In the dance world, there are equivalents to the eager bookworm who color-codes his notes, and the kid who’s dozing off in class. They’re both students, but one is obviously making more use of his role.
Melvin Timtim, one of our choreographers on STEEZY Studio, still values his role as a student – even after having taught all around the world.
In fact, he is still adamant about continuing to learn and grow, in order to be a better teacher for all of his students.
He shares with us how he utilizes certain training opportunities to be the most effective learner.
You can really train any technique you’d like in any class.
Sure, you want to get the choreography, but so many aspects of the execution depend on your choices.
“Do you wanna hit that? Pop that? Swag it out? Dance big? Sit in the pocket?
Decide what to focus on during class, you can always make space to do what you need to work on.
Go over details at your own pace.”
No matter what level of dancer you are and what level of class you’re taking, you pinpointing and addressing areas of improvement are going to make even the most “beginner” level classes feel advanced.
Mentorship was a huge theme in Melvin’s growth as a young dancer.
He now serves as a mentor now for his younger dancers, believing in the power of pushing someone past their limits by believing in them regardless of whether or not they believe their own potential
“Antoine Troupe and Greg Chapkis were my role models, I want to pass on what they gave to me, to the next generation of dancers.”
Melvin started dancing as a bboy/ freestyle head at only 8 years old, participating in battles and later joined Pinnacle Possibilities.
He transitioned into choreography at age 14 at Chapkis Dance.
“My first classes were from Jay Chris Moore, Jesse Trinidad, David Lim!”
He describes it as a tough transition, as he is a “freestyler at heart,” and learning choreography came with a learning curve.
His mentors encouraged him to keep taking class, almost as if it was a mandatory requirement, a GE for a college degree.
At 16, he started to create. Melvin’s “Do It For The Ratchets” piece broke the internet, which signaled to him that his choreography might be worth working on.
Greg soon thereafter invited him to choreograph for Chapkis Dance Fam, which put more eyeballs on his choreography, which led into more teaching opportunities as well as a directorship position on the team.
Since his snowball to success, Melvin has been focusing on creating more pieces and developing his YouTube channel, and teaching worldwide.