Making the Dance Your Own

After waiting to post until after we filmed our showcase routine in the park, so that I could share that experience with you, I admit I was staring at a blinking cursor for quite awhile this weekend. Not much else happened this past week! At least nothing that you’d be interested in reading. The day job was plenty busy. I went to the physical therapist for an adjustment (pretty sure dancing like a scarecrow on uneven, grassy ground left my body crooked).

So we’re keeping it short this weekend with a fun idea for you to explore your dancing at home.

After Monday’s session in the park, I didn’t have any additional private lessons. So I hopped into Teacher’s online group class. The topic was American Smooth choreography. He gave us a few steps that could be used for an open Viennese Waltz routine and told us the goal of the class was to make them our own. He put on a song and we danced while he watched the various Zoom windows.

The first song was a Viennese Waltz so it was relatively easy to dance the steps and play with the arm styling. Teacher let the song play for a couple minutes to give us time to try different things. Then things got a little more challenging. He put on a song that was not a Viennese Waltz, but we were still supposed to dance the same steps while making them our own.

It wasn’t until a song or two later that I finally felt like I was letting go of what I thought the steps were “supposed to” be and allowing my body to move in response to the music. It messes with your mind a bit. You’re told these are Viennese Waltz steps and being a good student, you immediately apply Viennese Waltz timing to them in your mind. You picture arm styling that you typically see in a Viennese Waltz routine. And then the song comes on and it is most definitely not a Viennese Waltz. But you’re still supposed to dance the same steps, just however you feel they could be danced, even if that means modifying the steps.

The exercise reminded me of bronze-level solo practice sessions when I would work on my Tango. Tango was my most challenging dance at the bronze level because I couldn’t get out of my head enough to produce the sharp, dynamic movements. I started dancing my Tango routine to hip hop music in order to get into a stronger, more badass mindset.

It worked! By the time I reached Silver, Tango was one of my best dances.

It was fun to work in that idea again of dancing to the “wrong” music in order to get creative with the movement and put a personal touch on it.

So if you’re looking for something different to try this week, pick one of your dance routines and then pick a song that doesn’t go with it. Then start dancing!

I’d love to know in the comments if you’ve done this kind of experimenting with your dancing before and what the results were.

Finally, just for fun, I had to share this photo with you. I was playing with the steps from the group class this weekend. Check out my dog’s face!

Have a happy and healthy week, dancers!

4 thoughts on “Making the Dance Your Own

  1. Carolyn Page says:

    An interesting concept; for sure! No, I haven’t tried it, but, I’m so pleased it worked for you. I’ll keep it in mind. You just never know what may work until you try it.
    I love the look on your doggy’s face. What a gorgeous pooch!

  2. lisaplummersavas says:

    Love this idea, thank you for sharing! Your pup’s face is classic – my shepherds used to watch me dance all the time (I imagine they were thinking, “our human mom is nuts!”). What a handsome baby!

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