Finding Flow on the Dance Floor: Four Approaches

Discussion in 'Dance Articles' started by Joy In Motion, Jun 26, 2009.

  1. Joy In Motion

    Joy In Motion Member

    I recently finished the last of four parts in my Finding Flow on the Dance Floor series, so I can finally put them on Dance-Forums! Here they are...

    Finding Flow on the Dance Floor, Part 1: Social Dance as Sport

    Finding Flow on the Dance Floor, Part 2: Social Dance as Game

    Finding Flow on the Dance Floor, Part 3: Social Dance as Conversation

    Finding Flow on the Dance Floor, Part 4: Social Dance as Art

    I was definitely encouraged by the positive feedback I received on The Chracteristics of Flow in Social Dance from other dancers who also experience and seek flow through dance. I welcome your feedback on this series as well. Enjoy!
  2. bclure

    bclure Member

    Wow!

    Karin! Amazing! I have only read the "Dance as Sport" article, but I love it! I tried to learn everything way too fast.. you know, I became a "step-collector". I would be so focused on trying to impress myself and my partner with how much I knew.. Oh how wrong I was! I went back to the basics about 6 months ago. It is AMAZING, I keep everything simple and I am able to HEAR THE MUSIC, be completly present in the moment. What a different experience. This is why I dance. I had already known the feeling from contra dancing, I have literally been contra dancing my entire life and feel that "flow" on a regular basis.

    I can't wait to read the rest of your stuff.
    Brendan
  3. You are a truly gifted writer....Awesome topics and incredible clarity!
  4. Joy In Motion

    Joy In Motion Member

    Thank you, Brendan. I was so happy to read your post. "What a different experience" is right! There is something about true connection and musicality and flow that steps and flash just can't touch. Sadly many dancers do not have this focus, but I'm hoping this will change.

    And thanks, Leonid, for your positive feedback as well. It's nice to know that people enjoy reading my articles as much as I enjoy writing them. Every once in a while I wonder if I'm just writing to myself, but even then I think it's worth it. :)

    But I have received a lot of response to the flow series. I think once people recognize these experiences - as well as what triggers and characterizes them - they will begin to focus on these concepts and pursue them more often in their dancing.
  5. emilyanderson

    emilyanderson New Member

    Yeah. It can be written by someone who has understood the spirit of dancing.. who has enjoyed the madness of being in love with dance..
  6. ballroomdancer33

    ballroomdancer33 New Member

    I think social dancing is more of an art and a conversation...or perhaps a meditation.
  7. Joy In Motion

    Joy In Motion Member

    What I find interesting is that quite a few people don't relate as much to the sport or game aspect of the dance as they do the conversation or the art. I wonder if they just prefer to emphasize the social and personal aspects of the dance vs. competition or performance (which I understand completely because I do mostly social partner dances myself), or if they really don't find much enjoyment in that particular aspect at all.

    For me, I enjoy dancing on all levels - physical, mental, social, and personal (emotional/spiritual). Some of these levels are seen as being deeper perhaps, but I think they're all equally important and what I think is so great about dance is that you get to those deeper aspects through the physical and mental aspects. The whole idea (at least for me) is that you are uniting all aspects of your being and that you don't have to sacrifice one for the other. Very unique to social partner dancing, in my opinion.
  8. Ray Sison

    Ray Sison New Member

    Thanks, this is another really good resource here in DF...
  9. liz

    liz New Member

    I was searching DF for a resource to help me with the struggle of being technical and expressive. I found your article and it is exactly what I needed to read today. My question is how do you let you your mind go and trust what you have learned? I think I am still doubting myself and my mind won't let go of the control. I have always been able to show my passion... I stopped competing to gain more technique... Now, I am having issues trying to unite the two...
  10. Joy In Motion

    Joy In Motion Member

    Liz,

    I am actually writing a follow-up article to this series about removing obstacles to flow, which includes concepts like the mind/body connection, practicing spontaneity, unconscious mistakes, and relaxed concentration. It isn't ready to be published for another couple of weeks, but I will be sure to let you know when it's up on the site. It addresses the very question you are asking; this is definitely not easy for everyone...

    Keeping the spirit of social dancing - including spontaneity, improvisation, and freedom of expression - when you are competing will make you a better performer and therefore more competitive. But I'm sure there are competitive dancers on this forum who have more tips and experiences that are specific to competing, so you may want to do a search to see what has been discussed on previous threads on Dance Forums.

    I will be in touch when the article is posted, and I will sure to post it on Dance Forums too in case DFers want to discuss this some more.

    Thanks for posting, Liz!

    "Joy"
  11. latingal

    latingal Moderator Staff Member

    Hi liz! what has helped me is the following, gear your practices and your ramp up to competitions to concentrate on one or the other at a time, technique or performance.

    Technique has to really be in body memory to show up on the floor. Technique is the vocabulary, or foundations of our art, it helps us to "speak" better, but it doesn't have to be perfect to perform.

    Practice one or the other - I normally split up my practice time to work between the two (I actually use the performance practices sometimes as a reward to myself for doing the technique - kinda' like, now I get to dance!). I personally stop my technique practices two or so weeks before a comp and concentrate on performance and musicality only until the comp (and it usually takes me a bit of time to excise the technique cop in my brain).

    To get to the performance mindset, you simply have to let go and realize, what is in my body is in my body, give yourself permission to dance. Then really be in the moment when you dance; feel the movement, what you're trying to express, really listen to the music, gather it's energy in to your core and let it out through your dance.

    You cannot be judgmental of yourself and be in the moment of dancing (ie. flow), you have to let it go.

    And remember, share your experience of dance with your audience, take them with you where you go....
  12. liz

    liz New Member

    latingal,thanks for your insight. I am taking your advice to heart. Thank you so much.
  13. latingal

    latingal Moderator Staff Member

    my pleasure liz, I hope it helps!
  14. Ray Sison

    Ray Sison New Member

    Joy in Motion, thanks! This is great information, and you wrote it all so well! :cheers:
  15. Sagitta

    Sagitta Well-Known Member

    Did you write the article? if so what did you call it?
  16. chomsky

    chomsky Well-Known Member

    No Joy-in-motion with us anymore?
    R U out there? Even if you're just lurking and not want to post anymore, a big thanks for what you have shared with us. Your articles are inspiring!
  17. rbazsz

    rbazsz New Member

    Those articles are excellent -- but the web navigating is bad. For instance, if I'm reading part 1 it's not at all obvious how to get to parts 2,3,4.
  18. chomsky

    chomsky Well-Known Member

    yup, it's not straightforward!
  19. Dupree

    Dupree New Member

    This is like eckhart tolle for dancing. Really ennjoy the articles.
  20. chomsky

    chomsky Well-Known Member

    Ditto that!
    Those articles are something like a bible to me! I just love them!

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