In the first part of this article, I talked about how important it is to find your own dance so that you can bring your own solo dance improvisation to the partner dance partnership. In my e-guide to conscious partner dance Finding Flow, I give you some ways to ease into finding your own solo dance so you can free yourself up and let what’s inside you come out. If you haven’t got it yet you can get a copy by signing up to the mailing list.
As a partner dancer, it’s good to know the nuts and bolts of how partner dancing works, but equally important to be able to free your dance from the confines of all the moves you’ve ever learned. And this, might make you feel self-conscious and awkward to start with. When I started to solo dance after many years of learning dance steps I felt incredibly naked without any ‘moves’ to hang my hat on – so to speak. Even though I’d partner danced for years, I found that not only was solo dance and improvisation difficult and confronting as a practice, I also found that there were so many places where I was doing steps that I felt I ‘should’ do, or that were appropriate or approved of by someone other than myself. To let go of that and actually find how the music was moving my body in the moment was really freeing. It took some time to find a freedom with it and it’s something I still practice.
For improvisation in dance to be authentic, the space needs to be there for you to let it out – for you to feel safe enough to come forth and let your dance out. Then you can feel you are dancing in the moment. Find some space where you can work on your own solo dancing. If it inspires you, find a space where you can dance with others in a free space held just for dancing. A space where you feel ‘watched’ or even worse ‘judged’ probably isn’t going to help you feel freedom in yourself and what you are doing. If everybody is dancing then the atmosphere is far more inviting for your solo dance practice.
If you feel self-conscious with other people dancing in the same room as you, find a place where you can practice on your own. The most difficult thing about this is making time and space to do it. It’s amazing how doing something uncomfortable can be so easily put off, and even more amazing is that feeling you get once you’ve done it. The knowing that you’ve made time for yourself and did something for yourself, and that’s great. Whether you loved it, hated it, felt it was a waste of time or felt it the most awesome thing ever, you put that time aside for yourself and got a little bit more in touch with your own dance.
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