Faculty Features: AfroBeat Drop-in Classes with Sylvana Christopher

Sylvana Christopher is a native Washingtonian with roots extending from Germany to Guam. She began training at The Metropolitan Ballet Academy and The Washington School of Ballet and earned a BFA in Performance and Choreography from The Ohio State University. Beginning Friday, September 7th, she will be teaching an AfroBeat adult drop-in class at Joy of Motion Dance Center Bethesda. The all levels class meets Fridays from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. and is part of JOMDC’s MOVE dance and fitness program. AfroBeat dance class includes a fusion of modern and African upbeat combinations to Nigerian music, inspired by FELA! the musical. To register for her class, please click here.

What is your teaching philosophy and/or teaching style?

My philosophy on teaching is that students learn best when they are respected as unique and talented individuals. I encourage my students to dig deep to not only perform the steps, but to also feel and translate them to work on their own body. If each person can accomplish something they could not before whether it is a jump, turn or particular polyrhythmic step, than that is success.

What is your favorite part about teaching class?

My favorite part of teaching class is seeing my students dance in chorus with each other, letting their spirits shine and watching their worries fall away. I love it when someone has a Eureka! moment.

What do you hope your students will take away from your class?

I hope students leave my class feeling energized, uplifted and excited to come back and bring their friends.