Dance is a conversation.
Our shapes & movement are our words.
Trying to repeat them in someone else’s voice is never as powerful as speaking up with your own.
Important point here: I DO believe in learning other people’s choreography and listening to the way they wish for it to be danced and performed. This is how we grow and learn to make choices outside of our comfort zone. Let’s be real – if we only ever do our own choreography we’ll consistently choose the stuff that feels natural and, in our opinion, works. The catch with this? Only ever hearing your own opinion limits your ability to connect with others. It’s also no way to expand your vocabulary and explore other ways of moving, communicating and reaching each other OR the audience (back to my first sentence – this is the reason for conversation!!)
Here’s what I mean…
A scriptwriter creates a script, spells out the words that make up the story to be told. Each actor that comes in to audition is given a portion of the script. With guidance, context and information from the casting director each one gives their version of a character. IN THEIR OWN VOICE. The words off the page are the same, the voice is the difference. There’s no way one actor can 'voice transplant' to be another. Some do give very clever impersonations but most realize that impersonating is only ever going to be a lesser version of SOMEBODY ELSE. Entertaining for a moment but not a place to live.
Power and impact lives in the unique take and voice that each individual brings. One person will be hired. This doesn’t mean the rest were wrong.
The WAY you breathe life into the shapes we make as dancers is your voice. Your tone and energy are felt in the choices you make + how you apply the direction and instruction given. And respond (not react) to the feedback. This makes all the difference – your voice won’t be a fit for everything but you WILL find that when it is – it comes so much more easily to be yourself than keep up the effort to be somebody else.