Written by Azazel RK (guest-writer/dancer from Los Angeles, California)
As we progress in our dance style, we push the boundaries of where our style can find itself. Upon encountering these boundaries the hardest part is developing a set of tools that will aide us in our exploration. Common methods for exploration include acts like: cyphering and learning different styles. While these methods do prove progression, they do not provide direct training tools to the explorer. The tools we often get from these experiences are inherent to those moments, and require a lot of adjusting if we desire to tailor it to our personal freestyle. In our personal journey, it is of the highest importance we find methods that directly speak to our individual interests. Below is a set of perspectives that address dancing, not under the notion of style, but rather the notion of movement, anatomy and humanity.
These three body parts are the foundation for what makes a technique full-body. Each section speaks to a different level of the body, and when all three have a relationship, it makes the entire body commit. Connecting a concept to this trio, will make that concept full-body. By making your concepts a whole body effort, movement to and from the point of interest will increase exponentially. Due keep in mind that the connection of these three parts does not mean to always have them constantly in motion. In certain instances, bringing awareness to these points alone is sometimes enough, as posture is affected.
Guys train like girls, and girls train like guys: It is interesting how each gender approaches the same move differently. During the pursuit of a move, each gender will focus on what the other one naturally has. For instance, in learning a handstand, a woman will work on the strength of her shoulders, while a man will work on the alignment of his hips. This dichotomy occurs, because the ancestral functions behind men’s and women’s’ bodies have impacted their specialization in movement. Innate qualities like a woman’s ability to bear a child and a man’s ability to labor, is an example of why similar movements are acquired differently. In shedding light to these two avenues, you can personally apply it to understanding what movement paths you avoid and are more attracted to in your own journey.
Building your style from evolution:
As our style develops, the patterns of moves, and difficulty of these moves increase. When this happens, it is important to align our progression with what is bio-mechanically correct. For example, in the pursuit of changing levels we will work on leg strength. During this pursuit, it is important to realize that our leg strength is not something we are trying to build, but rather get regain. Before the invention of chairs all our species did was squat. Squatting, being at a lower level, is a natural human function. Realizations like this are important, because by studying our past, the accomplishments of future abilities can then be more direct and efficient.
It is advantageous to realize, we move first and dance second, seeing that dance with the evening dress is a single entity in the universe of movement. Approaching your dance from a broader perspective, unveils a more versatile set of tools to train with. It must be realized that the more we chose to isolate an approach, the more limiting its applications become. During your training you will have a focus, but the growth of that focus becomes limited if it is not tied to a bigger picture. The picture we relate it to, must be bigger than its purpose, or any culture. That picture is movement.