Arts & Entertainment
Lesson time 7:06 min
Mastering dance is all about discovering your own style. Usher explains how interpretation and individuality are the keys to a captivating dance performance. And yes, it involves a lot of practice.
It would be hard to believe that I wasn't a great dancer when I first started. As a matter of fact, I almost made the biggest mistake of not making dance a very important part of who I am as a performer, because the song and dance artist, or dance man, right, really wasn't the focus from me. Or at least that wasn't what the people who were working on my career felt would be a fair representation of what you could expect from me as an artist. It was more cool. And while it was great to have those things, the cool factor, right, eventually I got to a place where I wanted my brand to represent who are really was. I was a kid who danced in the '80s and danced in the '90s. And I wanted that to be a part of what would represent me as an artist. I took from a lot of what I used to do as a kid, and I made that a part of who I was as an artist. Now, you know, the perspective of it was a little bit fragmented because working with my choreographers from Los Angeles, they had a perspective of boogaloo and also to locking and popping. And then my other choreographer, Todd Sams from Cleveland, he had a different perspective. And we kind of pulled it all together and before you know it we began to create this new idea of an artist. So you got Flii and Anwar Burton out on the west coast, and Todd Sams who came together with me, and we created what you know to be my style. For me, the focus was bringing every aspect of who I was to the forefront. So I worked with my choreographers and we went back to the '80s and we grabbed onto dance moves that were very relevant in that time and we brought them up to the '90s, which then created an entire new conversation. It was all based in what I knew and what I was comfortable doing. It was kind of like second nature to do certain moves because I was familiar with it. And whenever I wasn't I just worked at it. I just worked and worked and worked until I perfected it. I came up with choreography. But I think the feel, the texture is what was most important. So I had this attitude. I said, I want to be the baddest guy on the stage. I wanted to be able to captivate an audience with my presence, more so than just my voice. And voice as well, but be able to shock 'em, you know. Yeah, there was a few pelvis thrusts in there, but it worked. And you do what works for you, and I guarantee you, man, you will that entertainer. You can go online and look and study dancers from all over the world to create a style of your own. You can take dance classes now if you want to, but you have to physically put your eyes on it. You have to go in and investigate, do a little bit of study to find it. And then you've got to work at it to perfect it. I think in some ways you can get classical lessons and be taught dance. You can learn it from either direction. If you've learned how to move because you see what's going on i...
Usher, winner of 8 Grammy Awards, reveals the technical skills, career lessons and breakthrough advice that he has used to captivate audiences for over 25 years. For the first time ever, learn how Usher approaches performance and wins over audiences from the studio to the stage. There has never been a class like this before.
I’m glad for Usher shared his wisdom with us about the art of performance. It appears that Usher isn’t only a performer but also a Social Engineer!
Very inspiring, now let's put this all to practice!
I'm very happy to know that Usher doesn't just put on a character; he uses influences to shape his own, which is the only thing that makes his performance as strong as it is. Thank you!
So far it's a great start. Looking forward to the rest.