Guidelines for Dance Improvisation

  • Relax – there is no ‘right way’ to move, you are expected to experiment, no judgements
  • Respond to instructions with your body, not your brain (don’t overthink)
  • Take chances, do things that might look silly or weird
  • Physically commit, do your chosen moves with enthusiasm

Use the images in your head to inspire your next movement

DIY Dance: Dance Blender

Inspire some creative dance fusion moves in this mini dance-off.
• Students will form groups of three. In each group, students will determine who will play the roles of Muse 1, Muse 2 and The Blender (the roles may rotate if desired)
• Muse 1 will begin by demonstrating a simple dance move
• Muse 2 will then demonstrate a second simple move
• The Blender’s job is to quickly find a way to fuse both moves into one new dance step (use a timer if necessary)
• The Muses will then join in, copying the Blender’s new step
• You can use the deck of dance cards created in Name-A-Dance to inspire the Muses

Elements of Dance

Here is my personal “cheat sheet” for the Elements of Dance. Click here for a PDF version.

BODY

Body awareness (body position, where one is in relation to people and objects)

Body parts (muscles, bones, joints, organs, breath, head, shoulders, arms, hands,

back, ribs, hips, legs, feet, fingers, toes, face, elbows, knees)

Shapes (big, small, angular, stretched, twisted, curved, open, closed)

Non-locomotor mvmts (plie, rise, stretch, grow, spin, fold, bow, hop, jump, turn,

lift, pull, march, wave arms, twist, rock, shake, sway, collapse, stretch)

Locomotor mvmts (run, gallop, skip, roll, crawl, creep, leap, dart, walk, slide)

Body bases (seat, back, side, knee)

Body zones (upper, lower, right, left, front, back, lateral, cross-lateral)

Symmetry vs Asymmetry

Geometric vs organic shape

Curved vs angular shape

Isolation of body parts

Weight transfer (lunge, leap, roll)

 

SPACE

Levels (low, middle, high, expanding, contracting)

Size of movement

Pathways (straight, curvy, zig zag, in air, on floor, circular)

General vs personal space

Directions (forwards, backwards, sideways, turning, diagonal)

Focus (direction of gaze)

Positive vs negative space

Proximity of dancer to one another

Various group formations (circle, square, tiangle, semi-circle, pairs, trios, clumps)

Use of performance space (large, confined)

 

TIME

Tempo (slow, sustained, fast, stop/start, sudden, quick)

Rhythm (even, uneven, steady, regular, irregular, erratic)

Pause

Stillness

With vs without music

Duration (short/long)

Acceleration/deceleration

Pattern (combinations of time)

 

ENERGY

Effort (pressing, gliding, attack, heavy, light)

Force (lightness, strength, tight, loose)

Quality (melt, twitch, slump, explode, bounce, shake, smooth, delicate,

cautiously, erratically, percussively, sustained, punch, thrust, float, collapse, wiggle, explode, vibrate, slash, press, shrink, open)

Inaction vs action

Percussion

Fluidity (glide, slink, fall, shiver, wring, dab, mould, flow, bind, balanced)

 

RELATIONSHIP

Dancers to props/objects (in, on, around, etc)

Opposition

Meet/part

Follow/lead (partners, groups)

Emotional connections between dancers

Groupings (large & small groups)

Group conventions (unison, cannon, levels, facings, call & response, variations)

 

The Family Business 2 Concert

Fam-Bus-2-FB-image-NEW-PHOTO-3The Varty Party returns!

Sat. January 10th at 7:30pm
at the London Music Club
470 Colborne Street
$10 before or $12 at the door.

Dance the night away to rockin’ blues and funk music that’ll cure your winter blahs in no time. See me (or my Dad) for advance tickets!
More info on the Facebook event page.

Featuring Doug Varty, Bizz Varty, Ryan Spong, Ted Peacock and Ted Leonard, with special guest Deborah Zuskan. The LMC serves dinner and drinks all night.

Check out these videos from the first Family Business concert in April 2013:

Girl, You Have No Faith in Medicine

Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap

Tell Mama