Who Are We?
We’re a motley bunch of Hip Catz & Cool Dames, Lounge Lizards and Salsa Chix, Girly Men and Manly Girls.
We’re absolute beginners, intermediates and experts of all ages, cultures, and orientations.
We’re the talented as well as the totally klutzy people you see dancing and having fun while you sit around and watch.
The Urban Beat Dance Co. was started in Toronto several years ago by Graeme Oxendale and Lisa Jacobs. Their classes soon became so insanely popular they had to expand.
Graeme decided to move back to Vancouver (his home town) to be with his
sweetie, Elizabeth, in 1999 and they soon had the most popular classes
in town. They were named “The Best/Coolest Dance Instructors in Vancouver”
by Vancouver Magazine. They were honored in 2004 by Albert Torres (the
#1 Salsa Promoter in the world) at the 2nd Annual Vancouver Salsa congress
for their contribution to the Vancouver salsa scene: said Albert, “Their
salsa classes are the most popular in Vancouver and they have brought
more beginners into the salsa scene than anyone else.”
Elizabeth and Graeme married in 2000 and had their first child, Spencer, in 2004.
Spencer (aka Lil’ Dude) can be seen groovin’ and grinnin’ at many of their
classes and he’s already been featured on City TV: “The youngest
member of The Urban Beat Dance Co.”
While virtually every local teacher has asked to work for The Urban Beat Dance Co. and they have their pick of the best, they use only one guideline
to hire teachers – can they teach average people well? Dance teachers who’ve won tons of dance competitions
or teachers with many, many, technical qualifications are a dime a dozen.
Dance teachers who know how to keep it simple, how to teach the average
person, the beginner or the ‘challenged person’ well AND make it fun at
the same time, are rarer than hen’s teeth. How to pick a good teacher for you
Graeme’s strength as a teacher made headlines in the National Post, which
carried his departure to Vancouver: “Toronto’s King of West Cost
Swing leaves town.” His 15 years+ of dance training and impressive
teaching style (“Vancouver’s Best” – Vancouver Magazine) explains
his success. He has been featured in music videos, CBC TV ( the Ralph
Benmergui show), City TV in Toronto, City TV in Vancouver, Urban Rush
in Vancouver, and the Life Network.
Elizabeth has a background in several dance styles: jazz, hip hop, ballet and modern and over 10 years experience in such partner dances as country, swing, and salsa. Her dancing has been seen on City TV, Urban Rush, and the Life Network. Although she is at class less, she is still very much involved behind the scenes and loves to see so many people sharing her passion for social dancing.
Pamela Podmoroff is not only incredibly technically knowledgeable and is one of Canada’s top competitive dancers – but SHE KNOWS HOW TO TEACH! That’s a rare package. Her sweet, down-to-earth disposition have made her indispensable to Urban Beat and simply adored by her students.
Pamela Podmoroff has over 14 years of experience in ballet, jazz, tap
and modern dance. Pamela then began partner dancing with ballroom and
latin, and eventually went on to take her 1st west coast swing class with
the Urban Beat! Pamela is currently one of Canada’s top West Coast Swing
competitors, with many wins, including a 2nd place finish at the Holy
Grail of Swing – the US Open Swing Dance Championships. Pamela teaches
a variety of dances for us, including West coast swing (aka Club Style
Swing), East coast swing, salsa, freestyle nightclub dancing, and now
– ballroom. Pam’s ability to teach simply and keep it fun have quickly
made her classes very popular.
Angela Amici has been training as a dancer since the age of 7. Starting with jazz, she then moved to hip hop, ballet, and eventually to salsa. Since she was nineteen, Angela has danced on a professional level competing and performing internationally in a variety of styles. She has worked for local Vancouver performing groups and artists. She has recently appeared on Shaw TV’s Urban Rush and the 24hr news paper for her extremely popular pussycat doll dance classes. Students love her for her enthusiasm, sense of humor, beginner friendly classes and her funny stories of her Italian Canadian heritage.