To the non-professional Critics of Dancers

This post is for those that like to comment about other dancers, saying either:

A – that such and such dancer cannot not or should not be doing (fill in your type of dance here) due the their size or skill level because they are:

  1. Too fat
  2. Too thin
  3. Too whatever
  4. Don’t have enough body fat on (fill in a part of the anatomy)

Or

B – that so & so cannot dance as well as this dancer.

I have 3 answers to people who say things like this:

  1. If people took heed to their thoughtless comments, it would prevent some of the best talent we now have in the world
  2. They sure as earth…cannot do it themselves
  3. Wait, a non dancer critiquing a dancer?

In addition, comparing one dancer to another, even in the same style of dance,is foolish. It’s like one who compares a cherry to a walnut. They are different! They have different properties, are in different food groups, and taste different. They even digest differently! A walnut will NEVER be like a cherry and vice versa. They also have no desire to be like the other in any way, but both are edible foods that God Created for our pleasure to consume. He wanted to give us variety, choice, and difference. Thank you Lord!

So, why would one dancer want to be the same or equal in technique or skill or creativity as another?

Then, we would have the same duplicated type of dancer season after season. For illustration, I would not want every belly dancer on earth be specialized in only drum solos. Variety is what makes the dance so special! I want to see one skilled with zils ( finger cymbals), the other with the veil, and still another, with transitions and merging of other dance styles, etc. STOP comparing one dancer to another one that is skilled in ONE part of the dance or highlights only one element in that dance style.

In addition, everyone comes to the dance with different ranges of flexibilities, backgrounds, and interpretations. The art of dance is not a cookie cutter art. Perhaps if one can stop comparing, they can see the beauty and creativity of what a particular dancer has to offer and receive something from it. For all those that criticize dancers for not being equal to or better than another dancer, I have a one request of you: I’d like to see you do it better than the one you are comparing the dancer to. But if you cannot even dance on an amateur level, then you might want to keep quiet and let those that are working on and sharing their art, take the stage.

The Terp

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(photos taken on April 17, 2014)

 

So I’m a Sign Language Interpreter too.

Some call me ‘the terp’ or ‘the interpreter’. Either name expresses my nature. I take what I hear, process its meaning, & deliver it in a new expression.

This is what I do in dance. It’s the same creative, yet intense process. That is also why many dancers move into interpreting, because the process is the same and both deal with expressive movement. The body and facial movement, for communication, is what attracted me to the beautiful language of Sign. ASL, American Sign Language, is my favorite language and the most artistic and lovely I have ever used and witnessed. Long live the Sign…

Reflections for the New Year

Being a Christian Dancer doesn’t just mean I dance to Christian music, but rather that I have given every part of my life to Christ. And when I move, each movement is in glorification of Him. My breath is constantly aware of His giving of life. My thoughts are completely absorbed with Him, His nature, His works, His excellence, His mercy, and also His wrath. Being a Christian Dancer means I don’t impress others with me in the dance, but impress them with the God in me.

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Elements of Dance

There are many ways to approach choreography, but before approaching it, one must know what elements or ingredients to work with, within this art .  What makes up a Dance?  How can you break down this artform?  Here are the dynamics that compose this wonderful form of moving called “Dance“.

Sound ~ instruments, sythetic creations, natural beats, anything that pleasantly changes the vibrations in the air

Body ~ so many parts to move to make a picture or story, arms legs head neck torso knees ankles wrists fingers…

Space ~ the limiting or expansive room between your body and possible paths to move

Time ~ the length  of counts or freestyling

Strength ~ the range between how hard or soft a movement is made

Now we are ready to play with these dynamics in choreography!

Defining Dance

Dancing itself is neither good nor evil. From the Christian perspective, its your intent in the Dance that determines where it falls on the scale of positive “good” or negative “evil”.  Through your dance, you are serving something.  That something can be one of three things: yourself, satan, or the Most High God.  There are two entities that control this atmosphere: God and His enemy, satan.  Whether you realize it or not, you will serve one in your talent.  If you are serving yourself, beneath that spirit is the one of pride, which brought the devil down, cast out of heaven to earth. Make a choice to serve the one who gave you the talent, has all knowledge about that talent and has a purpose for that talent.

Consider these questions:

What do you think about when you dance?

Do you focus on the moves only or is there a theme or spirit behind your movment?

Are you promoting an idea? or a person? or an event? or a god?

What is your motives for the Dance or what are motives being provided for you?

Do you seek to please or incite an emotion from the viewer?

Are you perfecting your craft for competition or self aggrandizement?

In the Lord, there is no competition only creativity.  Everyone has been given at least one gift to worship and serve Him with.  If dance is your gift, the more your sharpen your skills, you can carry a greater anointing ( see Jesus’s parable on talents, Luke 19:11-27 ).