Largo’s Highland Recreation Complex hosts a weekly lightsaber choreography class

Instructor says, ‘Whereas Master Yoda would say, ‘Do or do not. There is no try’—I disagree. Try.’

Tampa Bay nerds, geeks, and Sith Lords: there’s a choreography class for you.

Yep, you can unite on Wednesdays at the “Art of Lightsaber Choreography” happening at Largo’s Highland Recreation Complex. The class is taught by Kevin Daniels, a School Resource Officer with the Pinellas County Schools Police Department. Daniels, who’s favorite Star Wars movie is “The Empire Strikes Back,” and his wife also owned Largo’s Waypoint 6 Tavern and Geekery before it closed last year—yet another 2020 bar and restaurant casualty.

Don’t let the term “choreography” fool you though. The class teaches not dance but stage combat—something Daniels has been teaching for years.

Art of Lightsaber choreography
Wednesdays, 7 p.m. $7 and up.
Highland Recreation Complex
400 Highland Ave., Largo

“I have had the privilege to teach for the theater department at St. Petersburg College, American Stage, Eckerd College, Studio @ 620 and numerous renaissance festivals over the years,” Daniels told Creative Loafing Tampa Bay.

Daniels said it all got started when he and his pals needed a practice space for the “Saber Guild,” a LucasFilm-recognized costuming group that focuses on lightsaber choreography.  After contacting Highland, they asked Daniels if he’d like to teach a class there. Of course, he said yes.

Students should not come in full costume, but wear clothes that are movement-ready. “My Saber Guild team, The Batuu Temple, does not wear our costumes until we are ready to run dress rehearsals for shows,” Daniels added.

Though the classes are inside, they do take other COVID-19 precautions. “We wear masks inside the facility, and if someone borrows a lightsaber from us, we make sure we disinfect the saber after every use,” Daniel said. 

 “Luckily, the stunt sabers length makes physical distancing easy when practicing. You don’t want to be too close to your opponent!,” he added.

The classes—suitable for sixth graders through adults—start at basic moves. They also have extra Lightsabers to borrow if yours in the shop. Still hesitant? Don’t be.

“Whereas Master Yoda would say, ‘Do or do not. There is no try,’” Daniels said,  “I disagree. Try.” 

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About The Author

Stephanie Powers

Freelance contributor Stephanie Powers started her media career as an Editorial Assistant long ago when the Tampa Bay Times was still called the St. Petersburg Times. After stints in Chicago and Los Angeles, where she studied improvisation at Second City Hollywood, she came back to Tampa and stayed put.She soon...
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