House is a Feeling
“It could be a novel… a really hard one to put in small words. To me, House is a feeling.”
– Shakia Barron
Shakia Barron and Eli Kababa are facilitators of the upcoming course, DEL Universal House, alongside Guest Artist Terry “Brooklyn Terry” Wright.
To gear up for this exciting course, we asked Shakia, Eli, and Terry to answer a few questions. We’re so excited to share their inspiring responses…
Q: What does House mean to you?
Shakia: That first question could be a novel- a really hard one to put in small words. To me, House is a feeling.
Eli: To me, House is a testimony, a declaration of being. Being one with self and others through the groove.
“Because House music is a universal language…” (see Chuck Roberts’ In the Beginning (There Was Jack) lyrics below.)
Terry: It is way more than just “house” to me. It is the continuation of my culture through movement and music.
Q. What do you hope participants will walk away with after this course? What do you want them to learn?
Shakia: Participants will not only learn some House dance foundations, but also some historical context and resources for them as a guest in the form, a teacher, or as a practitioner.
Eli: I want participants to walk away understanding that just like the freestyle cypher of hip-hop brings the culture together all over the globe, the same is true for the groove… It unites individuals and house dancers from all over the world.
Terry: I want them to see that nothing is “new.” These movements have been around for us for generations and will be for generations to come.
Q. Do you have a fond memory of a dance educator? What impact did they have on your life?
Shakia: Ann Biddle (one of my mentors) guided me on developing meaningful curriculum that can change people’s lives.
Eli: One of my favorite memories is of Diane Duggan. When asked about her teaching philosophy, she replied, simply, “Every day I get up and ask to see.” That’s it, right there.
Terry: We share and teach dance in different ways. My fondest memories of dance educators are my big sister and my mom. Dancing with them at parties and family gatherings is how I learned. It was warm and loving, and I try to share that with my students the best way I can.
Q. Tell us more about why you’re excited to have Brooklyn Terry as a guest instructor. What’s special about his work/energy/etc.?
Shakia: I am not only inspired by his movement, but by the way he spreads his knowledge across the world.
Eli: Brooklyn Terry is a legend. He’s one of those individuals that I feel fortunate to even be near. In the culture we call them “purists,” because without beings like him, a lot of us really wouldn’t understand the essence of what we’re trying to get at. Not to mention, I read his name in several street dance books! I think we should all feel excited and honored to share the group with such a pure individual!
Watch Brooklyn Terry freestyle in this video!
Eli also shared the lyrics to In the Beginning (There Was Jack) by Chuck Roberts aka “The Voice of House Music.”
“In the beginning there was Jack
And Jack had a groove
And from this groove
Came the grooves of all grooves
And while one day viciously throwing down on his box
Jack boldly declared, let there be house.
And house music was born.
I am u see, I am the creator and this is my house.
And in my house there was only house music
But I am not so selfish,
Because once you enter my house
It then becomes our house and our house music
And you see no ONE man owns house
Because house music is a universal language
Spoken and understood by all…”