'Own your kitty': My experience at Diddi Emah's Workshop

This past Monday, SUBOG hosted a heels dance workshop with Edidiong “Diddi” Emah as part of its two day Deciphering Love, Sex, Relationships, and Sexuality Workshop. The goal of the workshop was to empower individuals striving them to step outside their comfort zone and boy, they did it.

Emah, a Nigerian native, has made her way in the industry as a choreographer and backup dancer. She has worked with artists like Ciara, Fifth Harmony, Usher, Nicole Scherzinger, Nelly, and Ludacris.  At age fourteen while in attendance at a performing arts school, she was scouted. She was too young to start dancing, so she began choreographing leading her to be introduced to Ciara and Ne-Yo. As for who her favorite artist to work with is, that would be Nicole Scherzinger who she gushed over. Her current projects include working with Missy Elliot and assistant choreographing on a series for FOX. 

I didn’t know what to expect as I walked into a dimly lit room with red backdrop lights. Everyone was wearing heels already waiting for the class to start as Diddi scanned through several Beyoncé songs.  The warm up started as every normal dance lesson would; head rotations, touching your toes, hip circles, etc. Then came the part where you had to lie on your back with both legs together pointed upwards.  

“Now take one leg at a time and draw half circles like this.” Next thing you know Emah announces, “No country feet they’re not sexy.”

Apparently, country feet means flexed feet and as Emah walked around, she made sure to stop any country feet from popping up.

Next came what can be only described as a form of twerking on your back. With legs still up and pointed, you were supposed to imagine as if you were a pencil sharpening; meaning turning your feat inward and out as if to create a shake. Emah was quick to assist anyone who didn't quite understand the movement by placing participant's feet in the proper position.

Dancers became quick friends after the chair portion of the workshop.  Everyone grabbed a partner and a chair, not knowing what to expect. I became partner two . Partner one sat in the chair as Emah illustrated the move partner two would be performing. Emah locked her arms around partner one's knees tumbling upside down into a sitting handstand. At first, I thought this was joke.  There was no way I was flipping into my partner’s lap and if I tried, I would probably end up throwing all of my weight in the wrong direction, leaving us both on the floor. However, Emah was completely serious and went around to help each of us prop up. The first girl who was flipped into position screamed for a second to be put down as her partner looked on in fear of getting squished. Emah said not to worry and continued.

                                                                Featuring my partner and I in the upper left corner- I'm the leg trying to flip over.

Before Emah started teaching us the routine, she wanted to practice some simple walks across the floor. Offering advice on how to strut and be sexy, she explained the importance of pulling your kitty cat up.

“Posture is important. I love my ratchets, I live for my ratchets, but you don’t want to look like this," she said as she demonstrated walking with a curved spine. “Be proud of your kitties and walk with confidence.”

Finally, it was time to learn the routine set to Fifth Harmony’s song “Work.” It was a series of walks, ball changes, twerking, hip roles, and even that semi lap dance taught in the beginning. Emah decided to record the performance in order to show the girls of Fifth Harmony.

Diddi Emah is not only a wonderful dancer but a wonderful teacher as well. She went over her allotted time to make sure everyone knew the movements. She wasn’t hesitant to grab someone’s ankle to show them the right way to do the move and at the end of the routine she sat down to talk to the dancers. Emah explained the importance of getting to the positions you want in life and success through individual hard work, and not through demeaning yourself.

                                                                                              Diddi pictured with a student from the class.

For those that are interested in following Diddi Emah, her Instagram is iam_edidiong.  She may follow you back, but you need to INSPIRE her!



Cover Image Credit