Featured Instructor of the Month: Suset Rosario

Suset Rosario (Healgirl) currently teaches at All Souls UU Church every Friday in Colorado Springs, CO. Her passion is getting everyone moving, whether it’s with Liquid Motion, hula hooping, or yoga. She believes movement should be inclusive to everyone from able to disabled, young and old. There’s something for everyone in the Liquid Motion curriculum!

1. You’ve been certified in all three levels of the Liquid Motion training program. Tell us how you got started with Liquid Motion and why you chose to take advantage of taking all three certification levels.

I started taking Liquid Motion classes in 2016 and fell in love with how accessible it was for someone like myself. I have no dance background and suffer from MS and fibromyalgia. I decided that I wanted to share this movement methodology and signed up for all three certifications this year. The more I learned, the more I wanted to learn and teach!

2. What is your teaching philosophy? Do you have a motto or mantra?

     My teaching philosophy is one of inclusiveness. If I can, you can, even if you need to modify at first. There’s something for everyone in the Liquid Motion curriculum! 

3. What has been your most rewarding teaching experience?

My most rewarding teaching experience was having my students follow me from one studio to another. Seeing my value in their lives, seeing the value of what I teach gives me great joy!

4. What has been your biggest struggle in your teaching journey?

 My biggest struggle in my teaching journey was being a sensual movement instructor at a studio that did not value my certifications and experience. I finally found the courage to leave (with a bit of pushing from Jeni and Mel Heins) and I couldn’t be happier! 

5. You’re very passionate about teaching Liquid Motion. How do you help spread that passion to your students and light a fire for them? Do you have any tips for aspiring instructors?

    I love showing students where foundational movement can take them and how they can progress in their journey by demonstrating where I started and where Liquid Motion has taken me in my own movement journey. To see the excitement in their faces when they see what they can achieve with commitment and determination gets me even more pumped to teach! My advice to aspiring instructors is to find a mentor, (mine is Kismet Kanatous) and learn how to be a better instructor by continuing your education after getting certified.

6. What are your goals in your own personal movement journey? Has Liquid Motion had any impact in the way you approach these goals?

My goal is to polish up my technique when it comes to dance in general. I am proficient when it comes to movement that involves a lot of strength and flexibility. Shoulder stands and elbow jades came easy to me, but my dancing in general needs work. Liquid Motion has given me the blueprint to help strengthen my weaknesses by making technique accessible. 

7. What’s your all-time favorite song that makes you want to get Liquid?

  I don’t have just one, I have a playlist full of faves that get me daydreaming about choreography and make me want to dance, including: ASAP by Gia Koda (ft. Danny Seth), I’d Love To Change The World by Jetta, Unstable by Janine, and Pour Some Sugar On Me by Def Leppard 

8. Do you have any hidden talents?

 I have a few actually! I’m a certified chef classically trained in Italian cuisine. I am fluent in Spanish and can communicate well in Italian. I am also a hoopdance instructor and can hula hoop with the best of them. I am a proficient gardener and normally have a few thousand plants, including fruits, veggies, and flowers in my garden during the warmer months. I’ve also run a marathon and multiple Spartan races. 

9. You have been very open and vocal about your struggles with your own health. Why do you think it’s important to share your truth on social media?

Visibility matters to so many who don’t feel they’re not being represented or those who feel isolated due to disability and chronic illness. My hope is that people with chronic illnesses see my experiences dealing with MS and fibromyalgia and find that their life does not have to be limited because of their condition. Advocating for the disability community is one of my passions, and showing them how Liquid Motion can make movement accessible is something that has made me want to further my education within the Liquid Motion curriculum so that I can then share this wonderful methodology with them!

10. What’s your biggest source of motivation? What makes you want to get out of bed in the morning?

      I have four kids ages 1, 7, 10, and 16 years of age. I want to be an example to them of what you can do with your life when you’re passionate and committed. I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis exactly 7 years ago, since then I have been determined to not let this dictate my quality of life. These are the biggest factors that motivate and push me daily. 

11. What advice would you give someone who is thinking about trying out the Liquid Motion class for the first time or thinking about taking a Liquid Motion certification?

 My advice would be to just do it! Bring a friend if you need a bit of extra support to get out of your comfort zone, but take the plunge, you won’t regret it. The Liquid Motion community is a large family who only wants to see you succeed, whether thats in learning movement for the first time or advancing your journey in teaching. This an inclusive company that is grounded in making sensuality and dance accessible to everyone, why not be a part of something this amazing?

12. In one sentence, share a life lesson you’ve learned – maybe a piece of advice that you’ve always held onto or a random comment you heard in passing that stuck with you. What do you think everyone should hear at least once in their lifetime?

     “However difficult life may seem, there is always something can do and succeed at.”

      -Stephen Hawking

I Should Have Been a DJ (At Least, I Believed I Should Have) Part 2

By Krystal Bryce

Do you have playlist distress? What you need to first realize is that there is no such thing as a perfect playlist. At least not for every single student you have at one single class. Therefore it’s a good idea to stop trying to make that perfect playlist. Secondly, it’s not all about you. That one was really hard for me to swallow, and sometimes I still wrestle with it.

I mean seriously. It’s not all about me? Are you sure?

Yes. I am sure.

So if you’re not going to make the perfect playlist, then how can you at least get close? Let’s start with the beginning.

There is always a beginning, a middle, and an end to everything. This includes your playlist. Here are some good questions to ask yourself when you begin to put it all together.

  • What is my warm up going to consist of?
  • Will it be fast or slow? Perhaps a little of both?
  • How is it going to flow?
  • Lastly, how is it going to end? Will it end with a wild and exciting song or one they can all just melt into the floor with?

Furthermore, if I really want to go deeper, I may even choose a theme. Perhaps something like an all-female voice playlist, all-male or a mix of duets. An 80’s playlist. A playlist with just dubstep, rap, country, hip hop, or R&B. You get the idea. A theme. This theme can even continue on in the rest of your class. For example, if you decide to go with the 80’s theme then maybe you can add in fun 80’s clothing. You don’t have to go all out for this. It could be as easy as a headband or a leotard and leg warmers. If you don’t want to go with a theme, then be sure to mix it up so all genres get a little air time. This includes male and female voices. Look for opportunities to add in instrumental versions only. Sometimes people simply don’t need words to move.

Once you’ve decided how you want your warm-up playlist to flow, it’s time to start looking for your music. Some really awesome resources I’ve found are Spotify, YouTube, SoundCloud, and iTunes. I’m sure there are plenty more platforms; however I usually have more than enough music from all of these places that I really don’t need to look elsewhere.

If you get stuck and can’t seem to find the jams that hit the spot, then start looking online for people you know who share the same music platform as you. See what they are swirling to. See if they have any playlists they can share. I find people typically love to help out in this area.

Along those same lines, another place of great musical inspiration is social media. Find those dancers you love and see what songs they are dancing to. If it’s not posted, then use the Shazam app to snag it. Instagram songs are sometimes the best songs because you get to witness how someone else’s body has responded to it. Therefore this can help you discover the magic of variety. Plus, you don’t have to rely solely on your own opinion.

Use technology to the fullest. Network like crazy. Share songs with friends as often as possible. Throw all possibilities into a playlist. Leave nothing behind. Even if it’s something you aren’t very fond of. You may just be surprised at how someone else will absolutely love it.

After gathering your music, start to plan your warm up. Personally I change my warm up every week. I use my Liquid Motion movements to warm them and get them in the Liquid mood. It essentially becomes a twenty-minute Liquid Motion movement guided dance. I do throw in abs, pushups, planks and other conditioning moves as well.

Sometimes I write it out and practice, but most times I just go with the flow of the music. Either way, I’m still prepared because I know my playlist very well. I’m not saying this will work for you. What I am saying is, don’t be afraid to try new things. Look outside of the box.

To add to this, if you ever worry about your students getting bored, it’s usually a sign that you are bored and not them. It’s also a sign that you’re ready for growth. So try that new song out. See if something new happens.

Your beginning is now done. Next comes the middle. What’s in the middle? The teaching section. The part where you dig into the Liquid Motion movements and sequences.

This is where I usually have some low background music going. It keeps the energy moving. Here is where I would advise not to play anything really sad or dreary. This is where you want your students to be engaged and having fun. Nothing can bring a person down faster than one of those tear jerkers we all occasionally love to move to. Ask yourself what mood you want for this portion of the class. Think about your own demos as well. What makes your body move better?

Music plays a huge role in helping students find their flow. Having something prepared for this middle portion of class is a pretty big part of my planning. I usually write it out in my curriculum so I remember what song to play with what movement or sequence I’m teaching. This helps prevent me from picking a song that can totally kill the vibe. Plus I waste less time looking for music in the middle of class and use more time teaching.

Lastly, we have our ending, the conclusion of class. This is where the students get to try out everything they’ve learned. This is where they get freedom to explore it. I look for songs that are different each time. I rarely play the same song twice. I even try to space out when I use the same song between classes. I may only use a song one time and then ditch it. I give them variety. We are all different. Therefore we will all like different songs.

It’s important to allow for the opportunity to try on new music. Most people don’t do this for themselves. Often they don’t even know they might actually like a certain genre until you play it for them. Play it all and then some.

When the final song comes, I usually tend to go for something that feels meditative. This is where I have them cool down and stretch while I review with them the things they have accomplished. This is a time for celebration and for closure. Abruptly ending class tends to leave people feeling a bit undone. I find that closing in this way helps to set the mood for my students for the rest of the day. It also gives them something to look forward to for the next week.

Well, there you have it. This is not by any means all that I would like to share about music and playlists. There is so much more to it. I’m still learning. I will never again pretend to know everything there is to know about building playlists. However I know every day I practice building, I get better.

I would love for you to follow my playlists. They go back several years to when I used to teach for S Factor. I hope you find some music you enjoy. Mostly I hope you find something out of this that is helpful. Music is meant to be heard and shared. I hope you share yours with me! I’ll be looking forward to seeing some playlist posts on the Liquid Motion Certified Facebook page!!!

XOXO

Krystal Bryce

Spotify: KrystalBryce

SoundCloud: Charley Avery