Nikki: Qualities you think Toronto Dancers possess?
This weeks Dancer/Choreographer shout out goes to Ron Bedeau. Bedeau began his hip hop career where many dream to one day complete it: under the mentorship of Luther Brown. Since 1999 Ron studied and performed with his dance crew “DoDat”. Luther has a talent for spotting and training dancers to be successful artists and choreographers in their own right and Ron is no exception. Ron was in good company at DoDat, working extensively with dancer/choreographers such as Tanisha Scott who has choreographed and danced for artists such as Shaggy, Sean Paul, Amerie and Mya, and with Sarah Rosete who has been one of Usher’s core dancers on two past tours.
As a featured DoDat performer Ron opened up for Destiny’s Child at Paramount Canada’s Wonderland in 1999 and 2000. While on tour with Canadian Recording artists B4-4 Ron again opened for Destiny’s Child in front of a crowd of 20 000 in Calgary and Vancouver. He has also performed on tour or in live shows in North America with Keshia Chante, Shawn Desman, Deborah Cox, Ray Robinson, Jully Black and The Barenaked Ladies. Ron has been a featured dancer in major motion pictures like Honey, Shall We Dance, Save the Last Dance 2 (Stepping Up) and Repo Genetic Opera.
Ron is no stranger to television either. On top of numerous performances, he has also landed rolls in several commercials including the very first Swiffer commercial, two McDonalds commercials featuring R&B artists Joe and Sisqo and the ‘Hero’ in Canada’s 2005 Lavalife commercial.
Ron has had the privilege of teaching workshops alongside choreographers in other genres. Namely, Linda Garneau and Kimberly Glasco, who is famous for her appearances in the National Ballet of Canada’s rendition of Swan Lake. He has also had the pleasure to be involved and adjudicate the 2008 South Asian Alliance Culture show that hosts 16 Universities across Ontario for one day of competition. His familiarity to the East Indian culture can also be attributed to his constant association as his choreography has been displayed in several low budget Bollywood movies filmed in Calgary.
Ron’s passion for music and dance has led him to create innovative choreography and classes for dancers of all ages and abilities. Along side his hip hop workshops he has created classes that empower women through strength training and sensual movement. He has also been creating a name for himself as a choreographer for competitive cheer dance and hip hop companies internationally.
Ron has earned his place amongst the elite in the hip hop industry here in Canada and has been blessed with the ability to not only perform but to teach. Watch out for big things from Ron as he combines his musicality, natural talent and ability to connect with people to create a truly innovative experience for his class participants.
Bio provided by Ron
Find out what Ron had to say in this weeks shout out….
Nikki: Do you remember the first time you started dancing?
Ron: first time I started dancing was in early 1980’s when my big cousin from New York would come visit and have all the Italian boys on my street pay to learn how to break dance. I didn’t exactly pick it up with him; my brother and I started watching music videos, music award shows and practiced our back spins, locking and moon walking on the linoleum kitchen floors.
Nikki: Do you remember the first song you choreographed to? (Or your earliest memory)
Ron: Well the first time I officially made up choreography worth mentioning was to “When The Last Time” by Clipse for the first class I’ve ever taught at DLM dance studios.
Nikki: Your personal advice for dancers when it comes to free styling?
Ron: I have never been much of a freestyler but I would more than likely say 3 things that come to mind
1. Learn your body and have a strong awareness of it.
2. Having a wide vocabulary for dance is an asset meaning knowing different styles.
3. Musicality! Learn to truly listen to music not just hear the snares and basic bass line.
Be involved with the music so when you dance your simply the drama to the movie soundtrack
Nikki: Getting in the zone to choreograph, what does it take for you?
Ron: My energy has to be right! Anyone can choreograph to anything but I think special things happen when I am trying to create something to a song I truly enjoy. I feel that choreography and music should be an honest match which is why I specifically choreograph to the song that I am working with. I prefer not to make up choreography before listening to the song. It is like a marriage between the two arts. Depending on my mood I may create my choreography prior to teaching it or I may just create it on the spot.
Nikki: Who are some of your biggest influences in the Dance industry?
Ron: My biggest influences has always been and will always be Luther Brown, my other influences are Ms. Toya Robinson, Ro Ro and Ed (Emotion) Moore
Nikki: Name a Toronto Choreographer you enjoy working with and why?
Ron: Luther Brown has been my career choreographer. I have been an original Dodat dancer since 1999. Learning from Luther as a Dodat dancer has instilled in me the tools and knowledge that I now take with me and instill in others. The opportunity I had to learn with Luther on Dodat
Nikki: Name one of your favorite artists to work with and why?
Ron: I can really say I enjoyed every artist I had the pleasure of working with. Every artist I had worked with, I was around for the beginning of their careers and stardom. I have worked with the likes of Jully Black, B4-4 now RyanDan, and Shawn Desman to name a few. It is really something humbling to see an artist I have known before the fame in their levels of success and how they have stayed true to who they have always been. That genuine quality is something that you can look at and be proud of years later “before it all started”.
Nikki: Are you currently working on any projects?
Ron: I am working on my baby project “Ron-Dez-Vous” a non-intimidating, female empowerment workshop that helps build confidence and body-awareness while enjoying the liberation and excitement of learning a seductive chair dance routine! This 2.5 hr workshop was based on the notion that being sexy is about feeling sexy. It’s not about how you look or what you wear, but rather how you carry yourself. I believe that if you feel sexy, you will act on it. This workshop helps increase self awareness in females through their movements. Whether it’s the way you walk, talk, or smile, the objective is to feel comfortable and sexy in your own skin. This workshop also promotes fitness and works hand-in-hand with a healthy lifestyle by boosting confidence and a positive sense of worth.
Ron: I think Toronto dancers have all acquired a sense of determination. I am sure that every dancer here has started out a student watching those before them do great things which have prompted them to set personal goals for themselves. I can honestly say that in my years of dancing here in Toronto there is not a single dancer that I have taught or just saw taking classes that have not transformed themselves in to world class dancers. It is truly amazing to see the dedication of the dancers in Toronto. In my day the dancers did not really have a “day job” or “9 – 5”, our jobs were to go to auditions, book gigs and live. These days you are seeing professionals walking into studios and taking classes in the evenings, it’s a beautiful thing to see the caliber here from working dancers to working professionals who also dance recreational.
Nikki: Any advice for emerging dancers and choreographers working/training in Toronto?
Ron: Really all I would say is work hard and pay your dues. There are too many people who have put too many years in this game to establish what is here for dancers today, to only have it ruined by dancers who only see the “perks” and want everything easy and fast. It changes everything. The love for the art of performing to music is lost and that one special thing that motivated us to rehearse outside in the rain or at night in front of glass windows is no longer familiar.
THANK YOU RON FOR SHARING YOUR LOVE AND PASSION WITH T.D.O.T. XO