Doing less with more

Feels a little like an oxymoron right? Doing less with more. We are continually encouraged to do more – buy more, be more, see more, do more, but how often do you read something telling you take your more and do less with it? Welcome to today’s blog entry!

When was the last time you saw a dancer and went “wow that was a lot of dancing”. I don’t mean – they danced for 30 minutes, I mean they danced for 5 minutes and made you feel exhausted at the end of it.

On the same token, when was the last time you watched a dancer and thought “did they actually dance?”. They may have spent 5 minutes on the stage, but did they do anything?

How do I find the compromise?

The answer is in your music!

When you listen, and I mean really listen, to the music. Let it soak into every part of your being, you find a “pocket”. This is the part of the music where musicality lives.

A bit too obscure? Ok, let’s find this a different way.

There are built-in moments throughout the song. This moment is often reflected in the vocals or the lead instrument but can also be featured by other instruments. Songs also have a feeling of being a giving or recovery moments (or outs and ins).

By using these moments throughout the piece, you can weave together a story across your dancing that links these moments to the feelings or emotions that are either in the song that you’re expressing, or that you’ve chosen to express.

Now, I’m not saying you need to dance to only the vocal line/melody. In fact, you will do this from time to time, but you also have permission to explore other interesting things going on in the music behind the lyrics.

Ok, I’m still not sure what you want me to do.

That’s ok. Step 1 is to find what you’re following in the music. This will give you your musical pace. Step 2 is to dance only half of it.

What? Half?

Yes, only half.

By not dancing to all of what you hear, you give yourself room and permission to add in that extra “juice” that takes a dance from being ok, to amazing.

It could be as simple as a head release at the end of an undulation from down to up. Or being able to draw out that shift of weight from one foot to another, or really sitting into that hip movement rather than keeping it light and bouncy.

It also gives you room to think. Room to be able to store all the movements you are doing without the panic of forgetting one because “it’s so fast!”.

More and less?

That’s where the “more” comes in. You’ve got all these different movements, but how often do you actually use them? When the music is racing and your adrenalin is pumping and the stage lights are hot, most of us fall back on a handful of movements.

Add on top of that, super fast choreography or improv which features every accent and drum hit and our recollection of what feels safe is all we have left.

By giving yourself room to move, think and breathe, you can access some of those other moves. You can turn the adrenalin down and feel the dance, not just the heat of the lights.

Interested to see how we put this into action? With regular classes and workshops running year round, and private online and in-person options, there’s something for everyone.