CriticalDance Forum

hiphop + freestyle = insecurity
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Author:  gaeadea [ Fri Jun 10, 2005 6:09 pm ]
Post subject:  hiphop + freestyle = insecurity

As a dancer, I've always picked up on choreography fairly easily. Years of ballet/modern training has helped this.

Recently, I've started taking hip-hop classes and I've suprised myself by picking up on those combinations as well, and I'm having a blast --

The only thing... once the teacher stops choreographing and has us dance freestyle (particularly the *solo* freestyle he's so fond of), I'm completely lost. Forget all the moves I was hitting so well in the combo, suddenly I have no rhythm and I'm twitching around like an idiot (give me my "at least I tried!" ribbon, please).

How and can one learn/teach hiphop freestyle dance? It really seems that the ones who can do it come by the talent naturally... I'd love to gain more confidence and learn some moves and style, but I don't see myself taking any chances in the middle of a jam circle made up of 30 more talented freestylers...

any pointers?

Author:  citibob [ Fri Jun 10, 2005 7:47 pm ]
Post subject: 

Two things are important here: spontaneity and safety.

Spontaneity: ALL dance is constructed to LOOK spontaneous. Classical and modern dance is usually choreographed down to the detail, but we train our bodies so the movements happen spontaneously while performing. Hip-hop places a value on improvisation, which is TRULY spontaneous. Like all other forms of dance, the only way to achieve that improvisational spontaneity is to PRACTICE it.

Safety: a worthwhile dance training environment must be a SAFE place, a place where you can put your body out there, and fail, and have another chance. We learn only through repeated failure. Fear is a huge impediment to dancing. In your case, you are afraid of losing the respect of your peers. But in my experience, dancers gain respect by being willing to try something, to fail, and to change. If that is the case in your school (and I hope it is), then you need to JUST DO IT. Remember, your years of classical training enable you to do a lot of things the other hip-hop dancers cannot do. I hope you don't make fun of them every time they do a bad tendu or sickle their feet. Respect works both ways.

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