WINTER SPIRIT CAMP FACILITATOR -Eddy “Dijon” Lathan (also known as Token and/or damoN) is a Brooklyn based artist (dancer, choreographer, teacher, performer) who has been dancing since before he knew what dance was. His inspirations have been (and still is in fact) drawn from – but not limited to - various facets of performance (theater, acting), dance and movement based forms (Hip-Hop, Krump, Vogue, Illusion styles, Contemporary, Contact Improvisation, Capoeira, Martial Arts), as well as singers/performers and dancers of the old and new. Born in Mount Vernon, New York in 1987, he lived in three states by the time he was six. At six his mother divorced his father and moved him and his younger sister to Fairfield county, Bridgeport, Connecticut. It was here where he would live out his childhood and early adult years. He graduated Bullard-Havens Regional Vocational Technical High school with a certificate and degree in Manufacturing Technology in 2005. After graduating, he continued to pursue his passion for dance while working two and even sometimes three jobs at a time. With little to no training and great ambition he applied for a position at the Westport YMCA as a Hip-Hop dance teacher and got the position. While working here he traveled to New York City for classes and auditions. In July 2008 he auditioned for H+ (The Hip-Hop Dance Conservatory & The Hip Hop Dance Conservatory Repertory Company) and was one of the few awarded a four-year scholarship. His dance training and core foundation was in Hip Hop Dance and Street style dances while his academia/contextual core studies were in Cultural & Social Anthropology/Hip Hop History, Health & Lifestyle, Fitness Specificity training, Music Theory, and Writing. Eddy studied, trained and performed with H+ from 2008-2013, performing in the conservatory’s classic repertory pieces in protagonist roles such as “The BLAME Game”, “Scrooge: A Christmas Carol”, “Little Red Riding Hood” and The Life and Death of Hip-Hop”. His riveting performances in pieces like The BLAME Game and others propelled him with his character development and poise on stage. His performance is nothing short of amazing…
After his tutelage with the conservatory, Eddy began to study and train in various dance styles, collaborate with modern, classical and contemporary dance artists while also teaching and performing both locally and abroad. A last-minute opportunity came through in 2014 when a good friend In Miami, Florida referred him to teach a Hip-Hop dance workshop in Port Au Prince, Haiti which was granted through the US Embassy, in collaboration with Haiti’s premiere dance company, Ayikodans. It was an inspiring and great cultural experience. In 2015 Eddy auditioned for a choreographic mentorship and was one of the eight choreographers chosen for The Emerging Choreographers Series 2 (ECS #2), awarded through Mare Nostrum. He mounted his first piece at LaGuardia Performing Arts Center titled “Unmasked”. The piece shows a personal struggle with identity and inner turmoil, while learning to overcome those challenges and move forward, and in the process revealing oneself for who they can be, hence, unmasking themselves. “It was quite an abstract journey, dream-like, story of a performance” according to an audience member at the premiere. The following year in 2016 he would participate in the ECS #3 as the protagonist in Jacqui Dugal’s riveting, contemporary piece, “Psychopaths Welcome”. Eddy has a penchant for playing characters that seem to almost be flawed heroes or perhaps just misunderstood. Eddy enjoys tackling taboo, yet fulfilling and mind opening
Eddy will be teaching two workshops:
NuDance: Foundation and Improvisation
- Starts with a series of "grounding processes" to accept ones own and each others nakedness in a safe, consensual and respectable environment. This includes stating our names/introductions out loud, breathing techniques and some partnerwork. This leads into a warm-up/stretch
- Class focus is on building a foundation and understanding in basic dance elements and terminology. Strong encouragement to the participants to find their natural and innate movements and utilize it as improvisation. Some across the floor techniques and combinations may be taught.
- Class concludes with a choreographed improvisation session of everyone's work
Rythym, Groove and Soul: Basics (clothed)
- Starts with an isolations warm up and stretch.
- Class focus will be on building a foundation and understanding in basic dance elements using the rhythm, groove and soul of Hip-Hop dance and it's various techniques. A small choreographed section may be added to conclude the participants work.
- Class concludes with an "Each One Teach One" Session and/or "Soul Train" line dancing.