Monthly Archives: November 2009

Three things I’ve always wanted to do.

3) This super hilarious shuffle at 0:49.

2) Sweet, sweet Bethany crazy swivels. Watch closely at 1:51. Up high and down low.

1) The butt bounce. Pay attention to the couple at the back at 1:43.

Raw vs. Elegant

Developing your own “style” or “look” in your dancing is probably the hardest thing that I can imagine. The reason why it’s so hard is because no one can tell you how to do it. You can ask someone about technique or a footwork, but you cannot ask some one how to make your body look natural doing the moves or steps that they show you. You have to figure that one out on your own.

To me, that’s essentially what style is; adjusting the move to fit the way your body naturally moves, because that’s what is unique. You have to find a comfortable place and sit into your movement. That’s kind of what I visualize.

Anyhow, I’ve recently been thinking about how differently people dance and what I like about it. I’ve noticed a few different prevailing trends in what I’ve noticed about peoples movement.ย  Some people dance with an elegance and a preciseness that’s some times almost ethereal and some dance with a rawness and natural movement quality.

For example Nelle Hatley dances with a impulsive precision:

But Karissa Lightsmith dances withย  a rawness that I have not seen matched anywhere.

Here Ramona Staffeld (2nd one up) dances with her whole heart (and wins!):

But here Dax Hock shows off his technical knowledge of the way his body naturally moves (and also wins!):

The next clip is a number Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly performed. Kelly is a very athletic dancer (you can tell by his tree-trunk thighs. yum.) while Astaire’s style is more graceful and gentlemanly (think top hat, white tie, and tails.). It’s incredible to see how their styles mesh together and they match each other perfectly. I also love how they are not panting by the end of it.

Which one do I like more? Raw or elegant? I like both equally, but my favorite is when these two styles come together. The most fantastic of partnerships comes from blending two very different styles like Kelly and Astaire or Frida Segerdahl and Mikey Pedroza’s dance at ILHC?. Laura Keat and Jeremy Otth personify the elegance and rawness styles (for me), what’s more amazing then their own personal styles is the way these two different types of movement mesh when they dance together.