Nelson may be a long way from the streets and clubs of New York but a Newfoundland based dancer is bringing b-boying to town.
“I came to Nelson to add to my expertise of teaching dance,” said Dave Gardiner. “I’ve been teaching dance to kids in Newfoundland for a years now, and I’ve been really effective at making community partnerships and working with schools and youth centres.
Gardiner began dancing when he was 15 years old and in 1998 co-founded Atlantic Canada’s longest running break dancing group (or b-boying) called the Lokdown Crew.
But for Gardiner teaching dance isn’t just about learning moves and being active, it’s about teaching positive habits and thinking.
“It’s really something that youth gravitate towards,” he said. “It’s more than just breaking. We get their attention. We give them something fun to do for a while and then while I have their attention I really like to promote that they get involved in something artistic and active, aside from the activities that they normally gravitate to like video games.”
Gardiner got into break dancing after being active in skateboarding, snowboarding and surfing.
“I love those activities but sometimes things aren’t all lined up for you to be able to do them. But break dancing an activity that’s just as sort of raw and cool but I can do it anytime as long as my body co-operates and I’ve got some music, I’m good to go,” he said.
Gardiner is offering workshops through Shanti Yoga combining yoga with breaking which he describes as a mind, body and soul experience.
“It’s one more thing I can work with young people on, and 90 per cent of what I love about teaching dance is also in yoga. So I can touch more people with that as well,” he said.
“Kids are easily influenced and they do look up to older people, so I try to get their attention and then give them a positive message and give them some options of things to get involved in rather than more negative outlets.”
Gardiner has offered several workshops through Shanti over the past week including a kids workshop today, and he said that he will continue to look for opportunities while he’s in Nelson.
Today’s workshop will be at the Nelson and District Youth Centre from 4 to 5:30 p.m.
For more information about these workshops and future ones contact Gardiner at firstname.lastname@example.org.