Is Dance a Relatable Art Form? Part 2

Welcome back, dancers!

Last time, I told you about a podcast I had listened to that really got the gears turning in the brain. I pondered the question, “why isn’t dance as relatable as other performance art forms like acting or singing?” I concluded that connection and shared experience were key. It’s easier for an audience to connect with actors and singers through a shared experience. Dance has a dualistic experience that happens externally and internally at the same time, and dancers don’t need an audience in order to feel fulfilled in their dancing. If a dancer isn’t able to bring the internal part of the experience out so the audience can connect to it, the audience won’t be able to connect and relate to the dance performance. As the panelists in the podcast episode discussed, this lack of relatability could be a major factor in how publicly successful dancers can be, compared to actors or singers.

So how can we make dance more relatable?

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Is Dance a Relatable Art Form? Part 1

DanceSpeakI was listening to the podcast DanceSpeak earlier this week, specifically episode 97 (also available on iTunes, Google Play, etc.).  Normally, the episodes consist of interviews between the host, Galit Friedlander, and someone who’s found success in the dance industry. Episode 97 was different in that it was a recording of a live panel that happened at an event called Im-Power-Meant. Toward the end of the episode, someone asked the panel why they thought dancers haven’t reached the same level of public success as other performance artists like actors or singers. As I listened to the panel’s thoughts, my brain started to explode with ideas. I actually spoke the first draft of this blog post into the voice recorder on my phone while I was running errands after work on the day I listened to the podcast. There was too much I wanted to share and I didn’t want to lose any of it by the time I was ready to sit down and write.

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Dancing Without Music

Dancing is literally defined as moving rhythmically to music. Many of our lessons and practice time in ballroom, however, happen without music. Even when we do get to dance to music in our training, it’s not going to be the same music that we’ll dance to at competition. It seems to be a challenge unique to ballroom. I remember explaining this to people who had experience with the more mainstream dance competitions, where dancers compete with routines choreographed to specific songs, and being looked at like I was crazy.

You don’t know what music you’ll be dancing to??

Nope. And if you enter a Jack and Jill event, you won’t even know who your partner is going to be!

How do you prepare for that??

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The Glitz and Glamour of Ballroom Competition (Write31Days Day 15)

I’m back! Not that I went anywhere, I just left my computer off. I definitely needed the small, temporary release of pressure. Other parts of my life are stressful enough; my writing should counter that. When it starts to contribute instead, I know I need to take a break.

To get back in the swing and sway of things (ballroom joke), I thought I would describe for you the razzle dazzle of a ballroom competition!

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