While some would say that ‘love’ is the ‘international language’ but I would disagree. When you have an amazing beat and great melody, our bodies naturally match it with movement. Timing are our words and Musicality is our punctuation. Last week the Helpers were treated by Emely to an amazing workshop to enhance our dance vocabulary.
Teaching Timing in music is tough. While one can’t learn to be perfectly on time in an hour, last weekend’s workshop helped us all get that much closer to metronome-like precision. Using time-tested methods and some pretty creative techniques, the Helpers were not only improving their timing but expressing salsa better than they had ever before!
Having been formally educated in music theory and timing, it was impressive to see Emely’s understand of musicality, from physical expression right down to time signatures. This was shown by a fun ‘jam session’ where everyone played instruments to mimic the salsa rhythm. While you can get away with being a bit off when dancing, instruments are not forgiving.
From the jam session we all played with timing, dancing on1, on2 and even on3! I have to admit, that even with pretty solid timing, it took me some time to adjust. I have to say that it felt really cool to be able to dance on3… it’s a completely different feeling.
Speaking of feeling, our next session was all about how to feel the music better. By learning how to make our dancing match the music better (dancing softly or hard), one felt the music channelling through them. To be honest, this is my biggest beef with most dancers is that they just do the moves with the same feeling they do for every song. I’ve seen certain dancers look truly sad when they dance to songs about lost love and others who drip with sex appeal as they dance to the more racy songs.
I mean, if we are not truly expressing how music makes us feel, why are we dancing?
Thankfully for Emely’s workshop, we all learned how to better express ourselves on the dance floor with better timing, rhythm and musicality. Enjoy the workshop? Feel free to comment on your experience or if you’d like to see more of these kinds of workshops!
Stay Shining Salseros!
While being relatively new to the Toronto Dance Helping scene, one thing I keep getting asked about is timing. This makes total sense as being on beat is essential to all dance styles and couldn’t be more true for the highly syncopated rhythms of salsa. Trust me, learn to be on time and your dance card will fill up faster than the off-time person who knows a million moves.