We know that some of us are terrified of the word IMPROVISATION. Believe it or not, we have all been there and, yes, it is a little uncomfortable at first. But the more you practice and the more you experiment with improvisation, the more you will learn to love it!
“I love to improv because it lets me explore new movement that I wouldn’t normally create. It sends me on a roller coaster ride through rhythms and ideas,” Miss Amy says, “Once I start, it’s hard to stop.” Miss Amy uses improvisation exercises in her Lyrical and Tap classes at IDA. She also has been practicing Rhythm Tap Improvisation techniques with The Lady Hoofers Youth Ensemble. “It’s important to have my students improvise so they can learn how they hear the music. I also get to see what new movement they create on their own without me telling them what to do,” says Miss Amy.
As dancers, we are constantly being told how to dance. In class, we watch our teachers and try to mimic their movement exactly. Improvisation allows dancers to explore their own creativity and uniqueness.
Another one of our IDA instructors, Miss Cat, is a huge fan of improvisation. She uses improvisation to bring her creative thoughts to life and to express her emotions in a positive way. “Improvising is a way for me to say the things words can’t,” Miss Cat says as she encourages her students to practice improvisation in class as well as on their own.
Similarly, Miss Tara uses improvisation to help her students channel their own artistic voices. Miss Tara uses improvisation in all of her Modern classes at IDA and master classes around PA. “Improvisation is a great for our dancers to explore the possibilities in space. It gives them the chance to challenge themselves in a new dimension,” Miss Tara says.
Improvisation is not only used in the classroom, it can also be found on stage during a performance. This past weekend, Miss Sarah performed with The Blind Faith Dance Company with a section that featured live improvisation. “We were given just a few guidelines (for example, make physical contact with another dancer, move in and out of the floor, etc.) and from there, we developed our own individual structure.” She explains that although the improvisation changed from performance to performance, it followed the same guidelines and was a surprising treat for the audience and dancers each night of the show.
Improvisation can also be found during the audition process in the professional world. Miss Jamie believes that being comfortable with improvisation is a fundamental audition tool. “Many auditions include improv because it is a chance for dancers to show who they are and how they move,” says Miss Jamie from personal experience in the professional dance world. “Like any skill, it is important to practice it regularly to become proficient and improvisation is no different,” she says.
IDA instructors believe in challenging their students and pushing them to become the best artists they can be. This is why we incorporate improvisation into our daily classes the Institute of Dance Artistry.
**Want to come see your inspiring IDA instructors improvise this weekend? Join us for our Improvisation Jam this Saturday, October 12th at 7:00pm at our Fort Washington studio. There will be professional and pre-professional tap, modern, jazz and lyrical dancers with live music! Also, there will be a free reception following the Improvisation Jam at 8:30pm in our studios.