Dance falls under the genre of performance art that consists of mostly pre-planned movements executed under the rhythm of the music. Dancing originated 6,000 years ago, and with time and development, it has gained both aesthetic and symbolic significance. It has been an important part of ceremonies, celebrations, rituals, and entertainment as well. For the past few decades, dancing has also been used as a form of expressive therapy to deal with conditions like depression and anxiety. One very famous form of dancing that has gained popularity in the contemporary era is ‘modern dance.’
- What is modern dance?
- Know the history of Modern Dance
- Different from other forms of dance
- Some basic modern dance movements
- Ideal music and wardrobe for modern dance classes
- Etiquettes of Modern Dance to Swear By
- Final Thoughts on Etiquettes of Modern Dance
- Why should you learn modern dance?
- What is the value of modern dancing to your present dance form?
What is modern dance?
A reaction to traditional ballet, modern dance is a free expressive style of dancing. It integrates elements that are not normally an element of dance, such as speech and film. It combines various elements of jazz and ballet. This form of dancing focuses on emotional and physical expression while being adaptable and spontaneous.
Know the history of Modern Dance
The history of modern dance has its roots in the United States. At the turn of the 20th century, a group of choreographers and dancers revolted against the two dominant genres of dance at the time, ballet and vaudeville. They were dissatisfied with what they saw as ballet’s strict and imperialistic nature, and they desired to be treated as artists rather than mere performers.
During the 1920s, the first generation of modern dancers established this dance form, and by the end of World War II, modern dance had already started to pave its way into the realm of professional art.
Different from other forms of dance
Since modern dance broke out from ballet, modern dance is often misinterpreted as ballet or, to some extent, contemporary dance as well. However, there are some major differences between these forms of dancing. Unlike ballet, which thrives on its structure and choreography that simply cannot be improvised on the spot, modern dance concentrates on free motion and the body’s natural movement.
However, in comparison to contemporary dance, which is vaguer, modern dance becomes more codified. Contemporary dance aims to break from the restraints of traditional techniques, whereas modern dance still makes use of techniques and movements established by the first and second-generation dancers.
Some basic modern dance movements
Some of these movements are extremely common and one can see them in many modern dance performances. Examples of these movements include –
Bending over and keeping their back as straight as possible, the dancer elevates their arms into high fifth, palms facing inward. The torso is then hoisted up in unison with the arms in a single continuous movement. This step requires an intense deal of grace, discipline, and flexibility.
The dancer starts by standing parallel and then moves their arms to the second position. Brushing through the initial position and following through backward, slightly bending the knee, the right leg is slid forward with a pointed toe. In a combination of choreography, this is a frequent step as a transitional movement.
The Stag Leap is a very high split jump in which the front leg is twisted inward from the knee, despite both legs being parallel to the floor. In this position, arms are in a “V” position while the palms are facing out and down. Or it can be one ahead and the other to a side at a 90-degree angle with palms down.
In this, one supporting knee is slightly curved, and the other bent behind up in the air. The supporting arm extends straight back, palms down. As the dancer turns around, the opposite arm thrusts cleanly forward, palms down. These movements require an individual to use their entire body. Moreover, the dancer is expected to move from one movement to another very quickly and seamlessly.
Ideal music and wardrobe for modern dance classes
From floor works to jumps and improvisation, a modern dancer needs to move properly. Therefore, the right kind of clothes is crucial. A modern dancer should wear loose-fitted clothing like the ones used in hip-hop dancing.
The wardrobe of a modern dancer should consist of clothes that help trace the movements of the body. It ensures comfortably making free-flowing movements like long skirts, loose tops, and dresses. The right kind of music is just as important, for only the right beats will allow your body to make the expected movements.
Apart from clothes and music, some other things should help you begin your journey in modern dance.
If you’re taking a modern dance lesson at home, clearing 6 feet by 6 feet of space is a must and removing any sharp edges from the area. This will allow you to jump, spin, and move about without stumbling over a rug or hurting yourself due to the coffee table.
Modern dancers must build a strong core and a sturdy lower body to move with fluidity and power. So, before beginning any modern dance movements, a warm-up is a must.
Find a few minutes each day to strengthen the muscles in your back, abs, and legs in addition to your usual dance courses. Moreover, performing planks, crunches, and balancing on one foot for as long as you can help you strengthen your body. Further, spending 10-15 minutes doing simple yoga routines and stretching exercises will also help increase flexibility and motion.
It helps to recollect a powerful memory that fits the choreography when dancing. So, set aside time to journal daily and write down your own significant experiences to help you remember them.
Don’t leave any details out while you write, and you can also try putting on a song that makes you feel good and envisioning a fantasy scene that complements the music.
Etiquettes of Modern Dance to Swear By
Say No to Accessories
While dancing it is important to be comfortable and wear such clothes in which you can dance properly. Wearing any accessories like belts, long earrings, chains, or any other such thing can lead to discomfort. That is why it is a rule not to wear any jewelry while dancing. In dance, there are a lot of complex movements and steps, and jewelry can work as a restriction is doing that completely and properly. But if a piece of jewelry is a must while performing or is part of the costume. Then jewelry can be worn. But in general, one must avoid wearing any kind of accessories. A lot of big dance academies don’t allow jewels at any cost.
Dress According to Your Modern Dance Form
Clothes play a huge role in the movement of the body and dance is all about that. One must wear clothes that are comfortable and in which they can move their body properly. Other than that every dance form has a specific type of dress. So, while learning or performing it is important to wear the costume of that specific dance form only. You can not wear a ballet costume to belly dancing, can’t wear a contemporary dance costume to acrobatics dance, and so on. That is why it becomes important to dress according to the modern dance form that you are performing or practicing. And rest of the looks like hairstyle, makeup, shoes are also set according to the dance form only.
Always Be on Time
The third very important etiquette is to always be on time. A teacher plans the dance class minute by minute according to which routines are created. And if you are late you will not be able to learn the initial things due to which the whole dance routine and other dancers will also suffer. In dance, every second has its own value because the dancer needs to catch every single beat. And if even a single beat is missed whole dance routine can collapse. That is why dancers need to value time. And always be on time to the dance class or the venue where they need to perform.
Maintain a Proper Distance
Dance is all about movements and to complete a move properly it is important to have enough space. When performing a group dance one must take proper space for themselves and give enough space to other dancers as well. If there is no proper spacing it can lead lot a lot of problems while dancing. Dancers will not be able to dance properly and they can even collide and fall. That is why it becomes really important for every dancer to have a proper space for themselves and know the specific place where they need to stand. This will help dancers in dancing freely and properly and steps will look even more graceful. Sometimes the place of dancers is marked to avoid any type of confusion.
Wear Shoes Accordingly
Most of the dance forms have their own specific type of shoes that dancers need to wear while performing. Other than that is a rule that a dancer can’t step on the studio floor wearing normal shoes that they wear on a regular basis. Along with that one can not step out wearing studio shoes. So, a dancer must have a separate pair of shoes for the studio which they can not wear anywhere else. And a normal pair of shoes in which they can not set in the studio. Other than that a specific pair of costume shoes according to the dance form that they are learning or performing.
Final Thoughts on Etiquettes of Modern Dance
If you are a dancer or aspiring dancer indulged in Modern dance. Then it becomes really important for you to know all these etiquettes. They will not only help you in becoming a better dancer but also make you look more professional and devoted towards your dance form. There are a lot of other rules and regulations that one needs to abide by while taking part in dancing. One needs to learn and remember all of these by heart if one wants to excel in dancing and be the best in their specific dance form.
Why should you learn modern dance?
Dancing is a combination of art and exercise that strengthens and sharpens the mind and body. Dance had long been considered by parents as a co-curricular activity. Dance movies and new-age employment alternatives have developed the craze for dance.
Being a dancer allows you to participate in a type of art
Dance is an activity that benefits the mind, body, and soul all at once. It brings them all together, and the participants become more aware of their strengths and flaws, allowing them to identify and work on them. They have something to look forward to with a dance class, and they get to do what they enjoy. Additionally, many students who are typically introverts are given a platform to express themselves, and their personalities begin to reflect favorably as a result of their participation in dance courses. They not only study dance and participate in physical exercise, but they also get a spiritual experience.
It’s a stress reliever
Music is healing in and of itself. Dance is a physical expression of what the music is trying to tell. It’s a fantastic way to expend energy, let go of inhibitions, and express your feelings. Sweating causes the production of feel-good endorphins, which make you joyful. It’s a terrific method to be in a good mood to listen to good music and dance to good music. The teaching method is participatory and communicative, making learning enjoyable and stress-free.
Dance has the power to cure people. For me, fitness is a way of life and health is a state of mind. The most essential health advantage of dance is that it brings the mind, body, and soul into harmony.
In an age when technology and social media consume practically everyone’s time. Each lesson aims to enhance fitness levels, confidence, attention, concentration, team spirit, positive thinking, discipline, overall growth, posture, and body language through skillful progression. A dancer is encouraged to learn in a safe, nonjudgmental setting. ‘Have Feet. Will Dance’ has always been my motto. As a result, each dancer receives equal attention, and the entire group develops as a unit.
To use your energy constructively
This program attempts to channel their energy in a helpful manner by using dance as a medium of physical activity and creative medium. This is where dance and the performing arts may assist in the development of skills, knowledge, and understanding.
To make fitness a way of life
Overall fitness, endurance, muscle toning, and strength can all be improved by dance. It includes cardio/aerobic conditioning, core and strength training, and flexibility stretches. A dancer collaborates in groups, and this sense of camaraderie motivates them. Different dance genres are also different types of exercise. Hip Hop/Bboying has exercises that demand stronger arms and legs, whereas ballet focuses entirely on inner strength, balance, and posture. With all the squats, even Indian classical dance forms are tough quadriceps workouts. The routine for students practicing the Shiamak Style of modern comprises plies, stomach exercises, and stretches. Dance necessitates a high level of stamina, ensuring that the body is agile and light.
To truly experience and appreciate the impact of any exercise, it must become a regular part of your routine. It is a type of art that is continually changing, so making it a part of your daily routine is crucial if you want to get the most out of it. You can only develop in your ability to learn choreography, understand movement, and recognize the positive impact it has on your personality by incorporating it into your lifestyle and routine.
A modern dancer is concerned with expressing oneself
Dancing was never about mastering a large number of steps or a wide range of dance styles. Even if you know a lot of different dance forms, you won’t be able to connect with the audience since, at the end of the day, dance is about self-expression. Why is modern dance so popular? Modern dance, on the other hand, combines a variety of steps that allow dancers to freely express themselves. Modern dancers are trained differently than other dancers and are taught how to tap into their emotions. These dancers work hard to improve their physical fitness so that they can express themselves more freely when dancing. Dancers generally feel more empowered as a result of this. When words aren’t enough, people turn to different forms of expression, with dance being one of the most popular.
A modern dancer encourages imaginative thinking
Learning to dance does not imply that you must pursue a profession in dance. Dance, like poetry and music, is a form of expression that brings joy into your life. Even if your ambition is not to become a professional dancer and instead pursue a doctorate or a business degree, you can still profit from learning to dance.
Instead of words, modern dance is about conveying passion via movement. Dancers like this express their creativity by expressing their emotions via each dance step. Although it appears to be simple, it is actually quite difficult to perfect and requires a lot of practice.
What is the value of modern dancing to your present dance form?
Dancing is considerably more than just following the moves while listening to wonderful music; it’s about expressing yourself and emotionally connecting with the audience. Modern dancers practice moves that are very grounded and vary in dynamics, as classical ballet has had a great influence on them.
Modern dance is a type of art that promotes all dance forms because it is not restricted to any. Here are a few ways that modern dance can help you if you want to pursue dancing as a career.
Modern dance is an excellent form of art that has many benefits. With modern dance, one learns to coordinate, and every move of modern dance allows free movement of the body. Moreover, modern dance also boosts confidence and encourages discipline. If you are looking for a way to relax your body and learn something new, modern dance would be an excellent choice.