It’s not possible. Do your figures. The End.
Just kidding! (Or as the kids these days would say JK LOL :P)
Of course your school figures are an important tool for your dancing. They serve as a way to develop your balance, memory, understanding of structure, and technique. That’s why we push you to do them - not just because we like to see you suffer. That’s only a small piece of it ;).
So then the real question is, how to make practice fun? If you really are having a rough day and need dancing to be a release for your body or a break for your mind and not something that requires intense focus, how does that work?
Well, before the zombies arrived and we were forced into our homes, when you were having a day like that you would come to us at the studio and pop into a practice party, or simply tell your teacher “I just need to dance and have fun today”. As dance teachers we hear that one occasionally and are happy to oblige.
But now the zombies are here and we are stuck hiding behind mountains of toilet paper and we can’t go to the studio and help each other like we usually do, so let’s start getting creative…
Jump Around! Jump Around! Jump up jump up and get down!
For those of you who aren’t into hip hop from the 1990’s, those are lyrics to a song, as well as great advice!
Dancing happened because of music, not the other way around. Find 5 of your favourite party songs - you know, the ones that you can never stand still to, the ones that put you in a better mood when they come on in the car - and play them. Loudly. And jump around to them!
Try fitting the basic of every dance you know into one song, you don’t need a partner for that!
Dance Like Nobody is Watching
Guess what? The zombies don’t give a hoot what we do in our homes! And when I say jump around, I mean it. Lose the structure for a song or two - just move to the music, sing at the top of your lungs, and I guarantee that everyone (except maybe your neighbours) will feel better. Then try to put that fun energy into your figures while you dance them to that song. Too easy? Take the "jump around" energy AND try singing while you do your figures.
You will soon discover why so many artists lip sync during concerts, and boy will you get a rush of good dancing endorphins!
For those of you out there that are a little more skeptical about just moving, who enjoy school figures and can’t figure out why everyone complains about them, I have a project for you too. The part about finding 5 awesome songs stays, but try choreographing to them! Keep it simple to start, just an order of school figures that works well to your favourite music. For the analytical mind, this is actually loads of fun.
Need a challenge?
Find a song that either has a stop in it (think “Stop! Wait a minute” from Uptown Funk) or a sudden explosion of power (think every Whitney Houston song ever recorded) and see if you can match a change of pace to it. Switch dances at that moment, or see if you can find a way to stop and start again smoothly. And then do 30 jumping jacks because you need those endorphins too.
Well, that’s all for our first BLOG post! If you need more ideas drop us an email with specific questions and we would be happy to do some brainstorming for your specific needs. Stay tuned for more activities, ideas and advice for dancing through the zombie apocalypse. 🙂
Christy Consell - New Student Department Supervisor and Teacher Extraordinaire at the Arthur Murray Dance Studio in Coquitlam, British Columbia. Christy has many years of dancing and teaching experience to share for our studio BLOG!