Creating Mood In Hoopdance

December 2, 2015 Caroleeena hoopdancehoopdanceHoopingPerformanceUncategorized


A mood is a temporary emotional state. Our mood affects how we process information and experiences. Setting the scene to create a certain mood affects how receptive the listener or viewer will be to the story we have to tell. Ideally the mood we create in dance aligns with the music, movement, and story being told in our dances and the facial expressions and gestures of our bodies.

Social mood refers to how a group processes information collectively, as a group. In performance, the performer sets the mood and, if they do a good job, they create a social mood in which the entire audience collectively shares a single emotional experience.

Dance begins with an act of creating and feeling an emotional state and then conveying that emotional state to others. It starts with us feeling it! It starts with OUR emotional state.

Mood Expression

Aspects of Creating Mood in Hoopdance:

  1. Music – Tempo (the speed at which the music is played), volume (how loud or quiet the music is), pitch, which instruments are used, and lyrics all affect the mood created by the music. Ideally, a good story has variation in some or all of these things.
  2. Movement – Speed (fast vs. slow vs. still), lines (straight vs round or symmetrical vs asymmetrical), levels (high vs. low), flow (staccato vs. a gentle build or fall), expansion vs. contraction all create certain emotional experiences.
  3. Clothing – Color, style, and neatness vs. messiness all create an emotional state in both the viewer and the dancer.
  4. Lighting – a song about a bright sunny morning told on a dark stage in a darkened theater is sets an opposite tone than the one the dance hopes to convey.
  5. Expression – A smile conveys the emotion of happiness but if the song is a sad song, a sad expression sets a better tone. (Again, feel first and let a natural expression occur instead of slapping an expression on like a mask. If you’re not feeling it, tell yourself a story that makes you feel the story you want to convey. Think: Method acting.
  6. Gestures – How we use our hands does more to set a mood than most people realize. Be conscious of our gestures and choose gestures that compliment the mood you are trying to create.

Cool colors and straight lines or rounded lines create a calm mood. Warm colors, bent lines, and staccato movement create an excited mood. As you build a dance, ask yourself, “Are all these aspects in alignment with the story I am trying to tell through my dance?”

Many stories move through a series of moods in their telling and some stories have a single mood for the entire tale. The dancer takes cues about these moods from both the music (both melody and rhythm) and from the lyrics.

Some Moods You Can Create:

(As you read this list, notice your face. Empathetic people often have emotions play across their face simply by reading words that convey mood. Notice how your expression changes as you read each of these words.)

  • Accomplished
  • Aggravated
  • Amused
  • Angry
  • Annoyed
  • Anxious
  • Apathetic
  • Apologetic
  • Ashamed
  • Bewildered
  • Blissful
  • Bored
  • Brooding
  • Cautious
  • Cheerful
  • Cold
  • Confused
  • Contemplative
  • Cranky
  • Crazy
  • Curious
  • Cynical
  • Defensive
  • Determined
  • Ditsy
  • Ecstatic
  • Enraged
  • Enthralled
  • Envious
  • Excited
  • Exhausted
  • Fearful
  • Flirty
  • Forgetful
  • Frustrated
  • Furious
  • Gentle
  • Giddy
  • Gloomy
  • Grateful
  • Grumpy
  • Guilty
  • Happy
  • Heartbroken
  • Hopeful
  • Hot
  • Impatient
  • Indifferent
  • Infuriated
  • Irate
  • Irritated
  • Jealous
  • Joyful
  • Jubilant
  • Lazy
  • Lethargic
  • Mischievous
  • Naughty
  • Numb
  • Optimistic
  • Peaceful
  • Pensive
  • Pessimistic
  • Pissed off
  • Pleased
  • Predatory
  • Proud
  • Prideful
  • Rapturous
  • Refreshed
  • Rejected
  • Rejuvenated
  • Relaxed
  • Relieved
  • Restless
  • Rushed
  • Sad
  • Sassy
  • Satisfied
  • Seductive
  • Sexy
  • Shocked
  • Sick
  • Silly
  • Sleepy
  • Stressed
  • Sultry
  • Surprised
  • Sympathetic
  • Thankful
  • Tired
  • Trapped
  • Uncomfortable

This is by no means an exhaustive list but you can look at each one of these words and feel something, feel the emotions of these words, imagine the gestures you would do and the way you would move while experiencing these things, and make decisions about how you would convey them using all the aspects listed above.


Give yourself permission to feel the emotion you want to create. Give yourself permission to go there in your body language, clothing, and dance. Create a mood that allows you to immerse yourself in the song. Create a mood that allows others to join you on that journey. You may not realize it but everyone who sees you dance is dancing vicariously through you. Give them an experience!


This is a hoopdance start started out contemplative but when the lights came on switched to hopeful:

This is a hoopdance that was sassy, start to finish:

Finally, here is one that is more tortured:

Different expressions, different movements, different clothing, different lighting and setting, and different gestures.

Now get out there and try it! You have nothing to lose and everything to gain.




Creating moodCreating Mood in Hoopdance

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