Why We Dance: Music Exposure
I couldn’t imagine a world without music.
As many different styles of music that exist- you can be assured that there are just as many different styles of dancing. And yet, the two are directly related, almost dependent upon each other. I want to remind you just how much musical education and awareness that you can get from dancing; you would be amazed at how much music you get to hear when you tune into dancing!
I’ll start by drawing from my own experiences in dance- I began my passion for dance through classical dance training- ballet, modern, jazz, etc. In those styles alone I was able to hear so many different styles of music! Of course, this includes the obvious classical music, that truly is the foundation of so much music that we listen to today. and then in the jazz world, I got to hear all sorts of variety of classic hits, pop, instrumental, and more! Once I began immersing myself into contemporary dance, then, it felt like the whole world of music just opened! I felt like people were introducing me to artists that I didn’t even know existed. Not to mention dancing to artists and their music that I already knew about, but incorporating dance with those songs made me hear them and appreciate them in a whole new way! And then of course there’s all the ballroom and Latin music that I get to hear- learning about different music compositions and rhythms has helped me so much as a dancer, teacher, and choreographer.
Just as much as I have been inspired by never ending introductions to new music, I like to do the same as a teacher. Just like dance, music and all of its styles have a whole culture built around them, and an entire history to support that culture. Dance is a window to that history; just by taking some dance classes or attending a performance, you would be so surprised to know how much you can learn just by listening to the music alone!
For instance, the video above shows a Broadway jazz class that I taught inspired by the movie musical “Chicago.” But this wasn’t just about the dance moves inspired by Bob Fosse, the original choreographer, this was about the music from the 1920’s, with all sorts of different instruments and sounds than the music we hear today. It is because of that music that the dance is formed and taught, not the other way around.
I encourage each and every one of you amazing people to take more dance classes and expose your ears and your minds to a plethora of music from people and places you may not even know existed! You never know, of the music styles or songs that you get introduced to just may stick with you for a long time (: