Updated: May 5, 2020
Photo by Lil Shao
There’s an ability all good dancers possess. It’s a skill and lesson they learn that changes the way they practice and the way they express their style, whether consciously or unconsciously. It’s the ability to create MOMENTS.
I want you to take a moment and think about when you watch a good movie or read a good book, and then later talk about it with friends. What is it that you always bring up, and remember..? It’s always the Moments. The Moments that made you cry, or laugh, or say ‘wholly shit.’ The Moment in the action movie with the crazy, dope fight scene or car chase. The Moment in that book when the big twist dropped that you never saw coming. We talk about dance as storytelling because stories are about creating Moments; Moments that will make audiences scream, shouts, go wild, cry, click their fingers or watch in amazed silence.
Now think about your dance and tell me, what are the Moments you are creating?
Are you a fast, blur of spinning power? Making everyone go crazy at your dynamic speed, and then wowing them with your sudden ability to stop exactly on beat?
Are you a bendy, abstract, experimental creature, doing things with your body that no one thought possible?
Or are you the freestyling, embodiment of the music, so caught up in the track that you literally become the beat?
As a B-boy, whenever another B-boy or B-girl shows me a move, combo, or set they’ve been practicing, I always ask them, ‘at what point am I supposed to be wowed?’ Breaking is a crazy, dynamic, explosive dance, all about going off on the break and doing things that make people say ‘wow!’ Be it with funky toprock, dynamic blow-ups, or killer, on beat, footwork. So I always tell Breakers that when you create a move, step, combo or set, you need to know at which Moment I am supposed to feel excited and wowed, and then present that Moment in all its crazy glory! Think of it like the Moment Michael Jackson spins around, grabs his crotch, and screams, ‘oooooooh!’ There’s a reason we all copied that as kids because that was the Moment we all said, ‘wow.’
Whatever dance style you do, you should know at which point you want whoever is watching to be amazed, seduced, or simply left wanting more. You should know it, feel it, and allow yourself to get lost in it, and become it, because when you step on that floor everyone is watching YOU. It is your time, your Moment, and we are all waiting and anticipating, willingly giving ourselves over to you to see what Moment filled story you are going to express to us through your dance. We want to be seduced, wowed by the magic of your movement, inspired into screaming or moved into amazed silence. The best dancers, they give us these Moments, and through them, they constantly remind us of why we are so in love with this art form.
So dance me a story filled with Moments. Come out like a damn superhero, in a way that makes me sit up in awe of you.
Be Fast! Hit the floor running, make me feel out of breath just watching you.
Or take it slow and easy. Hypnotise me with the sway of your body and flow of your limbs, until I’m mesmerized and completely under your spell.
Or just go off, be a monster on that floor and shake the damn walls of the room with the thunder of your steps!
But whatever your style, and whatever your choice of expressing those Moments, next time you’re at practice, or getting down in a circle, or battling, or even just jamming, don’t just ‘Be in the Moment,’ create the damn Moment!
Emmanuel Adelekun The Vivid Scribe
Vibes all day!