When you’ve been dancing a while there’s a word that starts to appear in your vocabulary.
That word is musicality.
It’s a mystical word because no one really seems able to categorically define it.
Yet most would agree that it’s something that all good dancers possess.
Acquiring musicality is not a simple thing.
You can’t learn it in a single class or workshop – in fact there are teachers who don’t believe it can be taught at all.
That’s partly because musicality is a product of how you feel the music.
To me it’s a process that occurs when a dancer takes specific actions in a particular order.
It can be seen in the context of dancing to one particular song, or in the bigger context of developing musicality over a period of months or years.
This is how it looks to me:
Inspiration – you have to be moved by music. If you don’t feel anything, there’s nothing to express.
Immersion – you have to spend time getting acquainted with the music so your brain gets wired into the complex rhythms and patterns in Salsa.
Internalisation – experience the feelings triggered by hearing the music at heart level.
Insight – understand the music structurally and culturally on a conscious level.
Interpretation – translate the feelings triggered by the music into movement. In advance (choreography) or in real time (improvisation). Worth noting that most teachers and performers start choreography using improvisation.
Improvisation – translating feelings into movement spontaneously as the music plays.
Innovation – exploring new and exciting ways to express itself to the music as an individual.
Do I believe musicality can be taught?
As a thing in itself…no.
True musicality is too personal and too individual.
If I teach you about MY musicality, you’ll end up with an odd parody of the way I hear, feel and experience music when I dance.
Like borrowing my clothes, they aren’t going to fit and will just look weird on you 🙂
But I can facilitate and guide you through the 7 stages of finding it for yourself..
That’s because I’ve been through the process and done the work of defining it and developing it in my own dancing.
No magic or mystery.
Just the process, patience and practice.