It was a great pleasure to receive the challenge from my friend Rogerinho to be able to talk about a theme that I love!!!! When I entered the world of dance I didn’t imagine that I would be sharing so much of myself with people. Today I believe that dance is more sincere than any set of words.
In taking the first steps we came across two conflicting feelings. One is an enormous excitement to get to know a new world of infinite possibilities and to see that it is possible to learn little by little. The other is a great regret that we have not started that activity before. How much would I know now if I hadn’t taken so long to get started? I asked myself that question over and over again, and what relieved me was the realization that just because I started it was a good sign.
But where did this anguish come from? Because it was so necessary for me to be able to make each one of those movements. This only became clear to me a little later. Only when I was able to free myself from the prelearned sequences and recombine my movements the way I wanted, did I begin to realize that dance could speak for me. And the anguish was the need to say things about me that I wouldn’t say in an ordinary conversation.
The dance plays a role of confidant that we only find in our best friends or family. We leave a mark of what we are feeling at that moment without anyone having to ask you. We put our anxieties and fears out as well as extravasate our joy or simply enjoy our serenity.
The most fantastic thing is that we don’t always realize that we are doing this and it’s not easy to interpret what the other person is saying through their dance. It’s a unique way of shouting out to the world everything you’d like to take from your chest without having to go through the judgment of the people you listen to. But when that feeling to be expressed is strong and really needs to be overflowed there is no one who doesn’t notice. And with a certain experience it is possible to better understand a person we live with by watching him or her dance or dancing with him or her. In the same way, when you get to know the person more deeply, you can value their dance more, because you can see their personal characteristics being transcribed in their movements.
A shy person is hardly going to have a fancy dance. And if you are, you can be sure that they are not shy by nature. Your knowledge of that person is very shallow. Dance does not reveal the self we want people to see, it naturally reveals our purest, most genuine self. And when our dance undergoes a drastic change, it’s time to look inside of us and realize that we’ve had a fundamental change within ourselves.
We teachers need to be very careful when instructing a person, it is very common to find professionals trying to “advise” a student to substantially change the way he dances. Without a close accompaniment, without coexistence with such a student we may run into an internal conflict and suggest that he change things that he does not intend to change within himself. Similarly, there are students who declare that they wish to change certain behavioral aspects such as shyness, self-confidence and self-control. Dance is the perfect tool to motivate such transformations and the results are beautiful and often exciting.
Some common behavioral traits related to the characteristics of the dance:
Difficulty waiting for a break;
Difficulty completing one movement before starting the next one;
Head always looking at the feet;
Arm that lifts little;
Lack of attention or concentration
Does not recognize similar movements present within two or more distinct steps;
Has no consistency in the execution of the transactions;
Give up the moves before the end;
Do you always think you’ve made a mistake;
You take the blame for everything that goes wrong;
Feels uncomfortable making new moves;
People with little expansiveness, serenity
Clean and organized dance;
Little variation in height and speed;
Difficulty in expressing your musicality with the body;
Selfishness and arrogance
You don’t care about the comfort of the pair;
It’s always the other’s mistake;
Get discouraged when there’s no one watching;
He shows no interest in dancing with beginners and when he dances he wants to show;
how much he knows and not show how pleasurable dancing can be;
Error doesn’t matter;
You worry about dancing with the beginners;
Intelligence and creativity
It tries to innovate its movements or to recombine them, because it gets tired of old patterns;
Responds to music stimuli in a variety of ways;
Easily adapts to the pair;
Worries more about the basis than about each flow separately;
Sees mistakes as an opportunity to create new paths.
We need to be aware that we all have moments of passage through all these characteristics (and so many others too) and we can reinforce or soften them according to our will or strength of will. The momentary state of mind directly interferes in the performance of each dance. So when you notice good characteristics of your dance, try to cultivate them. When your dance is low reflect how your emotional state can be changed so that you feel better and consequently dance better!
I invite you to add to this list of features to enrich our conversation! I also invite you to visit me in one of my schools in Belo Horizonte, or some unit of the network that made me fall in love with forró and dance, the Pé Descalço (BH, São Paulo, Santo André, Niterói, Juiz de Fora, Contagem and London).
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