This year has presented the world with unprecedented obstacles, but with new challenges has come innovation. Laura Keat and Natalia Eristavi are both professional swing dancers who in recent months have pivoted to create online dance classes. Now Natalia and Laura have joined forces to launch an epic creative collaboration.
Solo Jazz-Bal with Natalia & Laura is a 4-week Solo Jazz course that incorporates Balboa movements, styling, and aesthetics. This live stream online dance class will use movement and arm stylings to help develop free and full body movement. You can also expect cool rhythms, textures, and slides.
The course was crafted to be accessible to all kinds of dancers, from beginners to professionals, leads to follows. Pricing for the course is also accessible. It’s on a pay-what-you-can sliding scale, and a portion of proceeds will be donated to the Black Lindy Hoppers Fund.
“All jazz dance has African-American roots,” explains Laura Keat. “Natalia and I are committed to honoring that heritage. There’s so many white dancers like Natalia and myself who are leading the scene right now and that needs to change. So we’re donating to the Black Lindy Hopper’s Fund to support the Black communities in our swing scene.”
Natalia and Laura’s Solo Jazz-Bal class will go live on Tuesday evenings in October starting at 7:00 PM Pacific, but the class will also be recorded. If you can’t make the live session, you’ll have access to the recording for the next seven days.
Laura Keat and Natalia Eristavi are excited to teach the course together.
“Laura is one of the best dance teachers I’ve ever had. She’s so deliberate and clear,” says Natalia. “I think really good teachers don’t make you feel like there’s a bunch of hurdles to getting to where you need to be, that it’s actually simple.”
Laura feels the same about Natalia. “Not everyone who is a brilliant dancer is a brilliant teacher. Natalia is both,” Laura tells us.
When Laura Keat reached out about the collaboration Natalia Eristavi was ecstatic. Laura has always been one of her top three inspirations.
“I’ve been dancing before her and been her influence, but I just want to say it’s the biggest compliment in the world seeing people who come up under you, surpass you,” says Laura. “There are aspects of Natalia’s dancing where I’m like ‘Oh my god, she’s found what I’ve never found’. Natalia inspires the heck out of me.”
Laura and Natalia both miss attending social dances, competitions, and conferences, but are excited to explore a new way to share their love of dance.
“We’re going to help give people ideas for ways they can practice dancing and expressing themselves in the style of Balboa, even if they don’t have a partner,” explains Laura. “I personally feel there’s a lot of things you can do with Balboa that’s great to practice solo. It’s a footwork dance.”
Natalia understands what it’s like to miss partner dance and has taken time this year to grow as a solo dancer.
“The pandemic left me with very little choice. I had to dance solo if I was going to dance at all. I’ve been trying to focus on things that will help me be a really strong partner but also be creative,” says Natalia.
Together the duo will start their 4-week Solo Jazz-Bal course on Tuesday, October 6th.
Want even more opportunities to learn from these pros? You can find virtual swing classes from Laura Keat via Elevated Rhythm and courses with Natalia Eristavi on her Patreon Follow Focus.
Looking to discover even more online dance class opportunities? Check out our Made to Move roundup!
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