Take it on another level!

I got into dancing when I was in high school. It started with watching some lock and popping videos on youtube and trying to imitate them in my bathroom. In high school, a bunch of friends got into breakdancing and I got interested in that as well. I started getting into breakdancing but always stayed close to popping.

Why do I enjoy dancing? Because I’m tone deaf. Pretty easy answer. JK. Close though. I would love to be able to sing if I could. I also never got forced to learn any instruments like all my yellow lookalikes. They got that one thing on me. Talent. Haha.

dance 2 I grew up in the 90s, which I think can be a fairly big contender of best music decade. At least one that I’m a part of. The music put out these past 10 years has been, blah, like the blah in ….blah blah blah. Dance on the other hand, can take the musical genius of the past and continue to innovate and create beauty with it. Hip Hop dancing in particular, takes from several core parts and allows freedom to mold to how one imagines music is supposed to move life if life were truly put to a soundtrack.

To those who are reading this and already coming up with songs and artists to combat my earlier statement, feel free to comment with some suggestions. But take into mind that I grew up listening to Hip Hop and R&B. In elementary school we were rapping lyrics of LL Cool J and J Lo to try to get the girls. Elementary school….gosh, it’s weird imagining 9 year olds rapping LL Cool J…mind blowing. What were we even thinking at the time. Eminem was blowing up, 50 cent was blowing up. Biggie recently died and seriously took the whole rap world by storm. I mean, the dude died at 24 and no has ever been able to bring flow like that man.

I think that’s the beauty of dancing. It allows me to believe that I’m living life with specific tracks in mind and I’m the star choreographer of it. As I listen to new music, it allows me to express myself. Different types of music requires me to move my body in different ways. There are sharp and smooth notes, faster and slower beats, which thus correspond to different moves and possibly even different body parts.

Dance is more than simply the expression of the mind when it is listening to music. It’s how some people interpret music at all. I understand that when some people listen to music they might see images or certain colors that change according to the music, but all I see is dance.

I can also be bored with dance, especially some stuff I find on youtube. Now let’s be real here. I like to dance, but I’m no dance guru. I’m just offering some personal thoughts. There’s a lot of dance videos on youtube, and I must say, I think a whole post deserves to be dedicated to how youtube has allowed dance to grow within these past years. So even though there’s a lot of viable interpretations to the same song, there are some that are definitely better than others.

One big reason is that other than the expression and interpretation of a song, dance is also a performance art that must entertain the audience. Dance for personal enjoyment is wonderful but only grows when you have an audience to dance for. When you have someone to dance for, you naturally push yourself to grow and become better because you don’t want to be lost within the sea of other dancers. When you have an audience, they can also critique you, which will make you better.

I like to favorite some youtube videos of dance for later viewing, but there are only so many that make my top list. How do they get there you might ask? Here are some of the things I look for.

1. Interpretation/expression/musicality

The dance has to at least look like it’s for the same song. Just like a glove fits a hand, dance fits the music. One friend put it this way, You know you’ve seen a good dance when you hear the song and all you can do is play the dance back in your head. When there is no other alternative in your head then you’ve found a pretty good one. This also goes back to what I was talking about earlier on how dance moves react with the musicality of a song. Help me see your dance as what can only be logical when I listen to that song.

2. Entertainment factor

When you’re dancing for an audience and especially if you’re putting it up on youtube for the whole world to see, are you entertaining? If I don’t think you’re entertaining, you’re done. I’m clicking on a different related video. You’ve got to at least seem like you’re enjoying it. In BASE we always yell at our dancers about “FACES” because it makes a big different to the atmosphere of the dance. Even if your dance is sad, look sad. Don’t look bored or lost. Unless you’re supposed to be bored or lost. Entertain me!

3. Take it on another level

Not only should the dancing be great, but you should take it outside the box. Make it more than simply you dancing, let there be some story, or some concept, or some idea that brings your dance and interpretation together. Allow me to experience something new that I’ve yet to see, experience, or even imagine could work together.

This video below is a great example of all three for me. What’s also surprising is that though it’s captured on video, it was made and performed for a live audience. There are other videos that I can show later that truly take advantage of this medium called video.