Five overlooked moves that will get you noticed at your next dance competition!
Dancers have never been so technically proficient. What dancers can do today is leaps and bounds beyond what we could do when we were kids. However, between the seven pirouettes, ariels and leg holds there is much more to explore. Things so simple yet many times, forgotten about. Here’s our top five that will get you noticed!
#1 Transition Steps
A lot of emphasis is put into the jumps, kicks, turns and tricks. How you transition into these tricks are just as important. When transition steps are ignored, the energy of a dance drops out during these moments. Think of your dance as a complete sentence or paragraph. Take the title of this blog for example. Take out the words that don’t seem very important. The sentence might read “Five overlooked noticed dance competition.” It’s not a complete thought and doesn’t really make sense. Don’t throw these transition steps away. They are just as important as the jumps, kicks, turns and tricks. They can add highs, lows and different colors to a performance. They tell your story, your whole story. How can you make transition steps more effective? See #2 and #3
#3 The Passe and Releve
Dance has become very internalized and there is nothing wrong with that. However, dance is also a performance art. If there is an audience, they need to be engaged equally by both the physical and emotional journey of the dance. And purposeful focus and intention gives a routine a lot more confidence. There should always be intention behind the eyes. The eyes are the windows to the soul so let us in. Check out these videos of Mikail Barishnikov. Whether he is looking into the camera or not, there is such focus in his and intention behind his movement. He is seeing past the camera.
Here are some tricks to work on focus.
1. Look at something at the back of the theater, or better yet, look towards the mezzanine if there is one. This brings the eyes up and out.
2. Always know who the dance is about and imagine that person in the back of the room. Is the dance about a loved one? A crush? A best friend’s birthday party? Be specific how you feel and the audience will feel it too.
3. See beyond the mirror of the studio, or beyond the walls of a theater. Focus should be like a laser beam piercing through the walls.
Check out the focus of Mikail Barishnikov in the film White Nights.
A smile may not be appropriate in every dance, but a smile does go a long way. A real smile exudes confidence. A smile says “I’m happy to be here performing for you on stage”. A smile opens up the heart. A smile welcomes the judges into your story telling. A smile allows emotion to flow more freely. There is nothing interesting on the floor so stop looking down. Make a connection with your judges. You will have more fun, and so will the audience!