Improving Musicality

Reader Question:

Each year our dance teachers give evaluations of things to work on before we audition again in August. One of the things I need to work on is musicality.  Do you have any tips or exercises that could help with that?

Fred Astaire – “Singing In The Rain”


This is a concern many dancers have.  One approach you can take is to start off with baby steps and listen to individual instruments. As you hear the music, start moving and come up with movements that match the sounds. A flute would inspire more bird-like motions, while a drum would prompt marching or rhythmic movement.   Another approach would be listening to all styles of music, from swing to hip hop to classical. Listen to what makes each style unique (rhythms, instruments, etc.) and how you can reflect that uniqueness with your dance.  Make sure you complete each movement. Learn to pick up on syncopation – hits or accents not on the down beat.  If you have a musician friend, don’t be afraid to enlist their help to develop familiarity with musical detail.  For some, musicality comes naturally; for others, it’s something that needs to be learned and developed.



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    1. I love the advice that you give to each and every question. Exposure for sure is a great way to get started. Some are gifted in this and others are not, but that doesn’t mean they cannot work to improve!


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