Before reading this text, it might be interesting for you to take a look at (Dance a Translation of Who We Are!!). This complementary theme of the same subject was suggested by a dear student. It is important to say that this process is easier than it seems, the difficult thing is to be satisfied with the results.
This work of putting the personality in the dance, compares and intertwines a lot with the work of learning and mastering the musicality. It is a conscious combination of several small elements dominated by the dancer. These elements are actually movements. The greater the variety of different movements, however simple they may be, that the dancer knows and dominates, the greater the possibility of expressing what he wants.
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It is simply impossible to dance any dance without the presence of your personality. So relax, personality is not something that we turn off to dance or that we leave at home before going out to dance. Now to make your partner and the audience perceive important traits of your personality when dancing is a complex process and we also call it your own style. Just as the musicality, putting the personality into the dance is simple, expressing that personality through your movements is the tricky work.
The first step is the hardest: not expressing the personality/style of the people you most admire and hear. Many times the people who captivate you end up telling you that you don’t have personality in the dance, when they say that they probably can’t see their own personality in your dance and that bothers them. And they will end up guiding you to do the things they want you to do and not the things you really want to do.
Usually the most striking trait of your dance is your personality, even if you don’t realize it. Now let’s work on how you draw the style you want to have so that your partner and the audience can see it in your dance.
Expressing your style
Like everything else in dance, this is a skill that requires a lot of practice. And along your journey your perspective will change and you will have to dedicate yourself again to make the necessary changes.
First choose what is most important to you when dancing, and I say it is very important to accept your own tastes and real desires, even if common sense says it is something you shouldn’t do. Showing off while dancing, for example, if this is your desire, accept this characteristic of yours even though you know that many will say you shouldn’t do it.
If you show off while dancing, for example, if this is your taste, accept this characteristic of yours even though you know that many will say you shouldn’t do it.
Select everything that is a priority for you: having a clean dance, having a visual dance, having a comfortable dance, having a simple dance, having a complex dance, having a light dance, having a heavy dance, having a range of impact movements, dancing in order to make everything look easy, dancing in order to make everything look difficult, being very musical, being adaptable to please your partner, being more imposing and to put yourself more at the dance, being more listener of your partner and giving him or her more freedom, intervene a lot, being more functional, making many charms… You have to map which of these are most important for you to feel pleasure while dancing and any other characteristic that is important to you.
Find the moves you like the most and include them one by one in your dance. See which people do what you would like to do and ask them, because they will probably point you in a shorter and more efficient way to perform. Understand what you would like to do and that no one else does. And once again look for someone very experienced and talk to that person in what way you can try to get to the news you want.
NOTE: Keep in mind that the people you seek may be professionals and may charge you to share the knowledge you seek.
Everything you find in your search should be slowly added to your dance one by one until each element has the quality you want. Trying to include several aspects at once can only be very heavy and very frustrating. Some of these aspects can take years to mature. As soon as you master a new feature, evaluate whether you really wanted it and whether it is worth keeping it in your dance.
We only know if we really want an element when we learn and master it. If you have the feeling that you are no longer interested in that characteristic along the way, don’t discard it yet. We have a strong tendency to think that we don’t like what we can’t do.
Your personality is unique, copying the other is very tempting, but it does not bring us the satisfaction we desire. Try to know yourself and accept your own characteristics. Understand that it is a long process and requires dedication in each step and that trying to do everything alone can be very time consuming and frustrating, take advantage of the more experienced people who have already come a long way, because they can help you avoid an unnecessary effort.
Don’t forget to share this text with your friends so we can build a better dance community together.
I 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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