|Laure Courtellemont during workshops in Poland|
Sneakers & Pointes: One of the most obvious and most asked questions also among workshops members is a question on what Ragga Jam is? How is it different from Dancehall, if it is different at all.
Laure Courtellemont: Ragga Jam is the dance class of my dreams! The dance class I created 15 years ago, when nobody knew about this music and dance (except Jamaicans and underground scene). Ragga Jam is my perception of the Reggae-Dancehall Culture. It is me, expressing through dance of this music and dance. Ragga Jam is my partner, my inside! My shadow…. It grew up with me, and made me be the one I am!
Sneakers & Pointes: Why, in your opinion, this style of dancing become more and more popular in the whole world?
Laure Courtellemont: Because of street cultures growing up, because of the world like it is! Because of the strength of this culture! Because of the African part of it, which remembers every human being our Origin! Because of mixing cultures and skins… Because of the beauty of it….
Sneakers & Pointes: You are going all over the world to give trainings. Which country schooling was the most inspiring for you? Maybe you have favorite country which you like going to all the time?
Laure Courtellemont: I got three! 3!!!! Brazil, Jamaica and New York. Brazil for the heart of the dancers, for their strength, their motivation, because of their history, their rhythm, their love. New York, because this is the place which inspires me! I step there and I feel it! I love the city! It’s like mine! I know it, I feel it! It is full of talents and arts! There you have to be good! If you are, you are accepted, if not you are rejected! This is the place for artists! I learn there! My teacher and inspiration is there! All the dances I love, except Dancehall are born there! So many communities, so many different people, like in Paris, but the difference is that if you are good the place lifts you up! JAMAICA…OF COURSE! The source! The power! The place!!!!
Sneakers & Pointes: What kind of teacher are you? Which method of teaching do you prefer?
Laure Courtellemont: Let people be free, and then teach technique. I truly believe you learn better having fun!
Sneakers & Pointes: What was your beginning of dancing. What is “your dancing story”?
Laure Courtellemont: My beginning of dancing, was in my bedroom! Every single day! Alone, me and the music during years! I built myself as a dancer alone…then I went to study! That was a chance actually, I found my dance, my expression, my freedom, and then I added technique! First Bedroom, then teaching at school, in between my college lessons! Created RAGGA JAM in 1996. Then teaching in suburbs, then Paris! I met Stella Diblik who became my agent and made me travel the world to teach! I met David Fonclaud who was the first to bring me to West Indies to teach and “test” what I created on real Caribbean dancers! Then Nike, athlete and model contract, and then Ragga Jam by Nike is born….The partner, who brought Ragga Jam to a high level of exposure! Then New York….my biggest challenge…Broadway Dance Center: the test! Then my son, my biggest inspiration, and now, nothing gonna stop me!
Sneakers & Pointes: The adventure of Nike Europe. What is the best memory?
|Laure Courtellemont giving classes in Poland|
Sneakers & Pointes: People call you “The queen of hip-hop”. What does that mean for you?
Laure Courtellemont: I am not the QUEEN of Hip Hop, neither of any other technique…There is no queen in dance! Every day you have to get better, too many talents, too many things to learn! I am me, and I do my best, that’s it! And that’s enough ;-)
Sneakers & Pointes: I must ask about your life style. What is your lifestyle like? Are you “fit”?
Laure Courtellemont: Yes, actually I eat healthy! Salads, good breads, vegetables….I try because food is the best medicine! So… My body does sooooooooo much for me, at least I can give him back this!
Sneakers & Pointes: You've been presenting and teaching ragga jam in numerous countries, you've meet huge number of dancers from all over the world. Do you find any difference between dancers from USA, France, Germany, Spain, and those from Poland?
Laure Courtellemont: Yes! Of course! You have countries where dance is in the culture (Brazil), and are not afraid about their bodies! Sun and beaches! So much freedom and happiness!!!! There are some countries where dance is a real job, and respected activity! Like USA! Some have such a cold weather, that the relation with the body is different and lot more shy! Even if I feel the great motivation…it is such a journey for the dancers to get into DANCEHALL!
Poland is a country in explosion…and I feel this will of knowing and learning! That is great and very pleasant! There’s a Need of more information for polish dancers, and then…it will be a good place to dance! I actually love teaching in Warsaw! I love the kindness and the respect polish dancers have for what they receive!
Sneakers & Pointes: I would like to ask you for any guidelines or advice for young dancers in Poland? What to do to become better and better every day and how to achieve success in dance?
Laure Courtellemont: LISTEN TO THE MUSIC! That’s it! The key is in the music, as music creates dances! Music!!!! Everyday!