In African dance, every dance has certain characteristics that can be seen and you can tell which dance it is through the movement, the timing and the history but most importantly, the dance position of the performer.
African dance has a different kind of passion when performing it. This is mostly from which part of the continent the dance is from. In southern Africa, we dance "grounded"! All the passion comes from the ground and flows through you. This is the basic passion of dancers in southern Africa as you see a lot of foot work. It's like the earth is powering your movements with each foot stomp or with each jump. Your movement in the dance - it's jumping and the moves are more off the floor. When you jump, you have to keep the body open as you go up and down, and when you crouch your body, staying small - open your body. Time is important as well because knowing the time of the dance gives the dancer an idea of how to stand and how the dance will be presented.
A celebration dance will have moves that are all over the place. Keep the dance rooted as it is supposed to be and don’t get carried away with the move. Know the basics of it and keep them as you apply the fundamentals. History is also important as you will get to know where the dance originated from. The history of a dance helps in being connected to that tribe, formulating a bond which allows for you, as the performer, to speak to the audience. To tell the audience the tribe's story. In Africa, we have a lot of dances and all these dances require passion, however people have problems keeping the passion on stage during a performance. The trick is not to keep the show going but is to know the dance in and out through passion. The performance won’t be a problem when you get on stage and it will not be something to think about during show. Let the passion take over!
I really love performing African dance! When I'm not on stage or rehearsing for a performance, I spend my time in the studio, trying to see how best can I help people to know more of African dance and keeping African dance alive.
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