Street dance style infuses upcoming Lakie production

Students at G.S. Lakie Middle School are learning all the tricks when it comes to popping and locking as they train their Tin Man crew for their upcoming Wizard of Oz production.

With the help of A.J. ‘MegaMan’ Kambere, professional dancer, sharing his knowledge and skills all the way from Vancouver Island, the Tin Man crew is ready to shine during the performance.

Kambere is a renowned professional with features on World of Dance and Canada’s Got Talent, and came to Lakie on Monday to spread his knowledge and experience to young learners.

“I am here teaching choreography and technique on popping and animation. Specifically making sure they understand street dance culture. Teaching the kids to understand the technique and the popping foundation so that we can put it in their show for March,” said Kambere.

Coming to Lethbridge for the first time, Kambere is happy to see the kids in their determination.

“They are hungry and want it,” said Kambere. “The most important part is becoming the Tin Man from the Wizard of Oz. It is interpretation with street dance culture. I am teaching them how to do the Tin Man robot, which is part of animation, specifically bopping. The main focus is understanding the Tin Man angles and making sure it is 90- and 180-degree angles and making sure they have good dime stops and good speed control techniques.”

Working towards the 20th anniversary at Lakie, the play will commemorate with a production joining all the performing arts departments at the school.

“We are all collaborating together to create a unique production inspired from the Wizard of Oz. We are putting our own modern twist on it,” said Kristi Legge, who runs the Dance Program at Lakie. “It has been rewarding to collaborate with our colleagues. We are working as a team and the whole school is on board.”

With around 200 students participating, the production will go up March 9 and 10 at the Yates Theatre. Until then Kambere will make sure his Tin Man crew is well oiled for their big debut.

“This style is not done here in Lethbridge,” said Kambere. “I highly recommend people come out and see the show so that they can see this specific street dance style and what these kids have been working on.”

Ryan Clarke, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Lethbridge Herald