August 6th, 2013


10 Things I learned from dancing the blues

So, [personal profile] drcpunk and I have been learning to blues dance recently. It's a lot of fun -- an improvisational lead/follow form with an emphasis on weight-shift-by-weight-shift lead and follow, tremendous enabled and allowed creativity, and a really active NYC scene.

Which means, it's time for...

Ten Things I learned (to do and not to do) from learning to dance the blues [where something's in brackets, it's actually -about- the blues]:

  1. Don't do anything extra--unless you want to. [don't assume a basic step; in blues, every weight-shift is lead--anything the follow does on top of them is their choice, not assumed]
  2. Don't just wave your arms around. Whatever you do, throw your whole body into it. [lead/move from the core]
  3. Don't anticipate. What goes in motion stays in motion until stopped, and stays stopped until started again--unless it -chooses- otherwise [particularly the follow].
  4. You pick what you want to follow--but then, follow it. [for leaders, pick the line in the music you want to dance to, and if you don't like where it leads you, switch; for follows, you -can- choose to ignore the lead and do your own thing, but know you're doing it.]
  5. Every relationship is equal, even when it doesn't seem like it all the time. [The follow is an -equal- partner, and is just as responsible to add to and contribute to the dance. I dance -so- much better with a good, and equal partner]
  6. Every action can--and often, should--be met by an equal and nearly opposite reaction. [blues connection, in particular, involves the follow always matching a push by a push, a tug by a tug. And I think this is good style for a lot of dance, actually, as it means there's always something to lead; if I'm completely relaxed, that's not important, but if I'm moving/tensing my arm and my partner's still relaxed, I lead and nothing happens]
  7. You shouldn't just follow a script--you have to express yourself too, or it's not really a conversation.
  8. Pay attention to your space. How you position yourself matters--you want to vary it, but you also want to choose at any given point what you want, where you are.
  9. In fact, pay attention to what you do. Time, tension, and positioning are all things you choose--and they all matter. You want to be choosing them actively, not passively. Do what you want, when you want--not just "any time."
  10. But in the end, live in the moment, and let it flow; don't overthink things!

This entry was originally posted on Dreamwidth, where there are comment count unavailable comments. Comment there or comment here below.