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Got to dance!

MAN WITH THE MOVES: US choreographer Cris Judd with Jas

DANCE HAS never been bigger. As a child, like many other kids, I rocked up to my part time ballet, tap and jazz classes, but back then it was considered elite and niche.

Now, with countless global TV dance competitions, hip-hop dancers teaching classes at gym chains, and more of the likes, dance is considered cool.

Recently, there was a huge dance buzz in London, as the Pulse Tour hit west London’s Olympia. Featuring a host of international dance personalities, the event was huge.

Cris Judd, who hit the headlines when he dated US star Jennifer Lopez, is an established choreographer in his own right. He was on the bill, along with choreographer to the stars Laurieann Gibson; X Factor’s straight-talking dance guru Brian Friedman; and former Pussycat Doll (PCD) and fantastic dancer Carmit Bachar.

PASSIONATE ABOUT DANCE: Former Pussycat Doll Carmit Bachar

Catching up with Carmit a few days before the tour kicked off, I confessed to her that I was extremely jealous that I didn’t have anything as amazing as the Pulse Tour to attend when I was a young dancer.

She agreed: “All of us on the tour say we wish this had been around when we were younger. This has been going for nine years in the States, but this is our first year in London.”

Each teacher is not just famous, but has their own, very unique style of teaching too. Carmit summed it up: “With Brian, you never know what you’re gonna get. He’s very detail orientated, fast, always technical, but fun. Cris Judd is very stylized; you almost have to wear a fedora [hat] whilst doing his moves. You can’t really teach [his moves], you just practice them until they sit in your body.

“Laurieann has her base in the hip-hop world, but has also worked with Lady Gaga, and is very jazzy. She’s about the feeling.

“Me? I’m more on the sassy side, like my former PCD style; a mix of street and sexy stuff. I call it sexy street sprinkled with technique.”

This powerhouse of dancers came together out of mutual respect.

“We’re like the dance power movement globally. We’re friends, family – we’ve grown up together and have mutual respect for each other. We still take each others’ classes and we feel honoured to pass down our experience to the next generation of dancers.”

SKILLS: Jas and dance star Laurieann Gibson

Back in the States Carmit has been multi tasking wildly, hosting Pulse Tour conventions, focusing on her latest music project – a female duo that she’s a part of called Lady Station – and raising her two-year-old daughter.

“[Having a baby] took me out of the game for a minute, but’s it was totally worth it. Motherhood is wonderful.”

Looking at Carmit, it’s clear her body snapped straight back into dancing goddess mode, following the birth of her baby. But she says it took time.

‘’I only recently came back into my body after having my baby. And aside from my physical form, I still have out-of-wack hormones. I’ve always been an active and physical person, but I had a 24-hour labour and an emergency C-section. Now I’m still healing and nursing and am very stringent with the choices I make with my food.”

Shooting to fame as the flame-haired member of the Pussycat Dolls, Carmit left the group in 2008. Reading between the lines, it’s clear there were fallouts amongst the band members, and Carmit was pretty honest about the way history played out.

“We were all fortunate and I choose to remember the amazing times of performing on stage. It’s unfortunate that girl groups have this stigma of bitchy rivalry and unfortunately, we fell victim to the same stereotype. But we will always share those amazing experiences and now, everyone has spread their wings.”

Dancing is a dream job for so many young people, but what are the realities of the job long term?

“It’s fantastic that dance has been given so much exposure recently; it’s a new era. However, when that happens, you get a saturated market and now, a lot of dancers want to do it to be on TV, not to be able to dance.

“If you dance, do it because you love it. If the commercial world isn’t right for you, just participate in dance classes. Doing the Pulse Tour in London was mind-blowing and we will be coming back again to make some of you stars!”

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