A Night to Remember

4 Activities That Will Complement Your Contemporary Dance Lessons And Help You Become A Better Dancer

by Luca Zhang

Taking contemporary dance lessons is the best way to learn contemporary dance, but there are several things you can do in addition to taking lessons that will help you improve your contemporary dance skills. If you're enrolled in contemporary dance, here are four other activities that will complement your lessons.

Learn Ballet

In many ways, ballet is to dance as the classical genre is to music. Ballet has been around for centuries, and many forms of dance have come from it.

Even if you don't have any interest in ballet itself, studying the type of dance will give you skills that will help you be a better contemporary dancer. The positions used in contemporary dance aren't the same as those in ballet, but the poise, control and balance used that ballet requires will all help you in your contemporary dance lessons.

Study Choreography

Contemporary dance is a very choreographed form of dance, with a choreographer often telling each dancer what to do. To gain an appreciation for how a choreographer thinks, study choreography. You can take a choreography class, but even just reading a book on what it's like to choreograph a dance will help you understand their goals and perspective. Of course, if you have an opportunity to choreograph a dance yourself, you should do it. There is no better way to get a firsthand feel for what choreographers go through.

Once you have an idea of what a choreography is like, you'll be able to work with your choreographers more quickly. You may even be able to help them by making adjustments you think they'll ask for before they actually make a request.

Watch Contemporary Dance

In addition to practicing dance, you should also watch dance -- especially contemporary dance. Watch dances on television, and go to them live if you can. Seeing professional dancers who are trained in the same style as you're studying will give you an example to aspire to.

Film Yourself

Filming yourself can be a painful experience, as few dancers want to actually watch themselves perform. Going over a film of you dancing will provide an excellent opportunity to critique yourself, through. You can study every movement as many times as you want to see just where your strengths and areas of opportunity are. Then, you can work on those specific parts of your dance. You may even want to mention what you noticed to your contemporary dance instructor so they can help you improve your weaknesses and build on your strengths.  

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