Tag: omari wiles

Omari Wiles on Melding Dance Styles to Create His Own Genre

Omari Wiles’ movement quality is an exciting blend of seemingly conflicting genres. He began training in traditional West African dance at 8 years old with his mother, Marie Basse Wiles, and father, Anthony Olukose Wiles, at their Brooklyn-based dance company, Maimouna Keita. As he got older, he traveled between the U.S. and Africa often, and […]

Soft, Sharp, Fluid: Teach Your Students to Master Movement Dynamics

Dynamics—soft, sharp, fluid, or full movements—play a big role both in technique and in artistry. Certain exercises, like petit allégro and adagio, are based on a specific dynamic, and during performance, dancers use their own unique understanding of dynamics to enhance their characterization and bring a story to life. Cultivating these skills in class is […]

For Omari Wiles, Teaching Musicality Is About the Rhythm, Not the Counts

For many teachers, the counts of a song are the starting place for developing students’ relationship to the music. But not for Omari Wiles, Founding Father of the legendary vogueing house, House of NiNa Oricci, and founder of the Les Ballet AFRIK company. He prefers to start by encouraging dancers to feel the rhythm of a song instead of “drilling a bunch of numbers into their heads,” as he describes it. “When I’m teaching, it’s about understanding the music first, instead of ‘This is what we’re going to do to this music.’”