So many amazing teachers were out in full force during Nationals this year. One of them even made me weak at the knees: Wade (OMG he's so brilliant) Robson. Dancing to Justin Timberlake's "SexyBack" and dressed in jeans and a white button-down shirt, the totally down-to-earth dancer/choreographer/producer/teacher spoke to a room full of young hopefuls at Broadway Dance Center's The Pulse about musicality (getting inside the music instead of dancing on the surface of it) and dynamics (deciding which moves should be punched out and which should be more casual).
During a class attended by 11- to 15-year-olds he stopped and asked, "How many of you are counting the music?" When hands shot up all over the room, he said, "Well, stop it!" He explained that counting the music helps you pick up the steps, but once you know them, you need to let go of the counts and concentrate on listening to the music. This enables you to go deeper into the dynamics of the actual dancing.
Robson taught and demonstrated everything himself-he didn't have any assistants onstage with him. Watching him move through his own choreography was an education in itself. And after teaching, instead of being ushered around by a bodyguard or a posse, he was just fine on his own. He peeked his head into other classes and sauntered through the lobby quietly, without fanfare. And guess what? No one bothered him. Incredible.