I hope you had a good fortnight since the last update.
In this update, I want to talk about how you can keep your responsiveness and improvisational skills.
When you don't get a chance to dance for a while, you can lose these abilities.
Luckily, this is fairly easy to fix with mental rehearsal.
Try this around once a day:
1) If you are a follow, then recall the different leads you have experienced. Then imagine what you would do in response. Then try to quickly recall another and another. That will help improve your responsiveness
2) If you are a lead, then think of the figures you know. Imagine performing one and the follow responding. Then think of another one to do and another. This will maintain your ability to improvise.
I hope this helps. Shoot me a message if you have any questions or concerns about how your dance ability might have slipped recently.
Until next time, I hope things are well for you
I hope the week has been good to you.
A quick one this week.
If you want to work on your ability to hear when the beat is, then a good way is to make music of your own. And a fun way to make your own music is Jam Studio - http://www.jamstudio.com/Studio/indexStudio.htm.
I used this myself when I wanted to improve my ability to hear the beat and keep time.
You use a visual interface to make music so you can see it play. You can choose your instruments, tempo and chords. By watching the player move through the bars you designated you can see the change and note what to listen for. You then get a better understanding of music - and that makes you a better dancer.
It's also just fun making your own music.
I hope things are going well and you are noticing the longer days as I am – I always enjoy that aspect of the seasons.
In this update, I want to talk about touch.
This was prompted by an interview of Gene Wilder by Conan O’Brien I recently saw. You can watch the whole thing, but there is a part where Gene uses touch to communicate his message with remarkable efficacy. You can see what I am talking about below – it starts just before the time Gene uses touch.
You can get a sense of how that touch ads conviction to what Gene says about how happy he is. You can possibly also imagine how Conan would have felt when Gene takes his hand like that.
The thing many of us forget about touch is that it is the first language we learn.
Perhaps ‘know’ is a better word than ‘learn’. Without needing an explanation, we understand most of it.
And like with other language, we sometimes do not understand or miscommunicate. However, we also often overcommunicate. That’s because touch can send signals about how we are truly feeling without us realising it. Apprehension and nervousness are classic ones in dance – we don’t want to send those signals; but we do, and our partners pick up on it.
That is when we can be viewed as creepy. The way we touch does not align with the character of the dance. This incongruence cause discomfort that cannot be fully explained – and we use the word ‘creepy’.
So why am I talking about this now?
First, our ability to communicate with touch has taken a battering of late. Because of isolation, we have not had a chance to practice it. So some of us would be out of practice.
Second, when you come back to dance, this is something you can be mindful of to help increase the speed of your reacquisition of your dance ability.
So even if you are touching no-one at the moment (and the Chrissy Amphlett alternative does not count), then be mindful of what you interpret and what messages you might send via touch.
Until next time, I hope you have a great week
This blog is written by the staff at Destine Dance and is inspired by the questions and challenges faced by our students