DANCE MASTERY COURSE - STUDENTS
The opportunity If you're looking to further increase your connection with fellow dancers and be a part of a dedicated group of dancers looking to extend themselves in the genre of Latin dance this is now on offer to you.
Mastery is a process, not a place. Mastery is a dynamic state - to experience it requires ongoing attention and commitment, inspiration and coaching from teachers, practice alone and with peers,and entering into a lifelong love and embodiment of dance.
We will always be a master in some things and a beginner in others: sometimes this is true even within the same subject.
WHY DANCE MASTERY?
Quite often, as a student’s dance vocabulary increases and the focus becomes more about new moves and variations, the essential movement and technique integrity and the foundation of the dancing becomes compromised. The roots and central elements of the dancing need to remain within and throughout your expansion to new moves and development of variations.
Each style holds the expressions of culture, language, and personalities from the country and regions they come from.
There is a very big difference between knowing a great quantity of steps of a dance style, (independently of the style - Zouk Lambada, Samba de Gafieira, Salsa, Tango etc) and executing those moves where you feel and attain complete integration with the music, intuitive embodiment of the style’s form and the full joyful expression of the personality of each dance style.
The development capability of the student as a dancer needs to follow the pace of the number of movements and patterns the student learns. Generally, this doesn't happen in Latin dance because of the tendency to focus on the allure of dance moves alone: "new moves", “new tricks” and "new trends". As we embrace new moves and extend our reach across tricks and sequences we must also continuously embrace and extend the deeper dance skills, technique and foundations to truly achieve mastery.
There is no good professional dancer that I know that are not accomplished dancers, all with ballet, contemporary, folklore dancing and other forms of dance background, which are not transferred to their students. Being a great professional Latin dancer, being creative in extending trends and moves is secondary to being a dancer.
Knowing this deep well of dance mastery exists and is available to us in our journeys is inspiring and exciting.
The Dance Mastery Student
The Dance Mastery Course will be an ongoing course for those people with the drive and aspiration to attain deeper skill and ability as a Latin dancer no matter the style you dance.
The skills you will cover take time to master and together with your teachers you will work towards fluency in your dance skills, building your dancers body memory until the skill becomes an innate part of your dancing. There is no short cut or quick fix.
Observe the best social dancers and performers you know in Brisbane and around the world and you will see that the best social dancers and performers dance across a variety of styles, not just one.
No matter your favourite style, you will dance it better if you dance other styles.
It requires openness. A willingness to be open is essential as you will be pushed to expand and explore concepts that to you, will be new or different. You will be building your dance ability through dance styles that may not be a part of your current repertoire.
All those participating should be open to demonstrating and performing from time to time as representatives of Rio Rhythmics as we share the journey to upskill a group of enthusiastic, open-minded, supportive, collaborative dancers who share our values of community, inclusion, honesty, integrity, respect and support and who will inspire dancers within and outside of Rio Rhythmics with their skills across a wide genre of Latin dance styles, cultural understanding and musicality, who are willing to put in the real work to become highly skilled social dancers.
8 DANCE MASTERY OBJECTIVES
1- Elevate your dance level independent of the style. Develop self-evaluation abilities and see your progression.
2- Learn refined, advanced level leading and following skills, understanding it’s applicability to any style.
3- Acquire the requisite fitness and flexibility to achieve complex movements.
4- Develop the technical and physical skills to master lifts, dips counterbalances and gain the knowledge of how and when to apply them within improvised dancing.
5- Advance your understanding of music and musicality through the lens of dance.
6- Connect with the cultural depth and personality of every style, to represent each more fully and deeply.
7- Expand and gain boldness and empowerment as an individual dancer. See the benefits from this to your solo and your partner dancing.
8- Dance a wide variety of Latin dance styles to a very high social dance level.
DANCE MASTERY TOOLKIT + SCOPE
Together, we will spend significant time on solo dancing and leading/following techniques. This will be supplemented by specific dance strength, endurance and body extension/understanding of flexibility and body movement as we intentionally and progressively bring the student group across all partner dance styles in a gradual way.
1- Consistency, drills and repetition
Consider the daily practice of all athletes and artists from the daily barre training, to set warm-ups and drills across all categories of sport and performance. Drills will enable you to feel comfortable to dance individually, independent of style, which will noticeably improve any other style or partner dancing.
2- Cross-Style trainings:
- Traveling technique, walking and dancing in a variety of dance styles, individually and with a partner.
- Port de bras - arm movements.
- Exercises in flexibility, agility and strengthening.
- Technique for dips - core strength, flexibility and balance training.
- Counterbalance technique - principles, applicable at various styles and in various ways.
- Body dissociation and association - understanding of muscles groups responsible for different movements.
- Conditioning and deconditioning, breaking patterns and creating new patterns and no patterns
- Style specific training: Training and upskilling across a variety of Latin dance styles
4- Cross-discipline trainings:
- Strength and body movement techniques including ballet bar among others
- Basic acting and performance exercises.
- Contact Improvisation.
5- Cultural training
6- Musicality training
DANCE MASTERY MINDSET & PERSONAL GROWTH
Through your training and our development as a student cohort you will cultivate additional strengths and abilities.
Kinaesthetic Visualization (... body intelligence, embodiment, intuition …)
Develop an awareness of how you look, without looking - your kinaesthetic sense.
In most cases, a trained solo dancer is very capable in visualisation and are accustomed to how their body moves. They easily copy and visualize shapes and movements with a partner even when practising by themselves, unconcerned about if they are dancing on beat and how they look doing the movement as they intuitively connect to the music.
Confidence (... expression, self-belief, courage, esteem ...)
In observing someone dancing Latin dance, it is very easy to tell if they have a solo dance background almost immediately, and often we can also see what they have studied. How is this possible? Their confidence, their background is given away by the way they finalise a movement or how they use a pause, or when everything goes slow, when they are allowed to express themselves.
Even if they make a mistake on the dance floor, they patch it up not only for his/her self but also for the partner, and in most cases they come up with something quite extraordinary instead of freezing up. This is symbolic of a greater gift that their dance journey is cultivating in them - a sense of self-confidence, self-understanding and a level of courage to enable them to move true to themselves.
Ability to learn: learn different ways to learn, improve memory
After we complete school as young adults we can move into spaces where our opportunities to learn fragment or vary widely. We can lose our ability to learn or miss opportunities to develop our skills in being capable to gain as much growth as possible in learning contexts that present themselves in our lives. It is essential to develop or redevelop our capability to learn in different ways.
Together, we will cultivate your ability to learn through application of repeated and supportive corrections given and space for practice, experimentation and trial ( to learn we must embrace doing it wrong and we encourage you to mess up and try as many times as is necessary! That is what learning is about!).
Feel and learn to embrace the discomfort of being corrected and translate that into support, guidance and care.