Tashina Beckmann

Expressive Movement Dance Lessons San Diego


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-How old were you when you started dancing?


I started dancing when I was 2 1/2 years old after I asked my mom to take me to a dance class. I started in a combo Ballet/Tap class. I was the youngest there. All the studios refused for anyone younger than 4 to take class, but my mom was persistent and found a studio that would help develop my love of dancing.






-How did you know you wanted to dance professionally?

I have always known that dancing was not what I did, but who I was. It lives within me and there was never another option for myself. I knew from the time I started dancing at 2 1/2. It was never a hobby, but a burning passion, my dream, and I would do whatever it took to live my dream and never give up on it.

-What made you join the Young Americans?

After I graduated high school a semester early my mom told me about the Young Americans and we made a trip to Corona, CA so I could check it out and audition. The moment I walked in, the entire organization of all 250 current YA’s were singing Happy Birthday to the founder, who had just turned 80. There was an overwhelming sense of family and community who were together to share their passions with the world, I felt at home. It was exactly what I needed for the next stage in my life.

 -What was your favorite part about being a Young American?

Helping children discover that they have something to offer the world, and how important it is to never give up on themselves. More ofthen than not when we arrived at a town, the kids were unhappy, they wouldn’t smile or look us in the eye. After three days of “hanging out” with the kids and using dance and singing as tools (while teaching them a one hour show), the kids transformed! They walked with self respect, confidence to express who they were, empowered to take on their lives and treated their peers & friends with respect and kindess. I think they ended up teaching me more than I taught them. We would then perform a 2 act show (one with the kids) for the community.  1 fond memory is that we had the privelege of performing one show with 600 incredible kids in an authentic Spanish Bullfighting Ring.  

-How did you get involved in partner dancing?

I took a summer off from touring with the Young Americans and started taking County 2-Step and West Coast Swing lessons to pass time. I fell in love with it immediately. I took a leap of faith, left the Young Americans, and started training in all 8 Country dance styles to compete at the Country Worlds Event only 6 months away in January 2010. I entered the Pro-Am Intermediate Division, and placed 2nd missing first by only 1/2 point. In May of 2010 I attended my first West Coast Swing Event: SwingDiego, and at that point knew it was time to move to San Diego and train further in WCS…so I did!

-Who benefits from dancing?

Every single person benefits from dance. It is a wonderful way to exercise, meet new people, learn something new and challenge yourself, and a wonderful way to alleviate stress. The dance community is exremely supportive and often time becomes a second family to people. Dance is something you can do for yourself, with a significant other or with friends.

-What type of students do you enjoy & work well with?

I absolutely LOVE working with people who are dancing for the sheer fun and enjoyment of it, and anyone who wants to be there. My students are playful, have an open mind, want to grow in their dance styles, technique, or as an individual, and have a fun time.

-What type of students do you NOT work well with?

If you are someone who is attending a group class or a private lesson because someone dragged you along, then most likely you won’t understand the material or enjoy our time together in the lesson. I’ll do my best to make you laugh and smile, but in the end if you’re not there because you want to be, well then, there’s just no helping you. It might be better for you to come back when you’re excited to learn something new.

-What inspires you to teach?

Knowing that music and movement has such an impactful presence in people’s lives. It allows people to express themselves in ways they can’t express in any other way. When I have the opportunity to teach someone, I have the chance to guide them to know themselves better and communicate with the world around them. Dance is simply a tool to enjoy life.

-How are you different from other dance instructors?

My main focus when I teach is not shoving patterns down your throat, or throwing material your way to make it look like I know what the heck I’m doing. My biggest goal is to teach with quality and for you to get exactly what you want out of dancing for yourself. To help you feel confident and excited to “bust a move” out in the jungle of the “real world”. I know that people learn differently and at different paces. I do my best to teach using all 3 of the primary learning channels; auditory, kinesthetic, and visual. One is your strongest channel for acquiring information and learning. Once we understand your strong channel, we can focus attention in this mode. Learning comes much more easily.

 -How do I know whether to take Private Lessons or Group Classes?

Great Question! If you’r just wanting to check out a dance style, socially dance with other people, or typically move at a steady pace, then Group Classes is a great way to go. If you are having difficulty with specific moves in a class, want more 1-on-1 attention, move at a quicker pace, or want more in depth technique and information then Private Lessons are going to be perfect for you. And if you just have no clue at all then give me a call, I’d love to talk with you.

 -How do you work and what can I expect?

Teaching and dancing isn’t a chore or a bore for me. So expect passionate instruction that is fun and playful. I typically like to focus on building a strong foundation in whatever style of dance you choose before adding a lot of flash. This way you can dance with confidence and allow your own unique style to develop authenically. Whether you choose Group Classes or Private Lessons know that your tool belt of dance knowledge will continually grow and become more accessible.

-Why do I need dance lessons? Can’t I just learn off of YouTube?

YouTube is a great way to be inspired and spark creativity, but you miss all of the important technique and connection (when it comes to partner dancing) that goes into creating moves and patters. You might be able to “get through it” if you learn off the web, but it will be harder to dance through it, and have it feel great. Taking classes allows you the opportunity to learn with clarity, understand what you are working on, ask questions, and learn the tools that will allow you to dance the patterns and movement as opposed to forcing your way, or your partner’s way through them.

-What does it feel like when you dance and perform?

My absolute favorite thing in the world is to perform! It is a chance for me to share with the world a gift, a moment in time that will never be re-created again. A chance for the audience to connect to their lives in a way that we normally don’t allow ourselves to. Dance brings up a lot of emotions for people: happy, sad, and everything in between. A lot of the time seeing a performance allows you a safe space to feel something that maybe you’re experiencing in your own life, and to acknowledge it, work through it, or just feel it. Performing is a gift from my heart that I am able to give.

When I perform, everything becomes still and silent and I get lost in time and space. I feel more present in the moment than in any other time of my life, I feel completley and utterly ALIVE. I feel rejuvinated, whole, and peaceful. I give my everything when I perform, hoping to connect and make a difference in at least one person’s life in the audience. I strive to dance as if someone who is deaf can see the song playing and living in my movement.
To watch me dance is to hear my heart sing.

-What’s your favorite style of dance?

Oh boy, another hard question. How about top 4 in no particular order? West Coast Swing, Hip-Hop, Lyrical, Argentine Tango, and Rumba. Okay so that’s 5, but who’s counting?

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