THAT’S Not Dance
Posted by terrepruitt on October 10, 2016
I know that I have written posts about how different people think of different things as exercise. I have written about how some people don’t think that a shimmy is exercise. Whether they don’t THINK of it as something that should be IN an exercise CLASS or they just don’t think they get any benefit from it. Some people just don’t think of dance as exercise. I know I even mentioned that TV shows like Dancing with the Stars and So You Think You Can Dance have changed the way some people think. Some people understand that dancing can be considered exercise. But I don’t think I have ever talked about how some people don’t consider all dance dancing. I might have but I don’t know that I have and it was something I was thinking about recently. I was thinking that not all “dancing” is considered dancing by everyone.
I was asked to substitute teach a class called Dance Fit. I had asked several times what “Dance Fit” was, but the response was that the students would be happy to just move to music. I had a feeling that the person answering just wanted to make sure that they had a teacher so that they would have a class. So I had been thinking about what I could do. Then I was also thinking about how I was recently at a festival where I overheard some people talking about a particular person there dancing. They were saying that he wasn’t really dancing. They were saying that they thought he wasn’t hearing the music. They just weren’t “getting” his movements. And I was looking at him and I thought it was fine. I could see how his movements fit with the music . . . to me. I thought that he looked as if he was completely dancing in a way that his body was responding to the music. He looked like he was in the moment. He looked as if he was having fun. It was fine to me.
But later I realized that not everyone thinks of all movement as dance. A ballerina might not consider clogging dancing. A ballroom dancer might not consider the pony (remember that move?) a dance. Someone used to doing Latin motion with their hips might not consider a chorus line kick part of a dance. So perhaps those women had specific ideas of what dance is and so they didn’t consider his body movements dance at all.
I think that might happen when it comes to Nia. Some people might not consider a front kick or an upward block a dance movement. People that are accustomed to all the Latin dance steps that are in Zumba they might not consider a jazz square a dance move. Just like some people might not consider a shimmy something that should be in an “exercise class”, some people might think a move such as rock around the clock or a duck walk isn’t really dance and shouldn’t be in a dance exercise class. I think I have overlooked that fact. Hmmmm.
Well, I had decided to not try to create something or TRY to do something that the class MIGHT like – because I really had no idea. I decided to do something tried and true. I decided to do something I do best. I decided to teach Nia. And they loved it. The supervisor was totally correct in saying that the class just loved to dance and they want to move. They were fabulous. We had a lot of fun. Nia is a great “product”, it is a great technique. And when people who like to move get to experience we get to have fun. I am looking forward to the next couple of weeks where I get to fill in as a sub. The students are all about movement of the body being dance and they do great. I was concerned about it for no reason.
What about you? Do you think of only certain moves as DANCE? Do you have a broad definition of dance?