Posts

A Double Dose of Dance

the bar sans people

At Local Edition the dance floor is everywhere

A relatively new dance venue for the Swing crowd has opened in SF.  It’s in a Market Street bar called “Local Edition.   Only half a block from BART, it’s easy to get to from Oakland, and the music starts at 8:00 on Tuesday nights.  I can dance for a couple of hours, leave at 10, and be in bed by 11.  A live band attracts a good crowd of dancers most weeks.  The only drawback is the floor, which is unfinished wood, so rough that dance wax doesn’t make a dent. My plastic soled shoes that I use for dancing on concrete are perfect, though!

 

A couple of weeks ago while I was waiting at the BART station, a Hip Hop duo was playing music and dancing.  I was reviewing a new balboa move and appreciated the music.  When the train arrived, the dancers got on too.  Using the hand holding bars, they performed an acrobatic routine with considerable skill before passing a hat.  They were the second hip hop train performers I’ve ever seen on my BART travels.  I felt blessed to have been on the right train to catch the show and it made my day.

 

There has been some controversy about dancers on the subway systems of America.  Not everyone likes it and some consider it too dangerous.  A subway crowd is a tough audience.  These people did not opt for a show so they have to be good enough to please an audience that has it’s own separate agenda.  In this video, the dancers are good enough to win the attention of their audience.  Busking is hard work and there are no guarantees.  Check out this New York crew: [embedplusvideo height=”509″ width=”640″ editlink=”http://bit.ly/2a6DPm9″ standard=”http://www.youtube.com/v/YJdpRpHEf-A?fs=1″ vars=”ytid=YJdpRpHEf-A&width=640&height=509&start=&stop=&rs=w&hd=0&autoplay=0&react=1&chapters=&notes=” id=”ep9098″ /]

 

New York sports a lot more of these subway dancers than we do here in the Bay Area.  In this video on BART, the dancers are not nearly as spectacular as the New Yorkers we just saw.  The unforgiving audience is totally ignoring them.

 

[embedplusvideo height=”390″ width=”640″ editlink=”http://bit.ly/2a6EfsB” standard=”http://www.youtube.com/v/8va49TcudTc?fs=1″ vars=”ytid=8va49TcudTc&width=640&height=390&start=&stop=&rs=w&hd=0&autoplay=0&react=1&chapters=&notes=” id=”ep7244″ /]

 

My Tuesday night experience was somewhere in between.  I loved it and so did some of my fellow travelers.  Others ignored, or even frowned at them.  I hope if any of you are lucky enough to catch this kind of spontaneous performance will at the very least give the dancers your attention.  

 

And if you’re in the Bay Area and want to catch some great music and watch some dancing, or join in yourself, check out the swing nights at Local Edition.  Don’t dance yet, but wish you could?  Give Steps On Toes a call and get started now!

 

By LaurieAnn Lepoff

LIke this post?  Use the form below to subscribe!

 

Sisters Do the Dance of Love

 

young sisters smiling

Dancing sisters pose before their dance

Dance has all kinds of functions, from exercise to art, to connection, to just plain fun.  As an art form, it’s one of the best ways to express emotion.

 

My sister, whom I love more than just about anyone else in my life, sent me this beautiful video of another set of sisters performing a dance that tells a tale of love about as eloquently as I’ve ever seen it told.  Love is a favorite theme in art, in it’s many forms.  Love unrequited.  Tragic love.  Plain old romantic love. Love of nature.  Love of beauty.

 

Sisterly love we don’t see so much.  Watch it come through with such blazing sincerity it brings tears to your eyes in this moving dance number

 

[embedplusvideo height=”509″ width=”640″ editlink=”http://bit.ly/1GeTRXB” standard=”http://www.youtube.com/v/-jvEniCbOJQ?fs=1″ vars=”ytid=-jvEniCbOJQ&width=640&height=509&start=&stop=&rs=w&hd=0&autoplay=0&react=1&chapters=&notes=” id=”ep5113″ /]

 

by LaurieAnn Lepoff

like this post?  use the form at the right to subscribe!

Another Dance Controversy: Hip Hop Crews on Trains

 

dancers hang from the rafters

Hip Hop crew Tylive makes creative use of the subway  props

The other day on BART, three young hip hop dancers looking like street thugs started dancing and passing a hat.  They weren’t great, but they weren’t bad either.  And they were doing something joyful that took skill and not a little hard work and practice, for the pleasure of onlookers.  For money, yes, but they exerted no pressure, and they obviously took pride in their achievement.  I put a buck in the hat, thanked them, and told them they made my day.  They beamed in appreciation of the compliment.  Other passengers enjoyed the performance as well.  How often do you get live entertainment on public transportation?

 

In this clip you can see real pros at the top of their game busking for a tough crowd: New York subway riders.  I’d have been thrilled to have gotten to see these guys, but even so, the first youtube comment calls them criminals and urges subway patrons to report them.  “These so called dancers are nothing more than criminal beggars!” he rants.

 

[embedplusvideo height=”509″ width=”640″ editlink=”http://bit.ly/1aszJUE” standard=”http://www.youtube.com/v/_fgC-xaupU4?fs=1″ vars=”ytid=_fgC-xaupU4&width=640&height=509&start=&stop=&rs=w&hd=0&autoplay=0&react=1&chapters=&notes=” id=”ep1539″ /]

 

Granted, not everyone likes Hip Hop, but to call these guys “so called dancers” bespeaks a serious shoulder chip.  Whatever your opinion of people busking on the subway, these dudes can DANCE.  It does make me wonder, though, why so much anger?  Yes, it’s illegal.  And if amateurs had a go at this level of gymnastics it would be downright dangerous, but these dancers were highly skilled and very much in control.  Would he have had the same reaction if a team of white Olympic gymnasts had taken to the racks of his subway car?

 

So what’s really going on here?  Hip Hop is an African American street dance.   It reflects a very specific culture.  Not just black, but ghetto black.  My last post about a dance controversy was about people’s reaction to fat dancers on stage.  When someone has a visceral, angry reaction to art, there is usually deep seated prejudice of some kind behind it.  Fat prejudice for Australia’s Nothing to Lose, racism in New York’s subway for the Tylive Crew.

 

It’s my vision statement to do my best to contribute to a world in which people break out into spontaneous dance in inappropriate places, so you know where I stand on this controversy.  But I also like to see people, including myself, take a look at the reactions we have to art and question the validity of what’s behind them.  After all, that’s part of the job of art, isn’t is?

 

by LaurieAnn Lepoff

Like this post?  Use the form at the right to subscribe!

 

The Fat Dancer “Controversy”

A scene from Nothing To Lose

Dancers from Nothing To Lose

I’ve written a few past posts about fat dancers and was inspired to write again on the subject by a show in Australia featuring a cast of obese dancers.  What caught my interest, aside from the obvious fact of how unusual this is, was the director’s comment that such a show shouldn’t be, but is, controversial.

 

In my area there is a popular feminist dance company called the Dance Brigade. It’s talented director, Krissy Keefer, while not fat, does have an atypical body type.  She’s short, stocky, and muscular.  Just because her body is not that of a typical ballerina, her dancing is controversial.  Just what is this all about?  Why is it controversial for more than one body type to perform dance?

 

Human beings move naturally to music.  We do so with grace, or we don’t, and it has nothing to do with our shape, size, or even our physical abilities.  Yet the majority of people in our society are astonished to see great dancing in a fat body and embarrassed to find themselves as mesmerised by the movements of the fat dancer as by the more familiar lithe dancer body.

 

Even worse, derisive laughter is a common reaction, no matter how good the dancer.  Derision is a tool that keeps people in their place through shame.  So it’s all the more impressive to see the existence of a show like  Nothing To Lose, where the dancers are unabashedly comfortable in their bodies.  Take a look at this video and notice if you have a reaction, positive or negative.  It’s interesting to look at the root of that reaction and question it’s history, influence, and how much of it is culturally imposed and how much is pure artistic appreciation.  Have fun!

 

[embedplusvideo height=”390″ width=”640″ editlink=”http://bit.ly/1LKnz7V” standard=”http://www.youtube.com/v/7N5DpIairL8?fs=1″ vars=”ytid=7N5DpIairL8&width=640&height=390&start=&stop=&rs=w&hd=0&autoplay=0&react=1&chapters=&notes=” id=”ep4401″ /]

by LaurieAnn Lepoff

Like this post?  Use the form at the right to subscribe!

Using Dance to Make a Point

dancers from "Hand of Power"

dancers inspire people to rock the vote!

Dance can be a powerful motivator.  It’s energetic and engaging and keeps people’s attention.  I’ve talked about how much I enjoy the creative use of dance in advertising, but it’s also used to make people think, to inform, and to combat apathy.

 

One of my favorite examples is Rock the Vote. These guys make funny, engaging, creative videos to encourage responsibility and they almost always use dance.  Check out this example:

[embedplusvideo height=”390″ width=”640″ editlink=”http://bit.ly/1vzrglh” standard=”http://www.youtube.com/v/1g30sHkc128?fs=1″ vars=”ytid=1g30sHkc128&width=640&height=390&start=&stop=&rs=w&hd=0&autoplay=0&react=1&chapters=&notes=” id=”ep1194″ /]

 

Wasn’t that fun?  If you want to see more of them, look them up on youtube.  They make a point of letting individual groups of people know they count and that they can make a difference.  And dance is one of their favorite tools.

 

by LaurieAnn Lepoff

like this post?  Use the form at the right to subscribe!

Dancing In Inappropriate Places

Dancing makes people smile.  My vision statement has to do with a world in which people break into spontaneous dance in unexpected places and occasionally I like to blog about occasions where that happens already.

Great examples of inappropriate dance

Nothing makes me happier than seeing evidence of people dancing with abandon in “inappropriate” places.  Some people are blessed with the not caring what others think of them gene.  Check out these garbage men dancing on the back of their truck.  What a way to make a workday fun!  Do you think they brought a lot of smiles to a lot of faces along their route?

[embedplusvideo height=”509″ width=”640″ editlink=”http://bit.ly/1uhnZwv” standard=”http://www.youtube.com/v/E3cTlbsbYbE?fs=1″ vars=”ytid=E3cTlbsbYbE&width=640&height=509&start=&stop=&rs=w&hd=0&autoplay=0&react=1&chapters=&notes=” id=”ep7877″ /]

Dancing Cops

One of my all time favorite examples of this fabulous genre are police who dance in public.  Introducing this element of fun and spontaneity to this job could go a long way in healing the rift between police and citizens they are supposed to be protecting.

 

Not surprisingly, most of the examples I have took place in countries where there is considerably less of a rift than there is here.  This one’s from Canada where a Toronto cop doing security at a jazz festival joins the revelers in a line dance:

[embedplusvideo height=”509″ width=”640″ editlink=”http://bit.ly/1uho8js” standard=”http://www.youtube.com/v/UcXujAXMYwc?fs=1″ vars=”ytid=UcXujAXMYwc&width=640&height=509&start=&stop=&rs=w&hd=0&autoplay=0&react=1&chapters=&notes=” id=”ep5932″ /]

The next two very short clips are from Sweden.  I wish I knew the story behind this first one  because I’ve been to Sweden many times and I’ve never seen a dancing cop.  He just seems to, like my vision statement, be breaking into spontaneous dance with a “who cares what anyone thinks?” attitude.

[embedplusvideo height=”509″ width=”640″ editlink=”http://bit.ly/1uhopTz” standard=”http://www.youtube.com/v/_61s62WKVio?fs=1″ vars=”ytid=_61s62WKVio&width=640&height=509&start=&stop=&rs=w&hd=0&autoplay=0&react=1&chapters=&notes=” id=”ep9359″ /]

This guy joyfully joins a Pride march and dances in the parade, creating a ton of goodwill and having a great time.

[embedplusvideo height=”390″ width=”640″ editlink=”http://bit.ly/1uhoruE” standard=”http://www.youtube.com/v/xrZXt117ASc?fs=1″ vars=”ytid=xrZXt117ASc&width=640&height=390&start=&stop=&rs=w&hd=0&autoplay=0&react=1&chapters=&notes=” id=”ep2515″ /]

And here in the good old US of A, this SWAT traffic cop at a political convention outdoes our neighbor countries in this delightful show of dance skills that don’t interfere with his job:

[embedplusvideo height=”390″ width=”640″ editlink=”http://bit.ly/1uhoy9I” standard=”http://www.youtube.com/v/7nHPBvTP7ik?fs=1″ vars=”ytid=7nHPBvTP7ik&width=640&height=390&start=&stop=&rs=w&hd=0&autoplay=0&react=1&chapters=&notes=” id=”ep4554″ /]

Last but not by far the least, I leave you with this example which I’ve used in a previous post. (More Thoughts On How Dance Makes a Better World.)

It bears repeating because it’s the absolute best example of the healing possibilities of dance:

[embedplusvideo height=”390″ width=”640″ editlink=”http://bit.ly/1i6Aj7J” standard=”http://www.youtube.com/v/Hq5-fGn-2i0?fs=1″ vars=”ytid=Hq5-fGn-2i0&width=640&height=390&start=&stop=&rs=w&hd=0&autoplay=0&react=1&chapters=&notes=” id=”ep2360″ /]

by LaurieAnn Lepoff

Like this post?  Use the form at the right to subscribe!

Do Justice to the Culture Whose Dance You Are Borrowing Part II

Yismari Ramos

Yismari in performance

Last week I wrote about my Samba teacher Jacqui Barnes.  Today I’ll introduce you to my latin rhythms teacher, Yismari Ramos.

 

Like Jacqui, Yismari is passionate about the music of her culture (Cuban) and the the way the dance feels.  Her classes consist of complicated choreography that incompasses the various rhythms of Cuban dance.  This is a class for dancers and the choreography is as challenging for the brain as it is for the body.

 

Here’s Yismari teaching our gym class.  She’s in the blue top and black pants in the center.  If you look hard, you can catch me in the 3rd row struggling to keep up.  (In my defense, this was my first encounter with a routine she had been teaching for 2 weeks.)  This is a typical routine which she teaches for 2 weeks before choreographing a new one.

 

[embedplusvideo height=”509″ width=”640″ editlink=”http://bit.ly/1njGltM” standard=”http://www.youtube.com/v/wVChzh2vsns?fs=1″ vars=”ytid=wVChzh2vsns&width=640&height=509&start=&stop=&rs=w&hd=0&autoplay=0&react=1&chapters=&notes=” id=”ep5880″ /]

Just like Jacqui, she wants us to learn the moves but is more concerned that we put feeling into it.  She’ll often parody how the dance will look without soul and tell us to just do SOMEthing.  “I don’t care what, just move your BODY.”

I love learning from these women, because they are inspiring in the impossible ways they can move, but also because of the love and passion they have for their art and their music, and the culture represented by the dance.

 

Here’s an excerpt from a performance by Yismari and another great local teacher, Erick Barberia.  If you are lucky enough to live in the bay area, consider taking advantage of the amazing talent available to you here!

[embedplusvideo height=”390″ width=”640″ editlink=”http://bit.ly/1njG7CH” standard=”http://www.youtube.com/v/bsV86Lm3vEQ?fs=1″ vars=”ytid=bsV86Lm3vEQ&width=640&height=390&start=&stop=&rs=w&hd=0&autoplay=0&react=1&chapters=&notes=” id=”ep7238″ /]
by LaurieAnn Lepoff

Like this post? Use the form at the right to subscribe

Why Do Dancers Like Flash Mobs So Much?

In this charming video a group of swing dancers gather around a street orchestra to perform a charleston routine.  It’s a simple routine that repeats, they do it well, and they are enjoying themselves immensely.  It’s a great choice for a flash mob because for swing dancers it wouldn’t take long to learn.  They know the steps already and just have to learn what order to do them in, but they have to be pretty skilled for it to look this good.

[embedplusvideo height=”390″ width=”640″ editlink=”http://bit.ly/ZyF8o4″ standard=”http://www.youtube.com/v/7XerRz0ZFu8?fs=1″ vars=”ytid=7XerRz0ZFu8&width=640&height=390&start=&stop=&rs=w&hd=0&autoplay=0&react=1&chapters=&notes=” id=”ep6345″ /]

Dancers looking good

And it does look good, doesn’t it? It looks good because they are experienced dancers and because they are having fun.  It’s fun to watch people have fun and this would have been almost as fun to watch if they were less skilled but still having a blast.

Dancers showing off

So why is it so much fun to do?  Because dancers love to show off.  There are exceptions to this of course.  I’ve known good dancers who are shy and don’t like to be in the spotlight, but for the most part it’s energizing to feel the appreciation of onlookers.  Doubly so when it’s a surprise.  A show that people pay to see has a much higher risk level.  It’s still fun and energizing, but everybody is there already with an expectation that this will hopefully be good enough to be worth the ticket price.  A flash mob comes out of nowhere and feels like a gift out of the blue to people lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time to witness it.

Musicians like to show off too, so when dancers and musicians combine their talents this way it’s a guaranteed success.

Flash Mob or Lindy Bomb?

A close cousin to a flash mob is a bomb.  I’ve never heard other kinds of dancers use this term but it’s common in the Lindy Hop community.  When a group of swing dancers put up a boombox and break out dancing in a public place, it’s called a Lindy Bomb.

A flash mob is choreographed.  Whatever the material, it’s planned out in advance and everyone learns a part or does the same routine.  A Lindy bomb could be spontaneous, starting with a small number and growing as people join in, or it could be planned out by a particular group, but there is no choreography.  People just dance as they would in a club.  They’re just doing it in a public place where it’s not expected to happen.

Anyone can join a Lindy Bomb if they know the dance.  Any level dancer can participate.  The fun for the audience is seeing a bunch of people suddenly breaking out in a joyful dance.  If you are dancing Lindy, even if you just started, let others know you’d like to participate in the next Lindy bomb.  And if nobody has one planned, consider organizing it yourself.  It’s a guaranteed fun-for-all!

by LaurieAnn Lepoff

like this post?  Use the form at the right to subscribe!

Acknowledging Your Dance Partner

On my way to a dance last week in bumper to bumper traffic, I stopped to let a car change lanes in front of me.  It was stuck in a left turn lane and evidently had been having considerable trouble getting anyone to let it in.  As the car moved into my lane, a flurry of hands emerged from every window waving at me in gratitude.  It caught me by surprise and felt like a huge group hug.

Did anyone see that great dance move?

And of course it got me to thinking about the power of acknowledgement.  When I have an inspired moment on the dance floor and my partner breaks into an appreciative grin, or says something like “Wow, that was great!” it doubles the fun of the moment.  When we dance well, it’s wonderful to know that someone else noticed.

That rare perfect dance

That person is usually your partner, the most important person to acknowledge your moment of greatness, but sometimes it’s other people.  Sometimes it’s spontaneous, like the time a crowd gathered to watch me and a French guy enjoying a particularly spectacular connection during an evening dance in Sweden.  When that rare perfect dance happens and you wish you had it on video, the next best thing is to see at the end that others saw and admired it.

 

Sometimes it’s planned and rehearsed, as in a performance or contest.  Many people are motivated to do well by working toward a goal with an audience.  My goal may be to have great social dances, but I love the attention of a spontaneous audience and I understand the motivational draw of preparing a performance.

Performing a dance or doing it socially

I love to perform too, and  audience appreciation (along with the paycheck) is the reason for dancing professionally.  And why do so many dancers perform for free?  Well, that’s another blog and then some, but for most of us, it’s the high that comes with dancing well and being appreciated for it.

 

So this next time you are dancing with someone, and later you say to your friends, “Have you danced with that guy?  He’s really fun!”  try to let go of your shyness and say it to him or her as well.  We all appreciate knowing our dancing has pleased our partner.

 

by LaurieAnn Lepoff
Like this post?  Use the form at the right to subscribe!

What Throws Dance Students Off Their Game?

wedding couple dancing

Don’t let your first time dancing in a big dress be your wedding!

In a perfect world, dance lessons would be ten minutes long.  You’d go home and practice and then come back to learn the next step after you’ve mastered what came first.  In the real world, you work on the first thing until you’re doing it right most of the time and understand it well enough to practice on your own.  Then you move on to the next part and promptly forget the first part.

Cover all bases!

That’s the learning process for most of my students but it’s not as bad as it sounds.  You keep shifting your concentration from one thing  to the next and eventually it all falls into place.  But because of this annoying phenomenon, I try to make sure all bases are covered with couples who are learning their first dance for their wedding.

Just being in a room in front of people is a new thing that can cause everything to disappear if you haven’t experienced it before.  Dancing in heels if you’ve been practicing in flats can throw you off, as can dancing in a giant gown, or dancing with a partner in a giant gown.  And don’t forget the possibility of alcohol!  (If you haven’t read my post about the effects of drinking before your dance, check out my earlier post on that subject.)

Use props!

For this reason I have a wedding dress petticoat in which all of my brides practice before their last lesson.  Both they and their fiancés get a chance to feel what it’s like to dance with a ton of material surrounding her.  One of my students found that he had been using his peripheral vision to guide him.  When he couldn’t see her legs, he was totally thrown off and couldn’t remember any of his steps.

I also recommend they practice at least once in front of other people. If this also throws them off, they know they have to do it more often.

An embarrassing example

Once when I was rehearsing for a performance many years ago, I neglected to have  a dress rehearsal.  The dress was not belted at the waist and when I was upside down in an air step, it dropped all the way down, covering my face and exposing me from neck to feet.  That was the last time I omitted a dress rehearsal, and I always wear tap pants under my skirts when I go dancing!

If you are learning to dance for a particular occasion where you will be doing a performance of some kind, think about what will be happening at the event that isn’t there when you are practicing. Enlist the help of friends to think of things you may forget.  And when you are visualizing yourself doing your dance, put yourself at the real scene, not just in your living room!

by LaurieAnn Lepoff

Like this post?  Use the form at the right to sign up!

Fusion in Performance Dance

students at NW Fusion Dance Company

Some schools specialize in Fusion. This is from NW Fusion Dance Company

I’ve written before about partner dancers combining styles, but performance dancers do it too.  Some years ago I spent 8 Julys  in Sweden studying the European partner jazz dance Boogie Woogie   My favorite teacher, Christer Isberg, was the best all around dancer I’d ever seen.  It seemed he could do anything.  His background included classical ballet, jazz, tap, modern, and I’m sure other genres.  He encouraged us to study as many different dance styles as possible.

 

Sometimes when dancers learn more than one style, their creativity leads them to fuse different dances into one choreography.  In this example, this extraordinarily talented young dancer combines contemporary hip hop with his obvious training in classical dance.  The result is a gripping performance that speaks his heart.

 

[embedplusvideo height=”390″ width=”640″ editlink=”http://bit.ly/1n4qJYl” standard=”http://www.youtube.com/v/osCQwJdzYwA?fs=1″ vars=”ytid=osCQwJdzYwA&width=640&height=390&start=&stop=&rs=w&hd=0&autoplay=0&react=1&chapters=&notes=” id=”ep2762″ /]

 

One of the first fusion performance dances was Afro Fusion.  Check out these talented women in this example:

[embedplusvideo height=”390″ width=”640″ editlink=”http://bit.ly/1n4qMDw” standard=”http://www.youtube.com/v/93u_QJI-zRk?fs=1″ vars=”ytid=93u_QJI-zRk&width=640&height=390&start=&stop=&rs=w&hd=0&autoplay=0&react=1&chapters=&notes=” id=”ep3562″ /]

 

African dance has influenced the roots of many dances, so it does beg the question: What is fusion and what is the development of a new dance.  Lindy Hop has it’s roots in tap, charleston, African, and Jazz.  Yet we don’t consider it a fusion dance.  For those of you who like to clarify your definitions, I would say that most, if not all, new dances are rooted in previous dances.  It’s fusion if a dancer or choreographer consciously puts more than one dance style together with another.

 

It’s a new dance if it rises out of new music and is an expression of a movement to the music, like Hip Hop, Lindy Hop, and Salsa.  If you have another idea on this interested topic, I’d love to hear it!

 

By LaurieAnn Lepoff

LIke this post?  Use the form at the right to subscribe!

When Is A Dance Too Acrobatic?

acrobats from Cirq Du Solei

The incomperable Cirq Du Solei is famous for combining acrobatics and dance

Controversial dance

This surprising controversy in the dance community popped up when this video started going viral:

[embedplusvideo height=”390″ width=”640″ editlink=”http://bit.ly/1oaNfNp” standard=”http://www.youtube.com/v/XAh9zYWfJiY?fs=1″ vars=”ytid=XAh9zYWfJiY&width=640&height=390&start=&stop=&rs=w&hd=0&autoplay=0&react=1&chapters=&notes=” id=”ep7038″ /]

But is it really dance?

Some people commented that is isn’t really dance because it’s really just a bunch of aerials and really qualifies as acrobatics rather than dance.  If you’ve read my previous posts about acrobatics and dance, “Are Gymnasts Dancers? Part 1” and “Part 11”, you know that I feel that just about any movement that goes to music qualifies as dance and why are we arguing about this anyway?  We should all get a life.

Dance Aerials in other countries

Nevertheless, it put me in mind of the German dance that they call “Rock and Roll”.  Now that, unlike the previous example that had beautiful musical interpretation and expression, really does fit the description of a bunch of aerials stuck together with a few very peculiar basic kicking steps.  Here’s an example of Rock and Roll:

[embedplusvideo height=”390″ width=”640″ editlink=”http://bit.ly/1oaNnfL” standard=”http://www.youtube.com/v/up8QaYe9qaU?fs=1″ vars=”ytid=up8QaYe9qaU&width=640&height=390&start=&stop=&rs=w&hd=0&autoplay=0&react=1&chapters=&notes=” id=”ep2186″ /]

If that qualifies as dance (and it definitely does) then how can anyone argue with the first example?  Yes there is more to dance than stunning air steps, but no matter what I think of the filler steps, the spectacular aerials and the basic step that glues them together are all on beat and do go with the music.  That’s dance!

In fact, the concept of a cultural dance that consists primarily of air steps glued together with a basic step of some kind and very little else, seems to exist in vastly different cultures.  Odd though Rock and Roll’s basic straight forward kick step may look to us (or at least to me), it is in it’s own way distinctly German.

In this stunning example of Mexico’s Quebradita Acrobatica, you see the basic step continually repeated in the second part where the music speeds up.  The sexy fluidity of this movement reflects the culture of it’s parent country as well.  Gorgeous, isn’t it?

[embedplusvideo height=”390″ width=”640″ editlink=”http://bit.ly/1oaNBDs” standard=”http://www.youtube.com/v/u8FtpFNMwpg?fs=1″ vars=”ytid=u8FtpFNMwpg&width=640&height=390&start=&stop=&rs=w&hd=0&autoplay=0&react=1&chapters=&notes=” id=”ep2498″ /]

Does it really matter what you call any of it?  It’s all highly skilled movement to music.  That’s good enough for me!

 

by LaurieAnn Lepoff
Like this post?  Use the form at the right to subscribe!