LYNN — Choreographer Jimmy Locust, dance instructor to stars including Janet Jackson and Paula Abdul, brings his dance talent to the YMCA on Friday and to Breed Middle School Saturday.
Locust will lead a masters dance class for middle school students Friday 3-4:30 p.m. at the YMCA on Neptune Boulevard and a masters class for high school dancers Friday 5-6:30 p.m.
The classes are aimed in part at giving dance experience to young men with space reserved in classes for 100 Males to College Program participants. Class size is limited. Contact YMCA Community Relations Executive Director Audrey Jimenez, [email protected] by late Thursday to sign up for a masters class.
On Saturday, master dance class students will give a short performance before a skit presentation by Harmony Nation, Locust’s youth confidence-building and anti-bullying initiative, from 10 a.m. to noon at Breed.
Harmony Nation features dance and acting skits and dance performances by the teens to educate on bullying and explore conflict resolution through compassion and respect.
“It’s empowering for students, parents, educators, youth serving agencies, law enforcement and the community at large,” Jimenez said. “Anytime we can participate in a program that promotes caring, it helps with bullying before it starts. Jimmy’s approach speaks directly to our youth in a super, very authentic way.”
A master of body motion, Locust has extensive experience as a choreographer, dancer, actor, singer, writer and entrepreneur. He has also worked with the late Michael Jackson, and Quincy Jones.
His classical training in ballet, jazz, and modern dance along with house funk and hip-hop influence are the foundation for his signature “Tech-Hop” style which is taught in his master class tours.
The Lynn public schools and Salem State University are co-sponsors for Locust’s visit. The YMCA and Lynn public schools help support 100 Males to College with its goal of working to increase college access, enrollment, retention and success, especially for urban male students. The program also is supported in part by state funding.
The Lynn YMCA has been in service since serving the greater Lynn area since 1860. The YMCA of Metro North has locations in Lynn, Peabody, Saugus and Melrose and has long-standing relationships and facilities to deliver lasting personal and social change.