Contemporary dance You’ve probably seen it on popular dance television shows like So You Think You Can Dance or Dancing with the Stars, but do you know what contemporary dance is? With roots in several distinct styles of dance, like ballet, hip hop, and modern dance, contemporary dance emerged in the mid-1900s. And quickly became one of the most popular dance styles in the Western world. If you are interested in any kind of dance, Learning contemporary dance for beginners is a great way to master the control over your body you need to upgrade.

What is Contemporary Dance?

Brought to the forefront of popular culture by dance pioneer Merce Cunningham, contemporary dance changed much of what people thought about dance before it existed. Cunningham did not believe in the importance of the straight line or straightforward narrative in dance, as was so important in ballet and traditional styles. Instead, Cunningham’s dance stressed unpredictability, expression, and freedom, while simultaneously maintaining a strong focus on technique.

One significant and different aspect of contemporary dance is that it rejects the value of the legs that many popular dance styles stress. Instead, contemporary dance focuses on the movement of the torso, which allows much more fluid, languid movement, rather than sharp and pointed movements.

Taking Contemporary Dance Classes

To learn contemporary dance for novices, signing up for an easy class or private lessons is a big first step. Make sure your instructor is equipped to teach beginners – contemporary dance is a progressive art, and advanced classes sometimes require torso moves and other techniques that you need to learn first.

SSDA is a Perfect Choice for beginners

Studying Ballet

In addition to studying contemporary dance itself, aspiring dancers should also study ballet. The pose, balance, and control required for successful ballet performances make it easier to master the contemporary dance. Practice the first five ballet positions at home or with your teacher.

Focus on Choreography

In contemporary dance, the choreography is king. A choreographer, who is essentially the “director” of a dance piece, creates and often teaches a dance before it is performed. More so than any other form of dance, the contemporary choreographer manages the creative vision and message of the dance. This also comprises the steps in the dance. Whether the dance has a story or not, and what the overall aesthetic of the dance will be.

To succeed in contemporary dance, you’ll need to learn how to work with a choreographer. It’s helpful to practice choreographing dances to your favourite music so that you can see the thought process that goes into choreography. You should also be open to new ideas and to accepting the choreographer’s decisions about the dance.

If you’re interested in learning contemporary dance for newcomers, the most practical strategy is to work with a dance instructor who can teach you the basics of the style, as well as work with you on the proper technique. Learning from an SSDA contemporary dance instructor will ensure that you can execute dance moves correctly.

Finally, be ready to learn. Contemporary dance is not only an excellent way to express yourself artistically and to get to know other dancers and choreographers, but also a great way to get exercise and have fun!



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