It seems like some people don’t need to learn technique – they just watch and move! So who needs to study technique, and how can you become more creative?
This week marks two years since Kizomba Community released the Kizomba Technique Junkie series, a set of education videos I produced with Rachel Meth. At the time we made the series, there was no other educational resource for kizomba that used good pedagogy to equip kizomba dancers with a clear understanding of HOW to move and WHY.
Just this weekend I was having a conversation with a local kizomba dancer here in Stuttgart. We were talking about our own journeys in learning kizomba and times when we had been confused or frustrated. I shared with her an idea that she’d never considered before: the difference in how people learn and teach in movement cultures versus non-movement cultures.
Check out the full article “Learning to Dance in a Non-Movement Culture” on LDC.
In essence, sometimes it’s hard for people like me to learn to dance simply by watching and copying. A lot of truly amazing dancers in African and Latin styles teach this way, because that’s how they learned. I didn’t grow up with any kind of dance in my life, though, and it took me a long time to figure out how to get control of smaller muscle groups in my body, let alone connect with my skeleton. I needed words and movement exercises to help me get to the point of being able to learn “naturally” from these people who grew up dancing. For me it wasn’t about becoming a “technical dancer” – I just needed a little more instruction to be able to understand authentic movement.
That’s the reason I wanted to make a video series focused on technique. Not as a replacement for going to weekly classes and festival workshops, but as a companion guide for all the dancers like me who want more explanation. (And for aspiring teachers who want to be able to provide such explanation.) As a certified educator who’s been teaching in many contexts for the last 10 years, I know how to take a concept and break it down so it’s accessible for everyone.
Plus, there are added benefits. When you understand how the technique works, you aren’t limited to learning moves as set pieces. Instead you see the dynamics of the whole dance and can create your own moves and variations, enabling the best possible musicality.
We released this preview video to show some of the elements a kizomba dancer can play with in order to be more creative and musical.
Get the whole series and you’ll be helping Kizomba Community continue to bring you awesome videos, articles, and resources to help you be more informed and connected in this wonderful dance scene. Read more about the videos and see what others say about learning from Rachel.