Taiwan: My first dance class in Taipei

Day 6 highlights: meeting Wesley Lo

Jacqueline, Marisa, and I wanted to do some shopping today, so we walked around the East District and browsed in the Breeze Center and Sogo.  On the way to the Breeze Center we passed by little dessert shops making custard cakes and stuffed fish:

We looked inside a peculiar Taiwanese clothing brand called A La Sha, which adds creative pockets and cute accents to their clothing:

The Breeze Center was a multi-storied shopping center with many brand names like Juicy Couture and Marc Jacobs, but what makes this one special is their supermarket on the bottom floor where they have free samples for almost all of their food.  Outside of Sogo was a display of a message to protect the environment, with little plants and a bear all made from plastic bottles:

Tonight was the jump start to my many interviews and observations in relation to my research in Taiwan.  During the first week, I was satisfied with finding my resources and knowing the locations dancers tend to go for practice.  However, I was ready to be more interactive and personal by attending classes and interviewing the dancers.

On Wednesday, I had found True Fitness and scheduled to take a hip hop class tonight.  The service at True Fitness is impeccable.  They called me earlier today to confirm that I still wanted to go and the staff was very polite when we arrived.  They seem to have good business because every time we’ve passed by the gym there are always a lot of people using the machines or taking a class.

Wesley’s hip hop class was really fun!  Classes taught at gyms can’t be too difficult so what we were taught was more basic, but I still learned quite a bit from it, like how to make simple moves look full-out by exerting more energy and using more control.  I was surprised to see how popular this class was for all ages.  Most of the students were young but there was also a good number of older people trying to bust a move.  Wesley was also really funny and engaging with the students, so I felt more comfortable asking him some questions after we finished the class.  We learned up until 0:32 today:

Although the dance world seems to be more mainstream in Taiwan than in the U.S., a lot of information remains enclosed only to dancers who have connections and know the instructors.  Only when I talked to Wesley did I find out that Tony Czar and Andye Jamieson were coming to Taipei to teach a week-long workshop series.  Later on, I will write a post on how he started dancing and what he thinks of the dance community.

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5 thoughts on “Taiwan: My first dance class in Taipei

  1. Hey I’m really impressed by your research n write-ups on hip hop class trials…. As I’m planning to go Taipei early august for the same, appreciate if u cd give me some pointers on price n arrangements required as I wanna do 2 classes a day for 5 days! Seems true fitness Wesley is more fun n less difficult. Thx a ton!

    1. Hi there!

      Thanks for reading! Early August is a great time to go to Taipei because that’s when the Metro Street Dance Competition takes place. Students from all over Taipei will compete with routines they worked on during the year with a chance to win monetary prizes, so definitely take a look at these students if you get the chance.

      For the studios I went to, the prices for each class ranged from 320-450NTD, which I think is the average pricing for most studios in the area. The more expensive studios have better-known instructors and space can sometimes be limited, so I think they are worth the extra bucks.

      For most studios, you can walk in and sign up for one class at a time a few minutes before they begin. Most places also have packages where you can prepay for a number of classes and take the ones you’d like to try out for your convenience. Do you have a certain style in mind that you’d like to experiment with?

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