Thursday, May 16, 2013

The Magic Of You Tube {And Teaching An Old Dog New Tricks...}

I think we can all agree that You Tube is a great tool. Sure, among all the music videos and DIY tutorials some of the more disgusting and disappointing aspects of humanity are represented. But equally represented are the inspirational and amazing feats of humanity and nature. And there is some truly entertaining, if not befuddling things floating around the You Tube-o-sphere.

Aside from Bad Lip Reading videos, Steve Kardynal with a Shake Weight and epic-whatevers, I am constantly using You Tube for inspiration and education for much of what I do relating to dance, fitness and dance + fitness.

When I was growing up in dance, in a relatively small community at the time, from my best recollection there was ballet, modern, jazz and tap. Hip Hop had really not blown into town yet, and not as much fusion was going on. Contact improv was about as wild as it got. Much of what I learned was influenced by being in a college town with a pretty awesome dance department (during the 70's and 80's). Competitive dancing (competing in dance competitions, think "Dance Moms") just did not have legs in my town at the time. I had a very traditional upbringing in dance. Traditional ballet, traditional modern dance, traditional jazz moves (tap, traditional or otherwise, is still on my bucket list). So things like acro dance and trading in macro steps (perfectly placed turns, power moves with smooth transitions) for more expressive micro moves that bring individual beats of music to life really weren't featured tools in my tool box. I'm not complaining, and it's not to say that I wasn't exposed to creative and unique forms of dance or choreography. Because I most certainly was. But in my opinion, in today's world of dance, there is an explosion of styles that have a great way of combining the excitement of movement with a deep soulfulness, all the while having a certain amount of accessibility. I'm grateful for much of the dance education I have received over the years. And I'm grateful for all the stuff available to me now.

But I've got my own dance students to educate now. And while we aren't on the competitive dance circuit, it is important that they know what's out there that they need to know. And something else too. This stuff is hella fun to do! So often, I'm learning this stuff right along with my students!

Here are some of the dances I have found on You Tube that my lyrical class and I have been working on.

We are madly in love with this one. When I went to find the music on ITunes I came up against a bit of a struggle. The artist and the music are Russian. But I prevailed (a dramatic way of saying I used Google translate) and found it. And yes, I now know how to do a cartwheel onto my knee. The choreographer is Galina Peha.

This is the latest one we are working on. Great song. Some awesome moves. I'm especially excited because of all the little moves to individual beats in the music. A way to become one with a musical composition. The choreographer is Anita Zanelli.

So perhaps this old dog can learn some new tricks. Fuse the traditions of my upbringing with the amazing world of what's available with a mere click.

Got any cool dance videos to recommend?

Thanks for hanging out.

Enjoy the dance that is life!


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