improve your dance

All content related to improving your dance.

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3 reasons for slowing down in your dance practise

Quality of movement is a term that comes up often when you are talking with professional dancers. Depending on who you are talking to, it might have a slightly different meaning, but in general it refers to how good a movement is executed. In my personal point of view this translates directly into how beautiful a move looks. Some people might have a different opinion on this. For the sake of this blog, we will ignore those other opinions. My blog, my rules. ūüôā

B-Boy dancing with text overlay about 3 reasons to slow down in dance practise

No matter if we learn a new move or try to polish an old one, doing it slow helps us being more conscious about what we do instead of relying on the autopilot to take over. The more moves we have the higher the chances that we apply techniques of another similar move instead creating the muscle memory for the new or changed one. While the results can be quite as good, we miss the topic of creating or polishing.

An additional benefit of moving slow is that we focus more on details of the movement. Being clear about all the details of a move results in cleaner execution.

Last but not least: moving slower gives us more time to come up with new ways.

If you have different experiences with moving slow while creating or learning, feel free to let us know in the comments.

How to Count Image by FraGue

Why we must be able to count our music

One question that comes up frequently in beginner classes or even some intermediate classes is: “why do we have to count the music?”.

The answer is very simple. Counting is THE way to navigate inside music. All western music that is based on notes (and this is at least 99% of the music that we use to dance) is created on a numeric system. Musicians give numbers to bars and notes. These act like a gps or a map. So everybody can play the music together.

For us dancers, it is the easiest way to communicate the relation between our moves and the music. And while you can learn a part of a city or a piece of music by heart, as soon as you move to new territory counting will come in handy.

If you only dance solo for yourself, then you can skip counting because you can work with your intuition, but as soon as you want to dance together with others you need to count. When you want to learn or teach choreography you must be able to count. When you want to talk to musicians, you must be able to count to get somewhere fast. If you want to make dance your job, you must be able to count.

It’s not hard. We will cover the basics soon. Don’t wing it.

Fill in the Blanks

Fill in the Blanks is a simple concept to create variation within your vocabulary of movement. It works with every movement that has multiple parts. In between two parts of the same move there is some free “space” where we can insert something new.

Let’s take any regular two step movement as an example. It consists of two steps. By filling in the blank we would add an additional movement between step 1 and step 2 and therefore create a more advanced version of the original movement.

If you apply this idea to some of your moves, you will see it opens up a lot of possibilities for advancing your stuff.

conquer the space – an introduction

Using the space that is available for your dance is one of the most widespread concepts out there. What it means is that you consciously work with the space that surrounds you.

This can be as easy as trying to remain stationary or being everywhere in the space at some time during your dance or as difficult as following a predefined path with a set speed or chasing an opposing dancer in a battle.

Using a lot of space in your rounds results in a more dynamic look compared to being stationary. In a performance setting you can guide the audience towards important things in your performance by strategically changing place to let them know about a change in your story.

To get started with conquering the space around you pay attention if you favor stationary movement or moving through the space. Try to find a balance with those two and try to move in directions that you don’t use normally.

A simple exercise to improve your movement is to mark a path or form on the floor and try what you can do with your dance by following it. I will give you more complex instruction on this concept in the future and some additional exercises in the newsletter. For now, try the “follow the path” exercise to get used to using the space for a specific task.

Direction sketch by FraGue

The basic questions to ask every Move

This post is a follow up to last weeks introduction article about dance concepts. I introduced the following key-principle.

[clickToTweet tweet=”You should understand every move as an abstract set of instructions that can be applied in different ways.” quote=”You should understand every new move you learn as an abstract set of instructions that can be applied in many different ways.” theme=”style2″]

Yo, right. But what do I do with that information?

When you see every movement you learn in this way, there are certain basic things that you can alter. This gives you a lot of possibilities how to apply this move in different ways.

I’d like to call this basic things that we can alter “the basic questions that we ask every move”. Of course this is only a metaphor as we do not really ask, but I love the dance = language metaphor and will entertain it a lot in the following posts. So it is better to get used to it.

Let’s get to the questions:

The question of direction. How does it look when presented from different angles. This includes choosing different orientation in the space as well as rotating during the move.

The question of speed.¬†What happens when you execute it faster or slower.¬†Every move has a certain speed imprinted to it, that is set by it’s traditional connection to the music. But often a change to this brings really interesting results.

The question of energy. How does a move change when I reduce or increase the amount of energy used. Energy is not always directly related to speed. You can do every movement with a different intention and amount of force. This changes the movement itself.

The question of size. Size does matter in dance. There is a big difference if you reach out in the space as big as possible or try to keep the movement small.

The question of rhythm. How does a change in rhythm change the movement. Like with speed, most moves come with a basic rhythm attached to it. This is usually the rhythm the moves is thaught with. But this does not mean that it is the only way to do it. Change the rhythmic phrasing of the move and get some interesting variations for free.

By exploring all the possibilities above you create a whole world of moves from within one movement.

Dance Concepts on FraGue’s Blog

As I am still working on my book about dance concepts I will start to put some of the content online to test how it resonates with readers and to get some additional feedback. If you have suggestions or something is not easy to understand, let me know in the comments or send me an email.

For today I give a little introduction about what dance concepts do in my opinion and why you should learn to work with them.

A dance concept gives you the freedom to explore the music and movement without thinking to much about technique or moves.

It gives you direction about the creation of your dance or creation of your moves. This can happen in the moment you dance = freestyle or beforehand in a planned manner = choreography. Almost all the concepts that I know can be applied in both ways.

The first concept that I will introduce today is very easy to explain but gives you a ton of opportunities to work with. Acutally it is the root of all the basic concepts I will introduce further down the road.

You should understand every new move you learn as an abstract set of instructions that can be applied in many different ways.

Sounds fancy but it is not that complex. Instead of learning a new movement and think of it as set in stone you should look deeper into what it does and apply the idea of it, instead the move itself.

For Example: in breaking we have a step that is called the salsa step. It goes by different names in different places but salsa step is the most common one. Instead of thinking Kick – Step – Side – Back : Repeat, you should think: one kick and three steps, then repeat. Now you have a easy set of instructions that you can apply. You are free in directions, rhythm and size. In this way the salsa step alone gives you endless possibilities to create.

Playing the missing Instrument

At the Red Bull Beat Riders Camp in 2007 we had a lot of discussions about topics related to dance and life in general. One evening was about musicality in dance. B-Girl Asia 1 made the following statement:

When dancing I don’t follow the music. It is more like I am playing the missing instrument to the track.

While Asia 1 is really doing what she says she is doing, the same statement is often used by other people to justify the fact that they are off-beat and not listening to the music while dancing.

The thing is: improvising an instrument to an existing piece of music is not as easy as it may sound. You can not just do “whatever you want”. To make such an endeavour successfull you have to follow the rules of the music played. Using it as an excuse to dance without a relationship to the music is disrespectful to the people who can actually do it. There are people out there who can pull it of. Asia 1, who made the original quote, is one of them. If you are not, don’t worry – all is good. But please don’t make claims you are doing it, when you have trouble hearing the music or you just don’t care enough.

#thinklikeamusician

Why you should dance to the whole song

In workshops or interviews with OGs of our dances you hear the phrase “back in the days we danced to the whole song” a lot. I am sure their reasons were different, but here is a list of reasons why we should dance to the whole song.

  1. A good song has different parts that can shine through our dance. If we don’t dance to them all, we miss out on opportunities.
  2. The longer your work with a song, the better you understand it.
  3. We dance for a longer period of time. That helps our stamina.

Circle Industry im Februar

circle industry 2017
Grafik: Circle Industry

Wie jedes Jahr gibt es auch 2017 wieder Circle Industry. Das internationale 2 gegen 2 B-Boy Battle findet am 24. und 25. Februar statt.

Die Preselection ist wie gewohnt im Emailwerk in Seekirchen, das Finale im Salzburger Republic.

Programm

  • Hip Hop Market
  • Perfect Beat Challenge
  • Circle Industry 2 vs 2 Battle
  • Checkmate 5 vs 5 Battle
  • Red Bull BC One Austria Cypher Wildcard Decision

Links

Main Event: https://www.facebook.com/events/1301674876540699
Preselection: https://www.facebook.com/events/168353066983510/
Tickets: https://tickets.redbull.com/event/circle-industry-2017

“Kreativ” mit System – Bite-Mutation

Bite mit System

F√ľr viele B-Boys ist es schwierig neue Bewegungen zu entwickeln. Gleichzeitig ist es verp√∂nt und gilt als respektlos Moves von anderen T√§nzern zu kopieren. Eine Zwickm√ľhle wenn es darum geht, neues Bewegungsvokabular zu erarbeiten.

Die hier vorgestellte Methode stellt ein Hilfsmittel f√ľr all jene dar, die sich schwer damit tun selbst originelle Bewegungen zu erdenken ohne auf fremdes Material zur√ľck zu greifen. T√§nzer deren Kreativit√§t am √úbersprudeln ist, brauchen nat√ľrlich nicht auf solche Methoden zur√ľck zu greifen. F√ľr alle Anderen ist ein bisschen systematische Hilfe nicht schlecht. …