I've mentioned before how improvisation is not that different from choreographing. Essentially, you need to practice doing both. This week I want to talk more about how to actually practice improv.
I want you to take a song that you really like and know by heart. I’m talking about every dum and tak, every rhythm change, etc. You’ve probably already danced to that song by now and have a choreography or a sequence in mind but put that aside for a minute.
I want you to think about the beginning, accents, and ending. How would you enter on stage? What do you normally do? Give yourself another option or two to choose from and practice your 2-3 different entrances.
Same goes for your finale. How do you normally finish? Think of 1-2 another finale options and practice all your options together. Work outside your comfort zone to see if inspiration strikes.
Go back to the accents throughout the song, or dramatic changes in music. What transitions do you need to make happen to get from point A to point B? Practice a few other options (perhaps you want to do a hip drop instead of a chest drop, for example).
Now put it all together and see what you come up for the parts in the middle. Practice it a few times and see what happens. Better yet, film yourself and compare your performances. Does one combination strike you better than the other?
After this step you could turn your improv into a set choreography but we’re going to hold on to that improvisation for now. Because I want you to get used to the idea that you can practice improvisation and teach yourself to be more relaxed and prepared on stage. The scariest part of improv is the unknown and you’ve already mastered that!
Now improv doesn’t seem so scary anymore, does it?
This was originally posted in the Advance Your Bellydance Weekly Newsletter. Sign up here for free bellydance tips straight to your inbox.