Since this post came out, I've gotten a lot of questions about my experience. "What was it really like? What else did they have you do? Tell me! TELL ME!!"
But beyond questions, I've gotten more comments expressing envy. Copping a training session at Building Block is like getting to see Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory- an exclusive experience dense with value.
I am aware that I am very, very lucky to have had my "work" take me there. But the opportunity didn't come easy, the session wasn't easy, and post-production was anything but easy. But hey, that's the whole tenant that Building Block is built (haha) on.
To write about my experience from a less polished (than published) angle, I would say very similar things. Keone and Mari, as anyone who has worked with them would agree, are professional, warm, and extreeemely helpful.
Impressive for an extremely busy man, Keone was very communicative and responsive to my ideas via e-mail as we were planning the logistics of the shoot. I sent him a template/ shot list of what I had in mind, and our objectives for the collaboration, and he replied with excitement and constructive suggestions.
Come shoot day, Mari (to no surprise), greeted me with the biggest, warmest hug that instantly put me at ease. We entered the space (a beautiful, intimate environment. The minimalist vibe made it feel very humble, in a way.) and proceeded to warm up.
Nothing in the video is contrived. We conducted the session as they would a normal session- Mari fixing my poses and Keone explaining drills to me (and my tired expressions) are all very candid.
And the most candid part of the entire session was our post-training discussion. We talked for over an hour and half, about everything from body kinesthetics to Cookies to the atmosphere and future of our current community. I appreciated so much how transparent they were, about their work and goals and motivations.
Building Block equips dancers with some solid training, as expected. But if you ever book a session, know that the instructors are there to be mentors, beyond the physical. My word of advice? Don't limit yourself to learning just about dance. You're a whole person, and they're whole people. Share thoughts and experiences to get the most out of your time there. I know I did, and walked (danced) away with a lot to think (and write) about.
Thank you, Keone, Mari, and Building Block! And thank you to Peter, Robin, and STEEZY for supporting this project.