25 May 2012

Dancing from the heart …

Dancing from the heart …. Latin Dancing

 Whenever we move to dance we must dance with all our heart, dancing like caring must be true to our soul. In this context everyone has an affinity for a particular type of movement which moves them, resonates in their frequency, so it is important to identify that which you are most happy to do. Dancing the dance which you are in tune with will make you most merry for sure but accommodating that and striving for that which you are new to, opens new vistas of information in your brain , widening your horizons to be more receptive of new understandings. 
 I have often felt that there are some partner dances from across the world which are earthy and from the heart, by that I mean which moves you, grounds you, fires you, scorches you with inexplicable feelings of emotion and its no surprise that many of these dance forms originate from Latin American countries whose dances have been primarily influenced by the musical roots from Africans who were brought to these countries as slaves . Their dances and music were simply a deep connect with nature in all its glory , and humanity of love in its core,  so the music reflects the deep longing of a passion to be loving yet free & bond without being bound all at the same time. The dance movements too are a testimony to that fact  what  with movements like ,their hip swinging and shoulder shaking and body rolling and feet’s pressing into the ground in most of their dances whether it’s Bachata, Cumbia , Samba , Merengue or the even older forms like the son , danzon ,gafiera etc
 These dances have evolved in time to social sophistications may be with the influence of other countries and intermixing of influences of other cultures no doubt but the essence is still the same and that’s something to fall back on , as that’s what gives these dances their distinct latino flavour .
So whether it’s the  hip sway ,the shimmy, the sashays or the earthy sensuality of the moves it’s the  gaiety and the abandon with which it is done that characterises the heart warming and entwining   latino moves ! Amazing connections of mind body and spirit can be seen in the dance movements from these countries bridging the divide between classes, race, creed and sexes and what emerges is an exultation of the spirit of humanity beyond distinctions. Such is the power of dancing from the heart … a celebration of  life beyond trials and tribulations  and the … victory of the simple being !
 Savvy Raj 

 Ballroom Dancing: Dance of the mind

 Those of you already addicted to tuning in to shows like the Dancing with the stars , Strictly Dancing or even their local counterparts in our country, might already be adept over the technical finesse of the performers what with the judges getting  to the core of every performance with an eye for detailed introspections and to satisfy an ever increasing tribe of wanna be dancers and learners from across the world waiting with bated breath, and catching every nuance of the performers with utmost critical vision . To the uninitiated these dance performances are a thrilling ride of romantic, passionate transgressions of unbelievable timing, speed and calculated practise between partners and one is bound to be completely floored with the showy performances put up every week for garnering eyeballs.
 But taking a moment to consider some of these dances like the Waltz, the Foxtrot the Quickstep the Jive the Cha cha etc. which are considered to be examples of the standard international ballroom dances that are danced around the world as social and competitive partner dances.
 What at first glance seems gliding , floating  almost  surreal and romantic of all the dances like the waltz for example  on deeper study is based on very logistical and highly analysed patterns of moves with an in-depth understanding of body mechanics at play . Every step is a thoroughly planned move to a logical conclusion. Learning the series of steps in a programmed to perfection kind of way at times can be a completely exhausting as much as it’s interesting for the muscle memory to deepen.  Especially  so with dance floor craft ,dance manners and etiquettes & social behaviour being given its due weightage , the dances have become symbolic of elitism , urbanity and sophistication and yet are getting people to respect the health benefits  that one acquires  in time and practice.

These mindful dances if I may call them can probably be attributed to its origin, which after all has men as contributors initially with a male dominated European society bringing the rules of dancing these dances in place. The angles and the degree of turnouts, is a challenge that can be quite daunting for many learners, irrespective of their levels. But once you continue steadfastly and persevere your learning and practise diligently, the results are pretty astonishing too. Not only in terms of improvement as a dancer on the social floor but also as a fabulous way to train your body  to perfect health and not even feeling you are working out and keeping the mind stress-free.   Although competitive dancing leaves little room for improvisations with an over strict adherence to rules  and regulations which may work to preserving the dancing heritage handed down over generations , there have however been bending of the rules on  both the social dance floor for sure with so many improvisations that  have happened across  the world . Different cultures have led to fabulous amalgamations, fusions and newer dance forms. The future is definitely wide open for experimentation and with greater interest due to media and higher awareness of the health benefits these dances have taken a dynamic route to creativity at large.