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So you think you can dance?

Fredrick Ibemgbo
07:42 AM ET (US)
It's so good to learn about this awesome platform - ICDF.
I am A christian Dancer from Nigeria.

My point about "dance gymnastics". I believe every dancer has been given a potential from God which has been diversified in to different genres, or elements of dance. It is left for the dancer to identify his/hers and build on it to be exceptional then, giving God the very best of his own kind be it gymnastics or whatever.

Gymnastics in dance gives dance a complex look, yes but it could imply "With God all things are possible". Every move in the dance, When you listen to the Holy spirit, gives a meaning. The flow, When you pop, the stomp When you krump, the tutu in Ballet, the unity in choreography etc, all expresses a scripture or Word from God.
The dancer just need to dance with understanding of his dance movements and stay atuned with the Holy Spirit.

Ooops, I hope someone gets to read this after 3yrs of this discussion.
Deleted by topic administrator 01-28-2016 05:20 AM
07:59 PM ET (US)
Life is full of enigmas, riddles and complexities: Street dancers, military parades, rugby rituals, joint airstrikes and motorcar mayhem all on one weekend in the Choreography of Time.
Deleted by topic administrator 02-23-2016 01:52 AM
Diane Hobelaid
12:03 AM ET (US)
I know it's been a year since Noel posted - but I am just finally finding this discussion space - thanks to Jan and Saartje!

It seems to me that any style of dance can be used to communicate - but we need to be mindful about it. If I had suitably athletic dancers, I might choreograph something aerial into pieces if I am communicating about spirit, heaven, or even life lived in the world yet not of it. Hmmm I can't think of anything else - maybe to challenge those whose faith is all head knowledge and no early good? But I usually have dancers who are far more firmly grounded, as indeed I become the older I get. In every case, I want them to express what is real within and without, so that those witnessing find something to relate to, which draws them into the action and helps them express or process something real in their own lives. I think the arts are so effective in this way. They go beyond rational thought at times to touch the heart and perhaps make it skip a beat!
  Messages 7-6 deleted by author 02-23-2016 01:52 AM
Andrew D Park
03:50 AM ET (US)
Good post Tamara. Precisely the sort of response I was hoping for in this discussion.

I think there is a place for acrobatics in dance, but agree with you that the amount of it in SYTYCD has introduced a new genre with complexity and sensational physical demands that many people - even many very fit and agile people - simply could not realistically achieve.
Tamara Argall
02:48 AM ET (US)
Yes, I was thinking about the huge gymnastic element in SYTYCD the other day when I was watching. I don't get to watch it much. It seems to be that it has become another element of dance. It is almost like it should be another dance style - Dance Gymnastics. I felt like some times it was like just throw in a gymnastic move here and artistry goes out the window. Or when your trying to tell students about choreography development to not just throw in a move because it is cool or showy. Yes they are amazing dancers and they also have choreographers who create some of the dance works. I think some dance styles suit acrobatics very well and when it is going under the genre of entertainment dance it is appropriate and suits. I think some other styles of dance it can work, but for me it is how you can change/manipulate the round off - backflip - somersault to create something different.

I do love gymnastics and I admit I have implemented some forms of it in my choreography. I do however try to make it different.

A professional dancer is a professional dancer and there is no need to compete. Dance is for anyone who wants to take part in it. For me dance is art and should have meaning, and should have heart, weather your a professional or not, can do gymnastics or never trained as a dancer. Even if the meaning is to entertain as that is doing something for the watcher.

It is one of the latest things to be really acrobatic in dance but it doesn't mean we all have to be doing that to be a dancer. As to me that is not original and God created us all differently. I think it is wonderful that today anyone can try/do dance and choose just about any style and there will be a class for it. (usually different levels) As Christians we also have many more opportunities to dance and move. It is even more encompassing to each individuals journey in dance and provides that platform for someone to dance who may not otherwise get to.
(I hope I made sense as I don't usually do this sort of thing!)
Andrew D ParkPerson was signed in when posted
03:43 AM ET (US)
Back in the good old olden days when I was a 15 year-old school boy at a private school, it was regarded as a rite of passage into adulthood and into inter-gender relations that all my classmates and I attended Friday nights with 15 year old females from our sister school to learn basic ballroom dancing under the watchful scrutiny of several elderly teachers who taught us as well as made sure we didn't get inappropriately too close (i.e. kept at least at foot length between us) as we started off learning the niceties and steps of dances such as the waltz, pride of Aaron, quick step and more besides. None of us we great technicians, but it was all great fun.

10 years later and into my body-building phase, learning how to dance was also very fashionable with disco being very new and exciting and I attended weekly dance classes with my then girlfriend and a group of others, mainly from assorted church groups. But we were now all very serious about learning to dance well together learning challenging moves such as Rock N' Roll, Jive, the 3 Beat Hustle and countless other steps to the inevitable Bee Gees and similar music of the times.

Another incentive for me to dance was that I learned Arnold Schwarznegger had learnt ballet for posing. I wasn't that keen on doing ballet for "machismo reasons", but compromised and learnt John Travolta stylised disco moves, line dancing, and started training for Latin bronze medals.

This was the early 1980's and it was "cool" to be seen to be a good dancer.

However, compared to how those dances are presented today on programs such as "So You Think You Can Dance", although I think we were reasonably okay, it was never as complex and acrobatic as you see on TV today.

In fact, apart from the occasional rap dancer, its only in the 2000's with the emergence of such shows, that "dancing" has taken on a quite new meaning. Especially in terms of what is good and what isn't.

It used to be much simpler to learn how to dance. However, nowadays the impression from such shows is that you almost need to be an Olympic class athlete, break dancer and death defying leaper and to do that all in ways no one has done it ever before in order to be classed as a "good dancer". It has become enormously complex, and no one but the athletically elite could probably achieve what these dancers are achieving.

BUT WE EXPECT BETTER AND BETTER FROM THEM EACH WEEK, and vote them off if they don't meet our expectations of achieving the otherwise impossible.

Many of us have become armchair critics each week about all this stuff. We love to set the "high bar" in terms of how people dance on these shows.

But I wonder if, in the back of our minds as dancers, whether we some how become discouraged by all the hyper-reality of these shows which demand that to be a good dancer of any real note, we've got to be as good as these elite athletes who do the seemingly impossible which only the so called best in the world can do as professionals. I wonder how that all plays into our own perceptions and hopes for our own art as dancers.
Johanna Cardinal
02:34 PM ET (US)
There are many extremes to answer this question. On one end of the spectrum, there is the professional dancer. One person I knew, a retired professional ballerina, refused to call any "untrained dancer" a "dancer", period. They were not up to the standard, in her eyes. There is something to be said for striving for excellence, and the world is quick to acknowledge that as the standard to shoot for. We see it all the time on TV.

On another spectrum, there is the amateur dancer and mover, the one who may present a dance in a church with all his heart, the untrained one, the one who doesn't point his toes, but is accepted and yes, tolerated, by some "in the name of the Lord's work". What happens to the mentality that the church should be a platform for professional-quality alone? In the same breath, what happens to the mentality that because it is in the church, it can be mistake-ridden and therefore "forgivable"?

Then there are those in-between, who have some dance training, who dance on stage, who dance in dance classes, who dance in church, who choreograph, who give dance workshops, who take dance workshops. What of those? Are they considered any more or less?

Paula Douthett once said many years ago, "the heart of the amateur is the same as the heart of the professional... to God". Do we need to compete? It depends where your heart is, who you are doing this for, and who is watching.
Edited 05-08-2014 02:36 PM
Andrew D ParkPerson was signed in when posted
04:51 AM ET (US)
“So You Think You Can Dance”. They are so amazingly skilful, gymnastic and professional. How can we compete? Do we need to compete?

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