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Monster Ball Tour Experience


Barcelona, December 6-9th, 2010

Barcelona Dance Report (page 1/3)

Leer en castellano


Barcelona Dance took the opportunity of the Monster Ball Tour of Lady Gaga in Barcelona to organise masterclasses with LGG's orignial dancers: Michael Silas, Asiel Hardison and Ian McKenzie. In addition, we organized a 'Unity' party with the the Monster Balls' tour dancers crew and the 'Semi Precious Weapons' members as special guests. The masterclasses were followed by an open chat with the dancers which we have decided to share with you:


Question from the audience: 'What was the casting for the Monster Ball Tour like?'

Mike: 'Our agent informed us of the casting. The casting process took quite a long time, between eight and twelve hours to get through all the different selection phases.

You have to be patient and determined and get your mental strength and keep your mind focussed. While you go through it, you experience tiredness and may lose confidence as the hours go by. You have to be convinced that this job is for you and this has to show over anything else.'

Michael Silas Asiel: 'Sometimes when you feel you are good and that you feel the job is for you and also if you know the choreographer, you should go up to the choreographer and offer to show him a demonstration of the way you dance. When you have this drive and focus, don't let anybody tell you that you cannot do it!'

Mike: 'The hardest audition for me is when the artist or the director comes. That's when it gets very scary because they are right there in front of you.'

Asiel: 'It's important that you prepare your mind beforehand in order to feel comfortable with the audition. You have to be convinced that this is what you want to do in your life and then you'll make the audition your moment that you'll be able to do what you need to do. Trust yourself and the rest will follow.'

Question from the audience: How do you get this strength and self-confidence?'

Asiel: 'It starts with yourself. No one can teach you that. You have to look in the mirror and figure out who you are as a person first before you can be anything in life.'

Mike: 'It's scary but, personally, I believe in energies and spirits. This is just skin (grabbing the skins of his arm). This is all about spirit and this is all about you and your insides, about your energy. It's what you give that makes you who you are. Your body is just physical but your true inner self determines who you are.'

Asiel Hardison Question from the audience: 'What made you start dancing?'

Asiel: 'My dad was in a singing group. When I was a kid he choreographed stuff for his band in the basement. Also, my grandmother was a ballet dancer when she was younger. She took me to see a dance performance when I was 8 or 9 years old and later on I started taking my first clases, but I started dancing a long time before then. Watching Michael Jackson dancing and with a family really into music, it's something that I really had inside and makes me feel good.'

Mike: 'I am from Germany, I lived there until I was 13 years old then I moved to the USA. My mum is German and my dad is American and was working for the US Army at that time. Of course people like Michael Jackson, Prince, James Brown were great influences on me, but I'll never forget when I saw the movie House Party'. The dance scenes in that movie really changed my life. I was about 7or 8 years old then.'

Question from the audience: ' How do you create your dance routines?'

Mike: 'I let the music tell me. I put the music on, I close my eyes, and whatever starts to happen. I think that when it comes to the actual creation phase, whatever you put on the music, your mind just starts to take over and I think that when you start thinking too much about what people are gonna like or not regarding the style, that's when it becomes 'inorganic' and you have to keep it organic to stay true to yourself.'

Asiel: 'In the music, I bring my steps, my vocabulary, and movements. My body talks. I put that to what the singer is saying in the music.'

Question from the audience: 'Where did you get your dance training, and which places and teachers would you recommend?'

Mike: 'I would start off, because you guys live her in Europe.... There are certain dance scenes that are really big and those dance scenes are: Paris, London, Spain, Germany, Scandinavia (Norway), Budapest. You guys have so many more sources than what we have as you are so much closer to each other's countries. For us, we have Los Angeles and we have New York, that's it. If you do want to come to America, it depends on the kind of training you want. L.A. has it's own style of commercial dance and N.Y. has it's own thing.'

One thing I would like to add is that in the dance world, people are very influenced by what's going on on TV. You have so many dance shows and music videos that have dance in them, it's easy to decide to learn one type of dance and if that's the only thing you want to learn, that's cool. But if you want to be a very good dancer and be recognised as such, try everything, be an 'open book'.

Fiesta Unity Barcelona Dance Question from the audience: 'What are the ups and downs of dancing with a celebrity like Lady Gaga?'

Mike: 'The best thing, obviously, is what everybody sees. Dancing with a celebrity: it's a dream come true! It's fascinating at first, but once you are involved, you realise what hard work goes into this and that's the test for you as a person, if you are not a hard worker or you can't deal with being tested to the full limits, that's when you're gonna find out if this job is for you or not. The schedule is not easy, they have an intense schedule and you have to take yourself out of your life and put yourself in their work atmosphere. That's hard.

We are just three kids that had dreams and now that we're actually living them, we want to find possible ways to give it back to the dance scene because the dance scene brought us up. If we can inspire someone today to continue to reach for their dreams and to believe that it is possible, then we have done our job. I believe that God wouldn't allow you to imagine something that you cannot accomplish. Always reach for the stars if you want to have a chance to land on the moon!

Asiel: 'Always reach as far as you can and don't worry about where you'll be landing because you'll always land in a great place if you really feel it in your guts.

Before we were dancing on TV and on big stages we were in classes just like you. Just keep the faith and keep believing that if that's what you want to be doing you can reach that too. No matter shape, size, colour, social background you come from, there is something out there for you. Don't ever let anybody ever tell you that you can't succeed.'

Masterclass with Michael Silas
Masterclass with Asiel Hardison'

Masterclass Barcelona Dance

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