the promo video below as well as see some of his other specialty dance styles:


5 comments on “Intro to Waacking and Vogueing with Rashad Pridgen

  1. I would just like to reminisce about how hilarious Rashad’s commentary was while demonstrating the voguing attitute and the ponytail toss in particular, “OH, uh huh..I think I see my friends! And HEEEY, whassup? I’m goin’ to the STORE.” Hahahaaa!

  2. discoP on said:

    I think it helps with the vogue attitude to have an intention behind the move, whether mundane or glamourous.

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