The Top 3 Improv Exercises
As promised in our last blog post, here are some of Miss Allie’s favourite structured dance improvisation exercises! The 3 exercises we are about to share are the secret to how Dance Sensations dancers become masters of their own free movement! They allow students to learn the art of improv while inspiring new ways to move. These 3 improv exercises are especially great if you’re feeling a bit stuck or if you’re not feeling super inspired in your dancing, although they’re fun to play around with and explore even if you’re not stuck!
1. Lyrics Vs Beats
This one is pretty self explanatory; choose a song and begin by dancing only when the artist is singing. As soon as the singer takes a pause (backing music may still be playing) your movement should stop or slow down. After a good 30 seconds or so change it up and listen/dance only to the beats. When dancing to the beats or music you should let the accents guide your movement e.g. If there are distinct beats you can try to hit them with sharp movements. Try your best to ignore any words or lyrics and use the music to inspire movement.
2. Mood Improv
For this exercise you need to pick an emotion to inspire your movement. Whether that be angry, sad, frustrated, happy or excited etc. Once you have chosen an emotion , all you have to do is dance in a way that expresses that feeling best for you. The goal is to see a clear difference between each emotion. If you’re dancing in a group keep in mind that everybody will have a different perception of each emotion. There is no right or wrong way to express a feeling, however everybody should have a distinct change in how they dance for each emotion. Try changing the emotion up midway through a song rather than using a whole song for one mood or emotion, as this will challenge you to use the music in a different way!
3. Focal point Improv
For this exercise you need to choose a specific body part that will lead your movement. The point of this exercise is to help you explore new ways to move particular parts of your body, allowing you to specifically focus on body parts that you often forget to use. For example; to start off you may choose your right hand, therefore your right hand should lead and initiate any movement. You are able to use your whole body as you dance but your right hand should be the centre of all movement. The goal is to find different ways to move that specific body part, and if someone was watching you dance they should be able to guess which body part is leading the movement. You can even choose more specific body parts like your pointer finger, nose (this one can be pretty funny to watch), or elbow for a challenge.
Over to you
Improvisation is such an important part of developing as a dancer and an artist. Miss Allie’s improv exercises have been a huge help in setting Dance Sensations dancers apart with their free movement and allowing our dancers to have the tools to become their own artists and creators. Give these a try at home or in the studio and let us know in the comments below which exercise was your favourite!