Interview: Meet the teacher - Ayshen aka Icy Ice 54
Ayshen aka Icy Ice 54 is a freelance dance artist and has been teaching in academic and community settings across London for over 13 years. Icy is the Artistic Director of her own company, Dynamic Eclipse Arts and has created a technique/style called D.Eology. Icy is passionate about community dance and works closely with schools, colleges and local companies to promote dance and well-being from a grass root movement.
What inspires and motivates you when teaching dance?
Music and good vibes, when a tune comes on and we are warming up or doing grooves, that song makes you smile and feel good. When I see the people in my session enjoying themselves and forgetting about their worries of the day that pushes me to keep the energy high. Staying Positive and having good vibes bounce in the session lets me know it’s all good.
You have created your own technique/style called “D.Eology”, could you tell us more?
While I was training at university I was looking for my own style. The movement is unique so that once someone sees it they can tell straight away – it’s D.Eology. As I love both modern / contemporary styles and techniques and Hip Hop grooves, I knew that my own movement language had to have a name and be unique in its own right.
You teach Street Dance to adults at Trinity Laban, what is your favourite thing about this class?
There are so many different things I love about teaching dance – and teaching it at Trinity Laban. To know that Hip Hop is ‘in the building’, as I would say, is a huge deal. Knowing that I am able to bring some Old Skool Vibes and Nu Skool Flava to the sessions is an exciting time. I have so much respect for what Trinity Laban does for the world of dance and I am blessed to be able to contribute my creative ways by teaching a style that has a huge impact on my life.
What sparked your passion for community dance?
Community dance and out-reach programmes mean a great deal to me. It is always about giving the opportunity to the locals no matter their age / race / gender or ability to have access to dance. For 13 years I have taught in community settings, it’s nice to have been recognised as I won ‘Female Volunteer of the Year’ award at Forest Gate Youth Zone by Newham council, Dec 2014.
You are the artistic director of your own company Dynamic Eclipse Arts, what does the company promote?
Our aim is to pass on our knowledge and skills about the fundamental styles we teach, which remains the cornerstone to our legacy and generations to come. We strive to implement confidence, people skills and build memory skills while raising awareness of the importance of being active and fit through dance. Our statements are:
“We teach dance and continue to grow as it evolves around us. Dance isn’t just movement, it’s life, love and the future.”
“We each have our different dynamics when we dance alone; in the moment we dance together we create an eclipse. We support the arts by expressing our passion through movement via our technique D.Eology.”
How would you describe your teaching style?
Anyone who knows me or who has been to any of my sessions will tell you, I am hype, crazy (in a good way) and driven. I am all smiles, fully of energy and ready to go. It’s a mixed bag of moments yet an all-round good time. I like to challenge the people in my class, allowing them to push past barriers they have up. This also keeps me on my toes and always willing to go that extra mile.
Which dancers have influenced you the most?
When I was younger I always wanted to be Special K in the Breakin’ films, as that was my first point of contact with any form of dance. People’s work like Christopher Bruce and Alvin Ailey have had a huge Influence on me as a choreographer. In terms of life, Marilyn Brown, Charemaine Seet, Kevin Lancelot Everiste, Erica Hargreaves and Kenrick Sandy – each person has played a pivotal role in my life. I learnt something great from each person and I use the tools I learnt from them still to this very day, with my own twist.
What was the one thing you learnt from a teacher that has always resonated with you?
Self-belief. ‘Time is what we are all measured by, what that means is you must get there whether you’re believed in or not. Self-belief, first you must believe in yourself.’ – Kevin Lanvelot Everiste.
Icy Ice teaches general level street dance at Trinity Laban on Thursday’s, 18.45 – 20.15h. Drop in places are available.
For more information about Trinity Laban’s full dance time table please click here: dance classes
Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance
King Charles Court
Old Royal Naval College
Tel: 0208 305 4444