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Gathering Real & Raw Emotion In Choreography

Hey there, FTT family! In today’s blog post we are going to be talking about how to gather real and raw emotion in choreography. This post can really be applied to styles such as contemporary, modern, lyrical, liturgical and even ballet to name a few. In genres such as the fore-mentioned, gathering emotion in a dance is equally as important as executing the steps correctly. As a matter of fact, an obvious emotional connection to the piece can make an even greater impact than the steps themselves. You see, when doing a dance with an emotionally driven premise, it’s extremely important that the emotion that is conveyed throughout the dance is real and true. This is a discussion that I recently had with a group of students that I teach. While showing no emotion in emotionally driven choreography can make the entire dance fall flat, putting on a standard “sad but strong” face holds the risk of making the piece seem a bit insincere. However, if you’re looking for tips on how to find that emotional depth both as a dancer and an artist, you’ve come to the right place! So, pull up a chair and let’s get right into how you can gather real and raw emotion in your next dance piece!

“Listen To The Words Of The Song & Discern Its Emotion”

The first step in the right direction to gather real and raw emotion in a dance piece is by listening to the words of the song that you’re dancing to. As I mentioned in our blog post “Artistry & Why It’s Important”, one of the biggest gifts of dance and being a dancer is that we have the amazing ability to make music into something that you can see . By listening to the words of the song that you’ll be dancing to, you will be able to truly understand what the song is about. This will allow you to pick up the emotions the song was written in, and in return, that is the very same emotion that you can put into your dancing. This will not only allow the emotion to be real , but will give that awesome result of allowing the audience to really ‘see’ the music and its meaning for what it truly is.

“Find The Common Relatable Ground”

After you have listened to the music of your piece and have gotten acquainted with its meaning, it is now time to make it personal. Take the song and put yourself in the musical artists’ shoes. Can you relate the lyrics to something you’ve experienced in your own life? If so, apply your personal experience to the song and to your dancing. If you haven’t been in a situation similar to that mentioned in the song, use your imagination and put yourself in the mindset of what it would be like to experience that situation first hand. This requires a tremendous amount of vulnerability, but remember that the most beautiful works of art usually come from a vulnerable place.

“Connect The Emotion To The Choreography”

Finally, once you have established a deeper connection to the music and have now tapped into a place of vulnerability, it is time to connect these two key points and apply them to the choreography. This is where the magic happens! By applying all of the emotion that you feel into the choreography, it will make each move have so much impact and weight that will really drive the piece home. Quite honestly, when you bring all of the aforementioned elements together, it almost feels like you’re not even dancing because you’re so caught up in the moment. It is after all these elements work together that you are now conveying emotion in its rawest form without even trying. The dance is just simply running away with you and by the time the piece is over, you will have completely blown all on lookers away and maybe even shocked yourself a little.

Alright everyone, that’s it for today’s blog post! I hope you all enjoyed what you read here today and most of all, I hope this was a help to you as you continue on your journey as a dancer. Have a wonderful weekend and remember….

Keep dancing!

-Lexi

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