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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Humming Along - it works!


dancepig

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A little background: I'm a linear person, non emotional, analytical (would have made a great engineer if I was born later in the last century than I was). Anyway, I have a musical background, fortunately, so there's no problem with my musicality in ballet class. The problem is I'm so busy trying to analyze the steps, I never show any emotion except fierce concentration. I'm always getting the "show more emotion" lecture in class.

 

Tonight I found the secret to showing emotion (well as much emotion as I'm ever going to show) - hum along with the music! It really helps get rid of the fierce concentration face! Ta-Da! Now, if I only knew ALL of the music! :sweating:

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LOL! Me, I'm a counter. I count almost fully out loud when I'm trying to do combos. I had said "well done" to one student who'd had some trouble getting a combination only to have her say back to me, "That's because I could hear you saying it!" *grin*

 

If I "emote" to music, without having the steps down, I will go off the count. That was a pet peeve of mine in another class, with a former teacher: she was a beautiful dancer but never stayed with the music, so I found it hard to follow a combination. *sigh*

 

*being reminded of "Sing Along with Mitch" program ages ago....

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There was one combination I had in college that was nothing but plies and releve's with straightening the legs thrown in between some of the time. The order of each move was all mixed up. The teacher had us all sing the order of everything with the music before we did it, and during. It was the only way to get it right as there was no discernible pattern to the combination.

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hmm - umm - just how much did you like this combo? If it was me (with my need for straight lines) it would be :(

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This sounds very interesting, I am definately going to try this, as I always get commented about how angry I look when I am concentrating :) ...

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I always get commented about how angry I look when I am concentrating ...

Yes! This is what I get - and yes, the humming seems to work - let us know if it works for you.

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Probably best not to do it outloud, as it might disrupt the student in front of/behind you who may have a different learning method. Personally, if I heard someone counting or humming out loud I'd either have to ask them to stop (probably would be too shy to do that), or stop taking the class altogether.

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How very fond of this site I am as a newcomer. I gave this humming thing a little try this week after reading about it here. I have musical backgroung of playing several instruments and singing. While I didn't actually hum out loud I did try to imagine like I was singing as well as doing the combos. It made such a difference to my movement and I felt like I was half dancing even though it was only barré work! I felt the joy of music sort of lifting my limbs and keping my center together and all! Thanks, Dancepig!

 

(Our teacher always sort of hums the songs when showing us the combinations. It's very helpful. And sweet as it's only sort of humming. :yes: )

Edited by Magenta
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Ours has us chant the combination in rhythm. I tend to sort of close my ears if she tries to sing it, though. :blushing:

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I felt the joy of music sort of lifting my limbs and keping my center together and all! Thanks, Dancepig!
Happy to oblige! I am just please with the positive results of my countenance, and yes, I felt it was uplifting. I do hum under my breath, bearly audible, we are fortunate to have a small class in a large studio (for the most part), and so far, no complaints, just positive remarks from the teacher about my facial expression.
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I was thinking of this post all through classes this weekend. :blushing: It reminds me of a video of my sister in her first ballet "show." She was probably 4 or 5 and families were invited to watch her class at the end of the year. They did a little combination to some song with words, and she was singing out loud and very enthusiastically the whole time. If humming helps you capture the joy of movement, go for it!

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Wow Dancepig thank you so much! It really does work! I did not get any comments about looking angry :lol: It is impossible to 'look angry' while humming; you almost automatically relax your facial muscles it seems. :) Yes, if only I knew all the music... I think I might try 'practicing the humming' while I listen to music in the car to music I don't know as it seems to work if you only hum the odd note here and there (almost inaudibly).

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Happy to be of assistance! I'm finding it helps me to "not think, just do", as the great Mr. B. used to always say (not that I ever personally met the man). I'm thinking I might try humming at work, it might help me to not over think about "stuff" there as well. :)

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Ha ha. This reminds me of a correction I got recently. I always whistle, ALL THE TIME. So when I was having trouble with my pirouettes to the left my teacher told me to whistle and surprisingly IT WORKED :wacko: It just helped me to relax.

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