Welcome to Episode 13 of the Salsa Kings LIVE podcast
In today’s episode, Andres tells us about musicality. Music is obviously a core component of dance. Andres speaks as to where it ideally exists along your learning process as a dancer. By musicality, Andres means the ability to express oneself with their dancing. You want to use your dance to express how the music makes you feel. With a formal or social dance, which has more formation and rules, you need to first study and master them to best express oneself. Just as a musician needs to learn their scales and arpeggios, dancers need to first learn their forms so that they can truly express your dance. This way you can both maintain the art of the style and still make it your own. You always want to respect your platform enough when you dance, and have everyone appreciate your dance fully.
Once you’ve mastered the forms, you’ve gotten to the point where you can fully enjoy dance and have fun with it. Andres stresses the need for communication with partners again, explaining how by knowing what you’re doing and communicating with your partners, it becomes easier and more fun to express yourself. There’s also the importance of emotion, of using it to bring yourself into dance. It’s important to remember to submit to the feeling, rather than trying to force your technical skill into the dance. Even if your dance move is technically amazing, it will always show when it doesn’t fit with the music. Remember the difference between forcing and performing.
There are three ways to connect to the song. The first is the beat, specifically the downbeat. Working on the tempo and the downbeat, you can use it to move with the song, whatever that song is. The second is the melody, which Andres refers to as ‘the sprinkles’. The instruments create the music along the beat and allow for a more artistic dance expression. You can move differently based on how different instruments from the flute to the trumpet makes you feel. The melody is more complex, however. Finally, there are lyrics. One clear example is a song that tells you to put your hands in the air. You can even mix and match these all in a single dance. You want to be able to use these to feel the song more fully.
By working with the different elements of the music and communicating with your partner, as well as knowing the basics, you can use musicality to make your dancing even more expressive and artistic.
“Ultimately you want to be able to paint a story where you feel a feeling so strongly that, whether it’s romantic or snooty, whatever it may be. Maybe you want to be sharp. Maybe you want to be smooth. Maybe you want to be fun and bouncy. Perhaps you want to be close…. You feel the feeling so strong that it overflows and the other people in the room can feel what you’re expressing.”