Do you go out social dancing here in Arizona? Do you maybe just sit and watch the dancers from the sidelines? When you watch people dance, you can automatically tell who the REALLY good dancers are, but you may not know exactly what draws your attention to them. They don’t always have the craziest moves (or outfits), but there is something unique about them. They may seem to have great chemistry or that they dance together often, but the most important piece is actually something you’re listening to… the MUSIC! Not only does their dancing seem natural and very smooth, but they are also using the music to guide their movements and interactions with each other. At Dance FX Studios, not only do we teach you how to lead and follow each other, but we also give you all the tools necessary to look smooth and natural on the dance floor which includes dancing on time to the music.
Dancing is an interpretation of music, which means that dancing to the music makes everything you do look that much better. Yes, I know, lots of people just see it as background noise that can be fun to dance to, but music does serve a purpose and can make you look even better as a dancer. It is easy to move as one and on beat if there is a shared comprehension of music.
First, of course, you have to know the rhythm of the dance. Is this song a Country Two Step, a Swing dance or is it something entirely different, like a Latin dance? Once you have a good foundation and your ear is trained, you can then move into dancing with the music. It is important to be in tune to the rhythm, melody and mood of a song so that you don’t seem stiff and disconnected when dancing. If you have played an instrument before, you have a head start when it comes to developing your sense of musical sensitivity. If you haven’t, don’t fret! Musicality can be taught in your private dance lessons with us!
Now back to musicality. Musicality has two parts: receptivity and creativity. Receptivity is the ability to receive, comprehend, be sensitive to, and have a working knowledge of musical concepts like rhythm, tempo, phrasing, and even mood. Creativity is the ability to connect with accompanying music, interpret it, or phrase and add movement dynamics that relate to music even in the absence of accompaniment, in a way that is unique or interesting.
Learning to differentiate instruments will help you translate what you hear into movement, which will, in turn, give your Country or Latin dancing a more natural look. As an exercise, find a song you like and listen to it as you normally would. Then play it again but listen only to one instrument, like the drum. Block out every other sound and just focus on the drum until the song is over. Repeat this exercise until every instrument in the song has been followed. Then, try different styles of music. To challenge yourself, look for music with varying time signatures, from other cultures, and outside of your normal range of music genres. When you are breaking a piece of music down, do you find yourself counting it out or just listening to the general flow of the song? Sometimes counting is necessary, especially when understanding the rhythm of the dance steps, but fixating on counts can create a very mechanical looking dance. If you find yourself struggling to count, look for musical cues. Remember, one of our wonderful dance instructors here at Dance FX Studios will give you even more great tips on how to dance on time with the music. 🙂
Ultimately, musicality affects the movements you choose to do and create with your dance partner. It makes you more interesting to watch and definitely makes dancing more fun! Let us create a natural, unique dancer out of you. Come try our New Student Offer for Latin, Swing or Country dance lessons for beginners and get started on your journey to become a confident social dancer today.