Singing through movement, has been my latest attempt to explain what “just dance” really means.
It is funny but so many people say just dance but they don’t really know what that means or they can’t even execute themselves.
“Just Dance” Vs…
Usually if you ask someone to explain “just dance” they will start using other equally ambiguous advise, such as without thinking, or like no one is watching, or forget about the rules.
Why is this ambiguous advise?
Well in Tango, but this applies to other dances as well, especially when you are starting out, you need to think. Tango is a fully improvisational dance. That means you are on your own putting one and two together, while connecting with your partner and with the music.
Secondly, it is in a social environment, people who are not dancing, are watching. It doesn’t mean that they are being judgemental, at least not all of them (haha), but they are watching.
Thirdly, every class is on the rules. Technique rules, musicality rules, even rules on how you improvise and put sequences together. So it is very hard to forget them and just dance.
What I mean to say is that we might be fully understanding the meaning of all of these words but we have no plan on how to implement the advise. Which leads to a lot of confusion and frustration on and off the dance floor.
…”Sing through movement”
I am sure you have been in a situation where you are talking about a song you like but suddenly you can’t really remember anything about it. You can’t remember the title, the singer, the orchestra, the lyrics, nothing but only the rhythm. So if you tried to describe it to a friend you would probably say: “You know, it is the one that goes like na, na-na-na, na…”
Well, singing with movement is exactly that. You do the “na, na-na-na, na” only not with sound but with movement. You are using your body to represent the music, as if you were another instrument of the orchestra. In the beginning of your practice, the movement can be small maybe a gentle shift of weight from one foot to the other but truly committed to delivering the music.
Then as you start making steps, stick with this concept. Instead of trying to come up with steps to match the music, practice letting the music move you in the room. We are not looking for elaborate footwork, in fact you can restrict yourself to walking only. The goal is to keep this quality, singing through movement. Making your whole body sing the song and not just your feet trying to execute steps.
P.S: Here is a practice on musicality if you want to continue working on it.