Choreography: Tips for Soloists

March 14, 2013 Caroleeena DancehoopdanceUncategorized

soloBefore the show, arrive early, go on stage, pick a spot at the farthest point, in the middle, to spot on and anchor. Project your energy there!

Take the Stage. When you take the stage, make an impression. Don’t wait til your music starts. Take the stage like a professional. Leave the stage like a professional.

Expand. You are alone on the stage. Pull yourself up and push yourself out in all directions. It happens in your mind first and then comes out of your body. Direct your gaze not at your fingertips but beyond your finger tips. Fill the entire auditorium with your energy! Use all the space available to you.

Use the stage. Don’t stay in the center. Work the entire stage area, remembering that diagonal lines are the most interesting.

Remember that you are never dancing alone! (No, not even as a soloist.) You are dancing with an audience. Include them. Even if this makes you nervous. Studies have found that including the audience actually reduces stage fright.

Expression. When it comes to expression, the eyes are more expressive than the mouth. Open them up. Look at people. Look up, not down. Feel your story and wear a facial expression appropriate to that story. Relax the jaw. This makes smiling and all other facial expressions easier. (It also makes the rest of the body relax and helps you to breathe deeper.)

Remember that you are an actor as well as a dancer. Be familiar with the time period, costuming, and emotions of your piece. Don’t fake them. FEEL THEM! In the event something goes wrong, stay in character! How would your character handle the issue? Do that.

Ooooze confidence. Even if you don’t feel it. Fake it til you make it.

Practice! Technique, face, emotion, all of it. Practice extensively ahead of time. Rehearse physically and rehearse mentally.  Before sleep, in the car, in the shower, whenever you have a free moment, run through your number in your mind. Repeatedly rehearsing in your mind allows you to strengthen the neural pathways that will recall and produce each sequence. It helps you refine your skills with less stress on your body. It also enables you to rehearse anywhere.

Visualize. The first step to effective visualization is to relax. Relaxation helps us visualize better and will result in us being more relaxed in performance. Then picture your dance in its entirety, from before you enter the stage through the moment you leave it. Visualize the audience’s response. Picture yourself as prepared and confident, exceeding even your highest expectations.  Visualize yourself performing each skill or sequence at your very best, enjoying both the process and the experience. Enter completely into the visualization with all your senses: see the sights, hear the sounds, taste the tastes. Feel each touch, smell each smell. Visualize specific movements or tricks. Visualize sequences. Visualize the emotions throughout. Visualize a rousing and positive response from your audience and everyone around you.

Remember: This dance is yours to dance. No one else can dance it. If you do not dance it, the world will not have it. It’s up to you. Get out there and do your best and know that, no matter what, your best is good enough. It’s a beautiful, unique moment in time, a moment of you having the courage to make yourself vulnerable and share who you are and what you have to share with others. Thank you for having the courage to do that. Know that by doing it, you give others the courage to do it also.

Break a leg!

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One response to “Choreography: Tips for Soloists”

  • Basanti says:

    Thanks for such great advice. These are really important points to remember in order to make your dancing come to life.

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