I struggled trying to come up with how to write this post. Not for lack of words, but rather, because there is so much to say that I don’t know where to start! I figured it would be easier to share my sentiments by compartmentalizing and breaking down the entire Addlib’s The Lab workshop series into 8 points. 8 because it’s my favorite number, plus it also happens to be Addlib’s official number (since they were established in 2008). This is without a doubt, a biased account of my personal experience in The Lab, but I’m pretty sure that all the other students can relate and attest to it! This is it. Prepare thyself for the feels! Here goes…
1.) You Get To Dance With ADDLIB
Addlib is the country’s PHiercest dance crew since 2008. They have become one of the prominent names in the world of dance and just recently, have qualified to represent our country in Hip Hop International at Las Vegas in August. They’re elite dancers and yet every time you take ANY of the classes offered in The Lab, there they are, right beside you. For me, it’s such a great opportunity to be able to dance alongside these wonderful dancers cause not only do they help you out when you get lost during class, but they also push you to do better, strive better.
2.) Adapting To The Teachers’ Unique Dance Styles Outside Of Conventional HipHop Labels
There are so many branches of HipHop that it can get quite confusing for people to differentiate one with the other. The only thing that’s inevitable though is that usual workshops have standard labels like: Pop and Lock, Lyrical HipHop, etc. What I like about The Lab is that they have created a line up of classes that work around the teacher’s personal style that they’ve developed throughout their years of dancing. I took up Dancehall under Calvin Metran, but his class is a whole different level of Dancehall cause he instills his personal “Calvin Metran-ness” into his choreographies. The personal touch that ADDLIB shares with their students help them to adapt to more unique styles of dancing.
3.) Supportive, Approachable, Friendly ADDLIB Members
Never have I ever heard of any negative comment directed toward any Addlib member. To be honest, they sometimes freak me out cause they’re too unbelievably nice! They’re celebrities in their own right and yet they’re usually the first to smile, to cheer for you, to help you with whatever query you have. It’s so easy to enjoy classes cause besides learning something new, they make sure that you have a great time. No pa elitista effect whatsoever!
4.) We Entered As Individual Strangers, And Came Out As A Family
All the baby chimps (the Lab students hehe) entered this workshop series as strangers. And yet in 6 short weeks, we’ve somehow become a family. For me, this is quite a phenomenon because we usually don’t see each other cause we have different classes, different times, different teachers. But when we all get together, everyone’s supportive and friendly. It’s quite so cute and endearing when we bond with each other, cause despite all our differences in schedule, we are all united in dance and in Addlib.
5.) Undeniable, Guaranteed Growth As A Dancer
The Lab has students of all ages and walks of life yet everytime I see one of our fun-sized tiny little student kiddos or one of the obvious newbies in class, I get so amused when I see the way they are now. Thanks to The Lab, everyone can see that they’ve undeniably grown as dancers. Why? Because Addlib doesn’t care about your level. They don’t consider things like “Oh, I’ll make the steps easier cause I have kids in my class”, or “Maybe I should just change my choreography so that they can all do it”. They stick to their program and what they do is push, encourage and challenge you to step up and own it. Being thrown into the deep end of the pool may seem scary, but it’s a guarantee that you fight harder to stay alive. Same with class, Addlib may stick to their crazy, difficult, challenging routines, but they never leave anyone hanging. They pull you higher, way higher than you could ever hope for.
6.) Inspiration— By The Bucketload
I look forward to every class I have with teachers from The Lab, because I know I’m sure to be inspired by the way they move, the things they say, and simply from the way they are. I love watching my classmates and other students from classes because their fiery disposition and passion for dance clearly shows. I am close to tears when I see how far everyone has improved because I’m just a soppy doppy dork like that plus watching struggles turn into beautiful victories give you that heart soaring feeling. Let me tell you a quick story about my Dancehall classmate Jess. Short story: Jess enrolled into a very difficult genre and teacher and she constantly struggled in class. Despite the fact that her classmates were intermediate-advanced level and she was only a beginner, she NEVER gave up, and more admirably, she NEVER QUIT. For her determination and massive improvement, Addlib has recognized her efforts and awarded her with Most Improved Student. And hers is just one of the many inspiring stories that I’ve heard the more I talked to students, teachers and Addlib members. It’s ridiculous just how inspiring it is to be surrounded by these amazing people and hear their stories.
7.) Way, Way, Way, Way, More Than Your Bucks’ Worth
With The Lab, you get numbers 1-6 on this list for a meager amount of Three Thousand Pesos! But wait! There’s more! You get 8 sessions in one genre, but if you enrolled late and maybe 2-3 classes have passed, you can choose to take up other classes to replace the ones you missed already. But wait! There’s more! You get to take other classes for only 250 pesos each! But wait! There’s more! We also had a professional photoshoot with a professional photographer who has worked with MEGA, Preview, etc. But wait! There’s more! We also got great AVPs on our classes together with our teachers! But wait! There’s more! We were recognized as an extension of Addlib by THE Miss Joe Abuda, a recognition that I’m pretty sure most dance crews would never give to their students, but according to Mama Joe, we are a product of the dancers of Addlib, therefore we are in part, carrying their name. But wait! There’s more! We also get to have a recital at the SM Sky Dome with no extra charge! But wait! There’s more! Some students get to be recognized for special awards! But wait! There’s more! There is so so so so much more that The Lab can offer that is more priceless than our 3,000 pesos can ever ever give us. This is the best 4,200 pesos (Dancehall class+ 5 walk in classes) I’ve ever spent. Hands motherfucking Down. :))
8.) A Celebration Of Passion, Life And The Wonderment That Dance Brings Into Our Lives
More than a workshop, The Lab is a venue for everyone who has a special place for dance in their lives. We are a multitude of different people, all unique in our own way, but we are united in the celebration of our passion. Addlib welcomed us into their world and gave us so many things we needed and more. The concert was the culmination of our journey of hardwork and stress, most especially for us working people with 9-6 jobs, the Addlib members who juggle gigs and classes, and the students who are enrolled in 2-3 classes. Well, actually, for EVERYONE who was part of The Lab. Inside or outside of the studio, we celebrate the wonderment that dance brings into our lives and how despite the headaches and bodyaches, the lack of sleep and late night commutes, the struggles and personal pains we set aside when we’re in our zone, it is the one thing that helps us escape all negativity and strife and makes us feel Alive.
Thank you, thank you to everyone I’ve crossed paths with in one of the most memorable summers ever! :) Thank you to our teachers for sharing your personal style, your neverending words of encouragement, for welcoming and loving your students. Thank you to Addlib as a whole for giving us The Lab and for being so nice to everyone and for helping us wherever we need help. Thank you to all students for being with me on this journey and for all the laughter, kulitan, kasabawan and mutual support. Thank you to my super super gwapo, kwela teacher, Kuya Calvin. Seperate na yung thank you for you kasi masyado mahaba. :P Thank you to Mama Joe for being such a mother hen to all your little chickabees! You are such an inspiration to all of us and I will never forget our conversations and your speeches because they touch the heart and move our souls. You’ve created such wonderful milestones since 2008 and will no doubt continue to do more. Thank you for everything! :D
So… to all ye dancers who seek to improve, to learn new styles, and all packaged in such a fun, super sulit way, don’t hesitate. We’ll be seeing you in The Lab 4! ;) The place to be where REAL dancing happens! ;)