Blog Archives

Musicality for dancers

Dance is more than just movement – it is listening too and interpreting the music – the feel, the mood, the tempo, the rhythm.

It’s understanding phrases in songs or pieces, how to interpret the music with the movement – the height, the speed, expansion and contraction.

Importance

Being able to connect to the music you are dancing too is key. You can’t dance the same to Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy as you would do to Crazy in Love. You can’t dance the same to “Everything I do” as you would do “Sweet Child o’ Mine” – even if the steps are the same

Developing Musicality

In our classes (and you can try this at home) we involve these aspects from pre-school classes (in less obvious ways such as our Rig a Jig track or Twinkle Twinkle) to our dance club and older with using beats and bars.

  • Tempo – using different speeds of music for the steps or combinations and asking children to dance to the music
  • Using 3/4, 4/4/ and even 2/4 tracks to help develop understanding different music arrangements
  • Using a combination of steps and dancing them to different styles of music and asking them to show the type of music through the steps
  • Putting music on for improvisation – emotions, adventures, party, space, forest and landscapes and ask them to use their movements to express the type of music

 

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Botofogo and Triples

Say what?!?!?

But before we panic – just think about what we learned on Monday and you will be fine!

Botofogo (or Boto- fogo)

This is a dance step in Samba but is used in various other styles too.

It is a step taken across the body, for example on the right foot, with a flat foot. Then followed by a “ball change” movement onto the left foot using a side step with a little weight transfer. Then step back onto the right foot – flat footed.

Triplet

It is a 3 part step done in two counts – 1 and 2. The first two steps are quicker than the third, on the beats “one and” and the final step slower on the 3 beat or count 2.

A step ball change can be a triplet, as can a botofogo.

It is the counts that are important for this step so getting your children to udnerstand the music and its beats is key.

Musicality

To help them understand the counts – start listening to different types of music and clap along to the basic beat -“1,2,3,4” – try it with faster and slower tracks.

Then try clapping “1,&,2,&,3,&,4,&” these are the half beats so in a 4 beat bar you clap 8 times.

Then try mixing it up with “1,&,2,3,&,4” so you clap the rhythm of a triplet (quick, quick, slow)