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Student Dance Journals

The Perks of Being a Dancer

It was the contemporary dance “Any Other World”, performed in 2012 by my studio’s advanced dancers that persuaded me to become more dedicated in my own dance training. It had been my first year at the studio in the Recreational Program, and I was planning to be a part of their Semi-Professional Program the following year. That performance looked so genuine and professional. I wanted to be a part of the same experience those dancers must have gone through to create that dance. I enjoyed watching and being a part of that unique live experience. There were subtle changes in the movement which caused different expression behind the dance. This made me appreciate dance performances for their inimitable quality. Inspired, I was so excited to start my own dance experience.

Throughout my dance training I have really enjoyed improvisation classes. Practicing improvisation helps me to acknowledge my movement patterns and it challenges me to find new transitional movement through my body. I have found that this helps me to pick up choreography from different teachers at a much faster pace. The exercise I gain the most from is “group improvisation”. We each have a task to fulfill throughout the whole dance. For instance at least one person has to have their hand touching the ground, and another person must be still. These limitations allow the group to work together. If the dancer who was still decides to move again, they must be committed to their decisions, so that the other dancers are instantly aware of the change. Once that person has moved, another dancer must replace their stillness. However nothing has been planned before-hand and everyone one else has to be dancing, so we must connect to decide who will take the place of the next. What I gain from just this one task is learning how to adapt, be committed, use teamwork and be aware of the other dancers. I really love exercises like this, because it develops skills that I can use outside of dance. I hope to retain these skills I am learning and add new ones as my dance experience grows.

– Gemma Tomasky (15), Third-Year Student at The Landing Dance Centre

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