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10 Simple Improvements

Star Search music is about to come out! Time to brush up on your technique before getting to work on choreography.  Dance is exploding in our Territory! The Star Search Dance category is expanding in just about every division, every year! I have traveled, assisting Divisional Dance Teams, adjudicating Star Search and leading workshops for corps dance leaders. I’ve worked with all ages and skill levels in the dance community and have found a deep dedication to the art.  I have noticed, there are some common mistakes and misconceptions throughout our dance programming. So, here are some top tips from your Dance Ministries Specialist to take home to your dance troupe in preparation for Star Search:

1. Point your toes. Toes should always be flexed or pointed, there is no in between. This should be #1 on your checklist during warm ups, rehearsals and performance!

2. Arabesque is directly behind you. Make sure when extending your leg to the back, it is actually going directly backwards. There’s a lot of cheating to get the leg higher by twisting out slightly sideways. Keep that hip low, and work on those back muscles to get a TRUE arabesque extension to the back.

3. Get help editing your music. It’s so jarring to watch a lovely dance and then suddenly have the music cut off unexpectedly. Find someone who can help you edit or fade your music at a time that makes sense for the ears of the audience.

4. Leg extensions to the side should be more forward than you think. Unless you have a flawless 180 degree turnout, (and let’s face it, who does?) your side kicks should come slightly forward, and not out directly to the side. Try standing in first position, and look down. The ‘v’ shape your feet are creating is your natural turn out. Extend your leg along that ‘v’ line and you’ll be executing proper alignment.

5. Choreography includes the whole body. Let’s not see any more arm dancing.

6. Dance is fun. Express. Draw your audience in and tell a story with your face. All dancers must be skilled actors.

7. Long white dresses aren’t always the answer. Think outside the box. Try something new.

8. Change your facing, especially if you’re repeating choreography! Simply face a different direction and the audience gets to experience the piece from a whole new perspective.

9. Don’t be afraid of stillness. It’s ok to not move the whole time.

10. Its not all about performance. Our dancers should be working on technique during class time, and not always working towards a new performance piece. This is the only way to ensure growth.

By Kathryn Higgins
Dance Ministries Specialist/Kroc Center Creative Arts Liaison