Dance as Emotion

This post is part of the Pole Dancing Blogger’s Association April blog hop on emotion and spirituality in dance. It took me a while to write this, and I shied away from really digging deep, but here it is, barely still in April.

I haven’t always thought of dance as a way to express emotion. I grew up taking ballet, and while ballets definitely portray emotion, that aspect of dance wasn’t emphasized at all in class. For me, ballet class was about technique. And while technique is definitely important, that’s only one part of a great dance performance. What makes a dance performance fantastic is the emotion that comes through. Emotion is an aspect of dance that I’m still working on: I feel silly making faces while I’m dancing, unless it’s a smile. I used to always choose songs that were upbeat and happy so I could just smile the whole time: all I want to do when I’m on stage is smile because I’m so happy to be performing! But then I realized that there are so many other emotions than joy, and while it’s fine to express happiness, I don’t want to be pigeonholed into those kinds of performances.

I chose a song for the Florida Pole Fitness Championship that required an emotional response, and I don’t think I succeeded in that. I wasn’t very happy with my performances for several reasons, not the least of which I looked like I had a completely blank expression the entire time. I actually think the best run-through I had was once at the studio a few weeks before the competition for my submission to National Aerial Pole Art. The only other person there was my training partner, who is amazing at portraying emotion, so I didn’t feel silly just going for it.

One of my favorite pole artists is Sergia Louise Anderson, who makes the BEST faces when she’s performing. I love watching these videos in particular:

Elation to deflation portrayed beautifully.

Check out her absolute freedom starting 2:45! So amazing.

It’s not a great quality video, but I am absolutely obsessed with this routine! So much story here.

Portraying emotion – no, not even that. Having my emotion come out in dance form, that’s what I’m striving for. That’s what I want out of pole: to be able to take whatever I’m feeling inside and have it show on the outside. The music I have for my NAPA piece makes this easier for me, and I really think it’ll be the most emotional performance I’ve done yet. I need to get past thinking about what move is coming next and just live in the emotion of the piece.

I have one more performance to end with, and it’s my absolute all-time favorite emotional dance piece. I love seeing people do what they were made to do: my mom still tells how my parents hired a guy to come trim the trees in their backyard when I was little, and she’d never seen someone so obviously meant to be doing that job. He was so incredibly joyful about climbing trees and his work that it shone through. This guy, a contestant on So You Think You Can Dance, was created to dance. This was what he was made to do and it’s incredible.

 

See the other blogs addressing this topic HERE.

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