I finally got the chance to chat with Magnus Labbe, B&P’s first Artist In Residence to get the scoop on his inspiration and teaching styles! Read below to find out more!
A: What’s your inspiration? What do you try and convey when you perform?
M: I’ve been pole dancing for five years and have been doing other types of dance, from hip hop into contemporary, as a hobby for ten years. I learned most things off of Instagram and Youtube. The same with pole. I began pole dancing when my dance studio added pole into their schedule. However, my teacher could only teach me so much, then I began teaching myself watching YouTube and Instagram videos.
A: What are some of your specialties or things can expect to learn in class?
M: As a dancer I like to use the pole as a partner, instead of just an apparatus that sits there. As a result, I create movement that dances around the pole and really enjoy choreography on the pole instead of just using it for tricks.
Much of this movement comes from freestyling, once you have the basics you can explore anything. Once you’re comfortable you can just see where the body will go.
I also place emphasis on flows, I like to focus on long combos, as opposed to just one trick, I focus on fluidity, rotation of static pole, and am heavily inspired by music.
A: What about your teaching style, how do you like to facilitate your classes?
M: I teach the same way I learned, by depending a lot on the visual, much like I taught myself off of YouTube. That process was all about watching someone else and then making the move my own, which is how I teach. I’m a patient teacher and appreciate people to find their own style, and I’m not much of a stickler for details.
A: What are some of your favorite moves?
I really enjoy transitional moves because they can be taken so many directions. Brass monkey and leg hangs are some of my favorite because they’re basic, but allow for some many interesting transitions while also feeling secure and natural.
A: What are the dates of your residency?
I will be an Artist In Residence until end of March, 2017. I teach two classes a day Wednesday to Sunday (10 classes total). I teach all levels, and teach a polegraphy class on Wednesday, and my speciality class on Thursday! My specialty class focuses on my signature moves, and moves from past competition + showcase pieces.