What is Musicality for Dancers?

musicality social dance Apr 08, 2021

Within the dancing world, we use the word “musicality”. We try to be “musical", but what does it really mean? We have some kind of idea. We talk about it. There are classes on it. And quite often we know it when we see it. But can we explain it? If I would ask you what musicality is, how would you define it? And would others define it in the same way? 


This is an excerpt from my book about musicality - "The Secrets of Musicality for Dancers - Learning Nine Essential Skills for Musicality in Dance" Just click the link. 


I think there would be a lot of different answers. Some would simply talk about “understanding the music”, but I think that is both too vague and too limited.

To vague, because what does that really mean? Understanding the music?

And too limited because I think musicality is more than that. It is not something purely intellectual, like “understanding”. Musicality has an expressive side too. I think it...

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Tips for Your Personal Dance Level

Here are some tips for dancers on different levels - in salsa, bachata, kizomba, urban kiz, tango or whatever social dance you enjoy. We start out with beginners...


This is an excerpt from a bonus text in one of my books - "The Secrets of Social Dance - How to Become a Popular Dancer" which you can find on Amazon.


Beginner Dancers

First of all, don't hesitate to go dancing. The longer you wait, the longer you miss out, and the harder it will be to dare to go. You don't have to be a great dancer to enjoy dancing.

When I started with capoeira, I went to classes for some time, but I think I took at least ten classes before I went into the roda, before I put anything that I had learnt to the test. I started seeing people who had just taken one class or a couple of classes going into the roda, and I began to wonder what I was doing. Why didn't I enter? Waiting for too long just made it more and more difficult as the pressure to perform got higher.

The earlier you start,...

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Why You Should Dance with Beginners

Yeah, there it is. I said it - dance with beginners! Why? Because you will become better. Of course, if we dance reasonably often, we will become better over time no matter what, and no matter if we dance kizomba, salsa, bachata or something else. Soon I will come back to why we should dance with beginners, but first something about why people don't want to dance with beginners. 


This is an excerpt from one of my books - "The Secrets of Social Dance - How to Become a Popular Dancer" which you can find on Amazon.


We all have a start. We are all beginners at some time, and beginners are often not as popular on the dance floor, for some different reasons.

  • They don't yet have the dance skills
  • They are not good at adapting to their partner
  • They don't have floor craft
  • They don't know how to create connection
  • They don't have much of "dance smarts."
  • They are often not very creative
  • They don't have the musicality

These are all things that can take time to develop.

But...

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Some Social Rules for Social Dance

Social Dance is not just about dancing. It is just as much about the social interaction, so when we go dancing, it makes sense to not just make sure we dance well, but also make sure we follow some basic social rules to make it nicer for our partner, and in the end, also for us. This is not a complete list, just a few fundamentals. But no matter if you dance tango, salsa, bachata, kizomba, west coast swing or any other dance, it makes sense to follow. 


This is an excerpt from one of my books - "The Secrets of Social Dance - How to Become a Popular Dancer" which you can find on Amazon.


The Golden Rule
The golden rule in social interactions is to treat others like you would like to be treated yourself. This is a maxim that is found in most religions and cultures, guiding human behaviour and teaching our children how to behave with other people. It has even been endorsed as a part of the 1993 "Declaration Toward a Global Ethic". To me, it makes total sense also to...

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The Positive Effects of Social Dancing

I do not doubt that social dancing is one of the best things you can do in your spare time. Salsa, bachata, kizomba, tango, west coast swing - all of them have benefits that are more obvious, and some not so obvious. They all force you to use several different senses and to use many different skills. Dance can make you healthier and happier. And it also connects you to other people.


This is an excerpt from a bonus chapter of one of my books - "The Secrets of Social Dance - How to Become a Popular Dancer" which you can find on Amazon.


If you are already a social dancer with some experience, you have felt how it is to forget everything else at that moment. You have been wholly present in the dance, lost track of time and space a bit, not spending a thought on work, your relationship, or anything else in life that might otherwise occupy your mind.

Meditation
Social dance can be like taking a vacation to a beautiful place where no problems exist, even...

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The Elements of Music

dance kizomba musicality Feb 05, 2021

If you want to learn more about music and musicality, no matter if you dance kizomba or any other dance, this is a good place to start. Music is built on the interplay of three things:   

  • Rhythm
  • Melody
  • Harmony

Let’s take a closer look at each one of these elements.


This is an excerpt from my book about musicality - "The Secrets of Musicality for Dancers - Learning Nine Essential Skills for Musicality in Dance" Just click the link. 


Rhythm
Rhythm is essential for music. It is the element of time in music. When we clap our hands or tap our foot to the music, we are expressing one part of rhythm, the pulse. 

Just like most things in nature, like the heart, the waves on the beach or the night and day rhythm, all music has a pulse, at a specific tempo. This is the same as when we often talk about beat, and the beat of music. From now on we will use the word beat instead of pulse, as I think it is more common among dancers. The tempo of this beat is...

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Why Follows are Out of Balance

dance dancer Jan 31, 2021

I am glad to have you here! In this blog I will talk about five different reasons a follow can be out of balance when dancing kizomba, salsa, bachata or any other partner dance and how to fix it. So, make sure you read to the end!

Feet are too far apart in taps
When you tap and you place your feet too wide, you will have some weight on both feet. When you have weight on both feet it means none of them is free to move. And, as soon as you get the signal to move, you will have to put weight on your partner to be able to take that step.

Or you will need to first transfer it 100 % to the other foot to be able to move. And if you do this you will become slow. 

So, always tap with feet together. In general, try to collect your feet under your body as much as possible.

Not walking on a line
When I say walking on a line, I actually mean walking just outside that line.

The inside of the feet are touching on that imagined line. Walking like this moving forward you are in balance...

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Why Take a Teacher Training in Kizomba? I Took Five & Then Developed My Own.

We all know it. Some people start teaching very early. They have just finished a beginner course. Others even earlier, watching a few clips on youtube they start teaching as they are learning. Not the best way to start, but I believe there are reasons to start early, while you are still very new to the dance, and to be honest, also pretty ignorant about it.  But I will come back to those reasons. 

However, I don't believe there are reasons to stay in that ignorance. I strongly believe that if you want to teach, you need to learn a lot. And there are many reasons to take a teacher training. If I didn't believe that I would be pretty stupid to have taken five different teacher trainings myself. 

Yes, you can be a natural talent. You can learn very fast how to teach. Or maybe you already have the pedagogical skills and just need to learn the dance skills. I believe it is possible to become a great teacher without it. But, a teacher...

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What is Floorcraft?

Very often people say: "Music is the Master", meaning we have to follow the music. So, if the music is very energetic, we should dance in a very energetic way, for example. But there is one thing that can be even more important than the music when it comes to how we dance.

How crowded is the floor? Sometimes it is impossible to truly follow the music when we dance, because if we did, it would be mayhem on the floor.

We need to adapt to our surroundings and all the couples around us. We have to make sure what we do is suitable for the environment. This is what floorcraft is about - to make sure dancing is enjoyable and safe for everyone. Even if I mainly dance kizomba, kizomba fusion, salsa and bachata, this text is adapted to fit for pretty much any dance. 


This is an excerpt from one of my books - "The Secrets of Social Dance - How to Become a Popular Dancer" which you can find on Amazon.


Floorcraft is the art of adapting your dance to what your...

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Tips for Dancing with Dance Teachers

I am a dancer, and I am a teacher. I dance salsa, bachata, kizomba, kizomba fusion and semba and I give classes and online courses in kizomba and fusion. And I want to tell you something very important. Are you ready?

Teachers are just like everybody else! They are not superhuman. They are not more special than anyone else. The same rules apply to them as to everybody else. This also means that they deserve the same respect.


This is an excerpt from a bonus chapter of one of my books - "The Secrets of Social Dance - How to Become a Popular Dancer" which you can find on Amazon.


Here are some facts:

  • Teachers also like to dance. Don't be afraid to invite a teacher to dance, no matter your level. Dressing up, going to the party and feeling ready to dance and then no-one dares or wants to invite you is not fun for anyone, including teachers. Please feel free to ask!
  • Teachers also need to rest. It happens that teachers have the problem of not being invited, but...
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