Beyography: Bringing The Gospel Of Beysus To Toronto

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Beyography: Bringing The Gospel Of Beysus To Toronto

A Beyoncé dance class that is bound to leave you feeling Crazy In Love

Beyography 09 26 15 Kevin Jones 11

She wears heels. She dances in those heels and she sings while dancing in those heels. Being Beyoncé is no easy feat, but while you may think that all your efforts of emulating her Flawless*** self are a total waste, before you throw away your heels in defeat, give local performer and man-about-town Nicky Nasrallah a chance to Upgrade U via Beyography: a Beyoncé dance class unlike any other.

Every week, Nasrallah picks a song and creates a full choreography using dance moves from Beyoncé’s videos and concerts. The steps are fast, the music obviously catchy, and Nasrallah’s patient, enthusiastic instructions peppered with many a “You look fabulous!” will guide you through a two-hour tutorial on how you can perform the very moves you see Queen Bey do. It’s not easy, but he’ll definitely make you think it is.

There are a lot of impressionable divas out there, but to Nasrallah there’s no one more deserving of a dance class tribute than Beyoncé. “I know she’s a super hard worker, but she’s also effortless at the same time. She’s so versatile. She puts in so many different kinds of styles of dance and music,” says Nasrallah, “She doesn’t follow any trends. She is the trend.”

Katherine Wilson, the brains behind the idea and Nasrallah’s assistant, would watch him dance to Beyoncé’s songs in their living room when they were roommates. “Every day. This would be every day. I’d look over and there’s Nick dancing, literally doing every bit of her choreography,” she says. “I was so impressed. I just remember, after weeks of noticing, I turned to him and I was like ‘hey! I have this amazing idea. I think you should teach a class where you actually teach Beyoncé’s dance moves and her choreography.’”

A year later, Beyography was born.

Since last summer, the classes have rapidly picked up steam. Nasrallah and Wilson weren’t expecting their popularity, or the positive response they have received, and were surprised to find how greatly it has impacted the people who came to participate. “Every class, walking out, you get people thanking you and being really positive about it, “ says Wilson, “I’ve even noticed how many people want to come back twice a week. They want to come back and learn the same dance again. They can’t get enough.”

Attendees have ranged from an 11-year-old who had never danced before, to ladies over 60 who were on their feet and never took a drink of water during the entire class. Some have gone as far as to say that the classes have been life-altering. “I wasn’t expecting to change lives when I did this and I’ve been hearing people tell me that it’s changed their lives,” Nasrallah says with a shy laugh. “People have been coming in saying that ‘I’ve had such a horrible year’, ‘I’ve been going through depression and I was so unhappy with everything and this class changed everything for me.’ I had a girl tell me how this has changed her career and has made her want to breathe life back into it. She felt so much more confident by getting that Beyoncé in her.”

These days Beyography takes place at different locations in the city as well as in Ottawa and Vancouver, and classes are often sold out. Wilson and Nasrallah feel that the class is now about so much more than just admiring Beyoncé. “I was just doing it to make people love Beyoncé. But now it’s about confidence, it’s about letting loose and having fun, and being in a non-judgmental environment and getting a workout,” says Nasrallah, who has a musical theatre background, “I was never a technically trained dancer which is why this program is so accessible. I’m not putting any pressure on anybody to be perfect. I’m not telling them exactly where their foot should be. I’m like I’m not a real dancer, you’re not a real dancer. Let’s just have fun.”

You’re guaranteed to walk out of Beyography with a spring in your step, and maybe even a little Beyoncé-fuelled sass that’ll have you feeling like a bawse all day. If not, you’ll at least leave wondering how she does it all while making it look so good. Heels are optional, but a welcome challenge.

For more information and the full Beyography schedule visit www.beyography.com.

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