Watching others dance is something I sometimes enjoy. It is pleasant, with good music, and interesting lines and movements to see. I have only recently begun really watching people dance with an eye towards analyzing their dancing, though.
A couple weeks ago, I had a private lesson. Since I have been dancing less, I decided I needed a little direction towards where I should work on improving. We began with some preliminary dancing around, and a little work focused on technique (I let my hip out too far on one side, which is why I tend to lose balance stepping forward on the left). However, we decided that the mechanics were in general pretty good, and I already know what to work on in that regard, even if I'm lazy about actually doing so.
So instead, we turned to the question of musicality, interpretation, and what makes a dance interesting and challenging for both lead and follow. Two things we did:
- Watched video of dancers, but instead of just watching for technique or timing, we really focused on how the couple chose to express the music: dancing with melodic vs. rhythmic lines; choosing one instrument over another; what aspect of the song they tried to emphasize. Perhaps most interesting, how did they link the different themes of the song together? We tried to find people all dancing to the same song, so we could compare what different couples might emphasize, and how that affected their dance.
- Choosing a particular song (Canaro's Poema), we listened to it several times through, tracking the different instrument lines, listening to the big changes from section to section, and just trying to think about different ways the song could be danced. Who knew that there's a dirty rhythm underneath much of this sweet song?
This suggests my next project should probably be learning spanish!