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Lynn learns to dance with Jimmy Locust

Internationally recognized artistic director Jimmy Locust teaches a master dance class at Lynn YMCA. (Spenser R. Hasak)

LYNN– A afternoon workout turned into something more for Kimberly Le and and Amanda Mena at the Lynn YMCA on Friday.

“We were suppose to come for a workout like we usually do,” the 18-year-old Le said. “But then someone told Amanda about the dance class and we decided to jump in.”

The class was led by International Artistic Director Jimmy Locust, who has worked with superstars like Michael Jackson, Janet Jackson, Paula Abdul, Quincy Jones, and Debbie Allen.

“I love to be able to share this with the youth,” Locust said to the class. “Today, this is what I’ve been working towards doing for my whole career. It’s gonna be hardcore.”

Locust, who has performed at events including the Academy Awards and Grammy awards, worked with a group of 12 students in the dance studio as they perfected a routine. The group will be perform together at Saturday’s Harmony Nation Anti-Bullying Seminar and Workshop at Breed Middle School.

“I want you all to leave here stronger so you can go out there and help somebody,” Locust said.

Edwin Pagan, 18, of Classical High School stole spotlight at times during the performance with his solo routine that included a cartwheel into the center of the group followed by a split.

“I love dancing, so I jump at any opportunity to do so,” he said. “It’s something anyone can do and be yourself and just be you.”

Locust always gave Trent Brown, 13, of Lynn, some credit for nailing the choreography throughout the day.

“I haven’t done hip hop in about six years,” Brown, who dances at Boston Ballet, said. “It’s very fun.”

The performance on Saturday takes place from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. in the Breed Middle School auditorium. Salem State University and the 100 Males to College Brotherhood for College Success partnered with the YMCA to put on the event, which included dark blue t-shirts for each performer.

For Le, the dance class provided another reason why she always returns to the welcoming environment of the Lynn YMCA.

“The people here are always so nice,” she said.

After whipping together an impressive routine for the show, Locust shared some thoughts with the group.

“I’m so proud of all of you,” he said. “Today, you all have blown my mind.”

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