Have you ever watched two people do the same choreography, but it looks like a different piece altogether? Now this doesn’t mean one of them is better than the other, but they dance it so differently, so you can’t even compare the two! Both of these dancers may be the ‘best in the room’, but watching them TOGETHER is hard to watch…
Why is that?
In dance, some people look amazing performing on their own, they add emotion, flavour, individuality, performance etc… but as soon as they are put in a group, they stand out and look out of place, (NOT because they are doing something wrong), but because they have put their own spin on it and they dance it THEIR own way, so it looks the polar opposite to the person they are dancing next too. And as a performance piece TOGETHER, this looks terrible. But as a soloist – outstanding.
Do you see what I mean?
As a dancer it’s important to be creative and unique, but it’s also important to be able to take direction and adapt quickly, so you can jump between the two.
Being a solo dancer DOES NOT MAKE YOU SELFISH, it just means that you come to the studio, to work on YOU. You know me, I’m all for it! Your focus is making the dance your own, creating that story, mesmerising the audience as your own person, so naturally you will look better dancing by yourself, and you’re not too bothered about dancing in a group.
BUT, if your goal is to perform as a team, be a backing dancer on stage, to be in dance video’s as a group, or to compete in competitions, learning to become a group dancer as well as a solo dancer is essential.
Here at THE ARMY DC we have amazing soloists. Creating visuals and story telling is what we do best. Being ourselves and experimenting our individuality is our forte. But here’s the flip side if you wanna push the boat out to maximise the success of your future dance career.
Here are some of my top tips, in and out of the studio to become a smarter group dancer:
- Partner up or stand next to someone who dances opposite to you! E.G, if you dance low and wide, partner up with someone who dances tall and small, share your strengths and weaknesses
- Learn to take detailed direction and really challenge the movement in your body. Let’s face it, there are just some movements that us as individuals don’t look good doing! Trust me, sometimes I’m like ‘eww this does not feel cool’, but working through that ‘eww’ feeling breaks mental and physical barriers for you as a dancer.
- Be openminded. Teach someone else things they can improve on, and let them teach you! Sharing is caring and what you can take away from the giving and receiving is way more valuable than you think.
- When you’re performing, stay in time with the person in front, and SLOW DOWN (REMEMBER, THE PERSON AT THE FRONT CAN’T SEE YOU!) We have to work together when performing together. I know we all want to be seen and secretly we all want to be that stand out dancer on stage, but if you’re looking to get booked, you need to be amazing WITH YOUR TEAM.
- SPACING, SPACING, SPACING! Keep in your space, and make sure you don’t block the other dancers out (this is their time too!). Synchronisation and effectiveness of group performances is not only about the same shapes and timing, but also spacing. It’s amazing what we can create together.
Please challenge yourself. Next time you’re in class, check the finer details and see how your body is moving. No really, look down at your hands and feet, feel where your posture is, how far apart should your legs be, where are your eyes looking? When we’ve got this, I have some huge things lined up in the background that I can’t wait to achieve WITH YOU ALL. But until we can work on our group performance, I’m gunna keep them back for the time being so we can really smash it when the time comes. I hope this helps!
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