Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Desert Dance Class

I know I've talked about the performance on Saturday and my video has gotten 106 hits in two days, but I haven't really talked about the class itself. That's the topic of today's blog.

As a dancer, I think it's important to take any class that makes you a better dancer. I started taking dance classes as an actor in hopes that they'd help me with fitness, flexibility and coordination. I advise the dancers I'm working with in A Midsummer Night's Dream to take whatever movement classes they can because the classes will only make them stronger. Of course, there's something really special about a choreography class. You're challenged to learn all the parts of a dance in a short amount of time. You also learn about someone else's musicality so you can develop your own.

The first thing I noticed about Jewel of Denial was that she was a very patient and caring teacher. She would compliment our overcoming small challenges in the choreography and apologize if something was unclear before explaining it. The class was open to women of all shapes, sizes and ability levels. She came up with a dance based on that information. Everything was easy to remember and repeated, which is fantastic when you have two hours to put together a routine to be performed that night. She had us run through it a few times to smooth it out, and she gave us some interesting little moves that we can steal for other dances (like the two different glove peels). Another thing that really communicated to me as a choreographer and a dancer was that she incorporated stillness into the dance. We'd have little pauses to stand before going into the next move. In music, you have sound and silence. I liked how she used stillness and movement.

Anyway, I highly recommend taking any sort of movement class to everyone -- not just dancers. It's very enriching and you never know what you're going to gain.

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