How is just dance made

The Science of Just Dance

Every Sunday, we pull something out of the Eurogamer archive that you may not have read at the time or may have forgotten about. Today's piece was published a couple of months prior to the release of Just Dance 2, on 6th August 2010, as Ubisoft's unlikely Wii title from the previous Christmas continued to rock the game sales charts, and offers an insight into how the French publisher reached such giddy heights.

A meeting room in the belly of a Parisian office block: Ubisoft producer Florian Granger stands to his feet to address a group of serious-looking, middle-aged men. These are some of the company's most experienced game designers, artists and coders, veterans of Ghost Recon and Red Steel campaigns, architects of solemn videogames about war and tactics, strategy and death.

Granger's job? To reveal the next assignment the assembled group will be working on. The project? A Wii game. A Wii party game. A Wii party game based almost entirely upon a mini-game that first featured in another Wii party game, months earlier. A Wii party game that, within 18 months of this meeting, will have gone on to sell three and a half million copies and knocked the record-breaking Modern Warfare 2 from its top spot in the sales charts. A Wii party game whose instruction manual also happens to also be its name: Just Dance.

"You'd think the team would have been cynical about the project," explains Granger. "There was a flood of casual games coming out for the Wii at the time, all offering the same-old experiences with no innovation or real attention paid to the player experience. But there was immediately a sense of excitement within the group. I think that was because the codebase for the game was already proven, and the games we were looking to learn from and build upon were respected titles like Dance Dance Revolution. Our reference points were authentic."



Just Dance began life as a music mini-game in the Raving Rabbids series on Wii, in which the player used the Wii Remote and nunchuk to 'dance' in time with a piece of music. Gregoire Spillmann, Just Dance's creative director, enjoyed the mini-game, but wanted to explore what would happen if you removed nunchuk and strict Rhythm Action gameplay and allowed the player to dance more freely.

"The term 'dancing game' is usually a misnomer," he says. "More often than not you're not being asked to dance so much as push buttons - either on a dance mat, plastic peripheral or controller - in time with the music. Our concept was to inspire people to overcome their inhibitions and encourage them to actually dance. If you look at a game like Dance Dance Revolution, advanced players will often adapt dance moves to fit gameplay. We wanted to come at the game from the opposite approach, and fit the gameplay to iconic moves, ones that can then be taken by the player, and used beyond the game.

The way in which the Just Dance team achieved this effect was in direct contrast to the prevailing trend in music games, which increasingly employ complicated, expensive and lifelike peripherals to act as a bridge between player and game. "For what we wanted to achieve, peripherals were a distraction," explains Spillmann. "In order to encourage players to be free we had to reduce the amount of hardware the game required them to use to a bare minimum.

"We forced ourselves to achieve a meaningful level of rhythm and movement detection using the Wii Remote alone. We wanted complete freedom of arms and legs, so the idea of using nunchuks, elastic bands, leg straps or balance boards was thrown out at an early stage. We play-tested extremely hard right from the start, and this was the message coming back to us. The player is the best indicator; they know what they like and what they don't like so if you listen carefully, they'll guide you to make the right design choices."

In the case of Just Dance, the right design choice seemed to be the simplest design choice. I ask Granger how a team with so much experience was able to reconcile their ambition with the feedback they were receiving, to introduce fewer features and complexity.

Just Dance's aesthetic is garish - but it's also totally unique.

"From the start the entire team believed in the simplicity of the game," he explains, "so there was no contradiction between Ubisoft's desire to make it a game for everyone and our designers' own personal ambitions. In truth, making 'simple' games should be the highest ambition of any game designer, if by 'simple' we mean stripping a game back to the pure essentials where any person from any walk of life can experience something fun and engaging.

"That brief hardly represents a compromise. Also, making a game simple and accessible doesn't mean forgoing making it rich and deep. Those factors can all coexist happily, and that's something we were aiming for in Just Dance, at every stage of development."

If Ubisoft's ambition was to create a universally accessible experience, its success is near unrivalled, certainly in raw terms of last year's videogame sales. I ask Granger whether he puts the success of the game down to its soundtrack, supermarket-happy price point, or something else.

"I think there are loads of reasons why the game has been so well received. It might sound like a cliché, but it really does offer a unique dancing experience in it promotes communal, authentic dancing, rather than merely stepping in time. The tone of the game is fun too. We don't take the presentation too seriously, and I think players respond to that well, especially when we're asking them to do something as extroverted as dancing.

"Everyone remembers going to a nightclub or school disco where it takes a couple of hours before anyone has the bottle to get up and dance. Most guys do the fix-placed-beer-bottle dance or neck-shake to the beat. Everything in Just Dance is designed to sidestep those natural inhibitions. That's achieved partly by having the focal point of the screen for people to focus on, so they don't feel like they're being watched, but also in giving players a constant stream of new moves to learn, we're building up a vocabulary for people, and by having a dancer on screen to follow, giving them permission to try out that language in a safe context.

"After a few goes, when you've learned the basics, you get a little more adventurous and start to move around the room and checking at your fellow dancers. But by then, you're at ease and just enjoying the fun of dancing. Dancing with someone has this weird effect: it's like you know him or her in an intimate way or share a secret together somehow. People respond to that feeling too, as it's a unique thing in videogames."

In the light of this impassioned defense, I ask Granger how much is really going on in the Just Dance's code. Does the game really track player movements? Or is the scoring all smoke and mirrors, designed to give the player the illusion that the game is monitoring more that it really is able to?

Just Dance gameplay footage.

"We have built in a certain amount of leniency into the rhythm and precision detection, but to say that it's smoke and mirrors simply isn't true. We have constructed symmetrical movements using natural body dynamics to identify how well someone is playing even with just one controller. We look at the Wii remote as an extension of the players' hands and body.

"At first we used the nunchuk as well, but found that the wire would hit you in the face and that you lost that sense of freedom you want when dancing. The system we use takes into account the way you move, dance and handle the Wii Remote to offer more precision in the detection frames. This is seamless for the player, but it takes a lot of work to enable the proper detection through a single input device."

The game features a DDR-esque scoring system, measuring the player's performance on a wide variety of factors. I ask Granger whether a better player will always beat a poorer player, or whether the machine can be duped by flailing arms and raw energy. "No way. If you pick up the moves and hit the beat, your performance will be scored accordingly. A better dancer will always beat a poorer player. If you want to be in time and accurate, you have a much higher chance if you follow both arm movements and keep the rhythm with both your lower and upper body. So essentially, you're better off doing what the dancer is doing... Otherwise you will find the transitions difficult to match."

Neither man was willing to discuss the budget for Just Dance, nor how that might have ballooned for its forthcoming sequel, nor the royalty arrangements that the team members may or may not have enjoyed. But it's clear that, having tapped into something so popular, Ubisoft is keen to invest and build a franchise, especially in the face of a slew of me-too copycat titles from rival publishers.

As such, the team size for Just Dance 2 has been increased from 34 to 58, and a slew of new features have made it into the game, with downloadable content compatibility, new game modes and more accurate detection expanding the game in ways beyond its track list.

But despite the promise of these new features, Just Dance continues to have a hard time convincing hobbyist gamers of its worth, typically being dismissed as a lightweight, throwaway party game, a subject unworthy of serious discourse. "That always makes me laugh," says Granger. "The entire videogame industry was founded on games made by lovable nerds that were, initially at least, enjoyed by everyone. I remember my friend's dad spending hours with us on 'Pong', refusing to give up the controller even when he lost.

"Of course, I appreciate where critics are coming from but it can be easy just to dismiss this type of Wii game out of hand. In truth, no player, no matter how inexperienced they are, is duped by poor design. Good game design is good game design whether you've been playing games all your life, or just for the last 20 minutes.

"'Casual' gamers, if we have to call them that, are much more educated and demanding of what they are want to play than 'hardcore' gamers give them credit for. And, it might sound obvious, but it's worth repeating: graphical fidelity, and the power of hardware itself is not what makes a game fun or not. The number of polygons is not what makes you laugh or cry: it's the substance and creativity behind a game that holds its worth. "

How Just Dance Conquered the World

Just Dance 3

Just Dance

Just Dance 2

Just Dance 2014

Just Dance 4

By Keza MacDonald

Posted: Jan 17, 2014 11:11 am

Xavier Poix knew things had gotten out of control when Barack Obama got involved. “We got so many phone calls that day,” he remembers, recalling the December morning in 2011 when the President of the United States was photographed buying a copy of Just Dance 3 for his daughters. “My first thought was that our PR in the U.S. must be really good, but no, I was thinking: now we’re universal. The image that we wanted to convey with the game, the spirit of it, really worked. The president, in front of 80 cameras, can think, ‘I’m not making a mistake in showing that I love this game.’ It is so simple and positive that nobody could object. We’re very proud of that.”

The story of how Just Dance, a simplistic Wii game made on a shoestring budget that started out as a Raving Rabbids minigame prototype, got to the point where the President of the United States was buying it for his daughters is genuinely fascinating. It’s one of the most uplifting success stories of the last generation of hardware, and stands testament to video games’ ability to speak to literally everybody in the language of fun; the original Just Dance was both technically and graphically crude, and it still regularly beat Call of Duty in the charts. Just Dance, believe it or not, is one of the most successful game series in the world, having sold close to 50 million copies. That’s more than Tekken, Pac-Man and Tomb Raider.


Just Dance is no longer crude, simplistic or under-funded. It’s now one of Ubisoft’s most successful brands, and has a team of around 300 people working on it in Romania, India, Montpelier, Paris, Newcastle, Italy and Sweden – artists, coders, choreographers, fashion designers, sound designers, dancers, and marketers. The budget has soared along with the team size, and that’s reflected in the games themselves, which are now glossily produced. Walking around the Paris offices where Just Dance 2014 was created, I see mood boards for individual characters, walls covered in inspiration from fashion and architecture and design, ideas for costumes, backgrounds, routines.

Just Dance is one of the most successful game series in the world.

On the first Just Dance, by contrast, the level designer– a quiet chap in glasses called Damien Pousse - also had to work with the two original dancers to be the choreographer, figuring out what dance moves would be understandable to the Wii remote. Xavier Poix, Managing Director at Ubisoft Paris, has been with the game since the very start, before the Wii’s release in 2006, when both the Paris and Montpelier Ubisoft studios were working on Raving Rabbids for the Wii.

“In the French studio, we’re used to embracing new technology quite early in the process,” he says. “We have a long history with Nintendo. We were very lucky, two years previous to the launch of the Wii, to be able to get the first prototypes of the Wiimote. We started working in Paris here on a game for launch and, I brought the prototype to the team in Montpelier, where we were in the process of creating a new Rayman. Eventually we created Rabbids.” One particular Rabbids minigame prototype provided the inspiration for Just Dance. “If I remember, we had a game where you needed to hit the Rabbid’s head based on the rhythm of a song… that was the first musical game we had.”

Crucially, the Rabbids team understood the limitations of the Wii remote technology, and was accustomed to designing around it rather than pushing it to the limit like Ubisoft’s other ill-fated Wii launch game, Red Steel. “We took another approach, the approach that Nintendo also took with tennis [in Wii Sports]”, says Xavier. “It wasn’t about exact controls. It was about feeling the movements. The idea in all of these games [in Rabbids] was to make sure that what the player wanted to do happened in the game as a consequence of the gesture - that you didn’t exactly have to do the gesture itself. There was a feeling that we should get rid of all this crap about being sure that what the player does is exactly what they get on the screen. We should liberate the feeling of moving. We eventually had a game in Rabbids TV based on dance - we could impose some gestures to do, and some moves. That was close to the final game that became Just Dance.”


Xavier realised that they were probably onto something when he saw the reaction that simple Rabbids dance game elicited in people. Every time that prototype was shown in public, the demo station was mobbed - predominantly by little girls. “We realized that this game was totally disinhibiting everybody from the idea of a dance game,” he says. “People dared to dance in front of a screen and in front of people. We realized that we could run the choreography live, and with some principles of repeating moves based on the rhythm, people could get the choreography really fast and keep on improving, session after session. Based on that first mini-game, with iteration after iteration, at some point we decided to go for a full game – based on fun multiplayer, of course.

We realized that this game was totally disinhibiting everybody from the idea of a dance game. People dared to dance in front of a screen and in front of people.

Just Dance’s appeal hinges on a clever psychological illusion: because the dancers on-screen are mirror images of the player, and because they are real people rather than 3D models, your brain is tricked into thinking that it’s you - that you might actually look like the dancer on screen, rather than like a drunk person without full control of their limbs. “It’s what we call the power of perception, the fact that you can feel like it’s you in the TV,” says Alkis Argyriadis, Just Dance’s current Creative Director. “The dancer on the screen is moving beautifully, but the basic movement [that you’re doing] is the same. You can feel that you’re doing it just like the dancer, because of the mirror effect. You’re performing exactly like the dancer is performing. That’s one of the advantages of using real people, rather than animations.

The thing is, it’s actually quite difficult to get professional dancers to dance in a way that the average person can imitate - a problem that the modern Just Dance team still has. Initially the dancers and the choreographer will come up with a dance for each song, and then the level design team must work with them to figure out what can actually be tracked and scored, and what normal, often inebriated people can follow without feeling out of their depth. Often the final choreography bears no resemblance to the initial plan. Every song’s routine has to be fun to dance to, not beautiful to look at - rather like Just Dance itself, in the early days.

Just Dance started out as a separate project with a team of five or six people. Working under Xavier’s direction, they kept their prototype secret for a while, wary of the reaction it would get from the Ubisoft higher-ups. “ I was really afraid that if we showed the game too early in the process, then we would have to turn it into something more like a classic rhythm game,” explains Xavier. “That was contrary to what we wanted to do. We wanted to create a game based on disinhibition, something that would make people get off the couch and dance in front of the screen.”


Eventually, though, having proven its viability and potential popularity, it was time to take the Just Dance concept to full production. Looking at Ubisoft’s key franchises at that time – Rainbow Six, Assassin’s Creed, Far Cry, games about serious men shooting (or stabbing) other men – it’s not hard to see why Xavier’s team’s silly, playful dance game was met with considerable scepticism. “Within the studio, I think some people were laughing at the Just Dance team… ‘Oh my God, this isn’t a video game. We’re not here to create this kind of stuff. We want to make gamers’ games.’ That kind of thing,” recalls Xavier.

Within the studio, I think some people were laughing at the Just Dance team… Oh my God, this isn’t a video game.

“But that was not the case with everybody. The Rabbids team was in the studio, so there was this feeling that we were creating new and interesting stuff. There were some people who were skeptical inside the studio, of course. But we have a long history in France of creating brands – Rabbids, Rayman, and then Just Dance – that are… different, let’s say, from what the usual studios based on hardcore gamers do.”

That slight skepticism carried right through to the launch of the original Just Dance, which had a soft launch in some parts of Europe like Germany and Spain, and was not expected to do well in the States. “People were like, “Oh, people don’t dance. They don’t like to dance. In the US, nobody dances.’ That kind of stuff,” says Xavier. Ubisoft in the UK, though, was fully behind Just Dance from the start - but even so, what happened when the game was released took everyone by surprise.

Just Dance debuted at no.30 in the UK when it was released in December 2009. But then - inexorably - it started to climb. By January, it was number 1, beating games like Call of Duty and Just Cause 2. And it stayed there in the top five for months, as word spread.

“If I remember correctly, I really thought it would be a success before it was launched,” remembers Xavier. “The motivation was, ‘Let’s show everyone that we were right...’ Usually, when you launch your game, it sells well that first week and you’re happy about that. But you know that second week will be minus 50%, if you’re Call of Duty or whatever. In this case, the next week was 100 percent more on the figures. That’s when you know that it could be evergreen. It could be a bigger success than what people were expecting.”


It was word of mouth that drove Just Dance’s success. People were talking about it more and more, and that proved much more effective at selling copies than the initial marketing push. Today, Just Dance’s online player community is truly massive. “Our very best ally was actually the players,” Xavier attests. “We saw tons of Youtube videos of people filming each other and playing with their friends. That’s when we realized that it was not just us anymore. We kept on embracing this… I don’t know quite when we really saw how impactful it could be in people’s hearts.”

Word of mouth proved much more effective at selling copies than the initial marketing push.

This was in the face of some truly terrible reviews for the first Just Dance, which Xavier remembers with amusement now (the series has since proved itself more or less review-proof, as people insist on having fun despite critics’ opinions on the scoring system and the graphics) - he has always been fully aware of Just Dance’s limitations, and indeed many of them were designed to be that way. “Can I get a perfect score while I’m sitting on my couch? Yes, I can, but we don’t care, because if you’re just sitting on your couch you won’t have fun and you won’t play the game anymore,” he says, grinning.

“What’s striking about Just Dance is that this was a game, a game that could sell, but not on the usual principle of a game, where the depth of the gameplay is there and you grow to understand it. It’s not big on skill. Skill is a part of it, your skill at dancing, but it’s not based on what the hardware can detect as your skill. You could feel within [some reviews] that the journalist was really pissed off. ‘What is this game? I don’t get it!’”

The fact is that critics were probably thinking in the same way as some of the Just Dance team’s peers: like gamers. And Just Dance, like the Wii, transcends what gamers think people want or need from interactive entertainment. It’s a more accessible, universal kind of fun than the kind that’s packaged up for us in regular games. Even dance-game skeptics must surely see that now.


I think Just Dance couldn't and won't die.

“People were not so much skeptical about what we were creating as an experience. They were more skeptical about how long it would last,” thinks Xavier. This was, of course, also the era of Guitar Hero - at one point a world-dominating party game, one of the best-selling franchises out there, but already starting to fade when Just Dance was in production during 2008-2009. A lot of people, including several within Ubisoft, thought that Just Dance was destined for the same fate.

“People have always said, ‘Look at Guitar Hero. Dance is going to die as well.’”, says Xavier. “But dance is universal. I don’t think that people will stop dancing. They’ll stop playing plastic guitars, because that was a new creation. We didn’t invent anything, we just made a game about dancing. Thanks to the universal nature of that experience, I think we couldn’t and we won’t die.”

Fashion designers, sound designers, choreographers, artists, coders, dancers and YouTube performers - the Just Dance studio in Paris brings all of these people together, and what they collectively create brings people together all over the world. There are people who are keen to distance dance games from ‘proper’ gaming, but what they don’t realise is that Just Dance is one of our best examples of the unselfconscious joy of play that video games can bring to the world. It deserves to be celebrated.

Keza MacDonald is IGN’s Contributing Editor and has very distinctive hair. You can follow her on IGN and Twitter.90,000 12 life hacks, to quickly learn how to dance from Mamita Dance


Author: Pavel Gather
Psychologist, Lecturer Salsa and Tango


Author: Pavel Pavel
Psychologist, Lecturer Salsa

on At the start, you always want to get a quick result. When it doesn't happen, the hypothesis arises that everything takes time. After a conditionally acceptable time, humility comes to mastering pair dances, which, perhaps, is not given, and I will just do what I learned at least somehow.

This is the most common story of those who believe that the mere act of attending a pair dance class is enough to learn how to dance.
Absolutely not. If you want to really dance well, you have to make an effort outside of the dance class. A good teacher will definitely be needed, but the initiative should be on your side.

1. Listen to music

The most common and accessible advice that is given already in the first lessons. And it definitely works. Music creates a certain atmosphere of the dance and intuitively you want to move to it. It doesn't matter where you listen to music - in the car, on headphones while walking or doing household chores.

An addition that will help you dance better is your active participation in the music. Sing along, dance or simply beat musical accents with any free parts of the body. In the subway, for example, it is enough to tap out bright moments with your fingers, in the car to sing along with sounds, and at home you can jump for pleasure.

2. Watch videos of good dancers

It's complicated, but also obvious. It’s more difficult, because without recommendations from more experienced dancers, unfortunately, it’s not so easy to find a good quality video on the net (I mean not the resolution quality, but the content itself).

Meaningful video viewing is about building an understanding of HOW dancers make a particular impression on a partner or viewer. Technology is at the heart of everything. Understanding how the pros do it is a big step forward.

It is important to distinguish a show from a disco dance, a staged performance from an improvisation, a stylized dance from an authentic one, etc. Ask for recommendations and dance teachers will always throw off a couple of videos of worthy landmarks.

Tango Z. Showreel.

Online modern tango courses

Tango nuevo is the most advanced version of tango. We can quickly learn to dance from zero to a steep level.

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3. Dance in salsatecas/milongas/discotheques

A very delicate moment when it is worth coming to the first party. From a technical point of view, most students in 1-3 months have a sufficient set of figures and techniques to come and dance calmly. Psychologically, the same moment can be stretched out for an indefinite time. After all, it is imperative to “not lose face”, “learn more figures” and be sure what to do in case “there is an unfamiliar movement”.

In fact, the partygoers don't really care (except for a small layer of non-professional teachers who want to help inexperienced dancers by treating them as customers in the future). It is important to come and try dancing after a month of classes. You can only with friends or guys from your group. This will be enough to feel the adrenaline and inspiration from the dance.

4. Dance with partners or partners not of your level

The conventional wisdom that you need to practice in groups of your level does not withstand the test of experience. Perhaps now your eyes widened in surprise, and you want to meaningfully read the phrase again. Yes, you saw everything correctly: when you dance with a partner of your level, you don’t grow anywhere.

It's important to understand that not only does it work one way and you have to dance with cooler dancers, but it works even more effectively the other way. It is no coincidence that teaching pair dances dramatically raises the level of the teacher himself. You have an endless stream of very beginner dancers.

How it works. A more experienced partner needs to be "stretched". It's easy and obvious. With beginners, you need to take more initiative on yourself, see the general pattern of the dance more widely, turn on and insure more, try to be an example and be more careful. The quality of interaction begins to grow significantly. And wonderful partners too.

Dancing with partners of your level doesn't make you grow. Dance with both beginners and more advanced dancers

Dominican Bachata Women's Style Online Course

Want to learn how to hypnotize those around you with the most appetizing part of your body? On the course we will tell you all the secrets.


5. Learn to dance for a partner and for a partner

Turks and Argentines are one of the best partners in the world. In Russia, partners are highly valued. Why? The answer is simple. In Argentina and Turkey, it is not questionable for men to ask another man to lead in one piece or another and give feedback on the quality of the lead. For them, it will be a great shame to hear moralizing from a partner, or even more so to be known in the community as an insecure partner.

In Russia, due to the constant, often far-fetched, opinion that there are more women in pair dances, partners calmly get up and study their partner's part. Such partners then grow into very cool dancers and teachers. In no case do this at parties, only in class. Here we are talking only about the learning strategy. At parties, be yourself.

6. Do not memorize the links

Always try to look deeper and understand the through principle and idea of ​​movement. Understanding what and how is done will make it possible to independently generate any sequences and chips.

Human memory is limited and there will always be a moment when something will escape and your repertoire will be limited by the size of RAM.

In Argentine tango, for example, there are seven levels of movement construction that, when mastered, will allow you to make millions of combinations. And how many dance sequences can you really remember? In rueda, more than 150 figures dance in a rare circle. It's hard to keep more in mind.

7. Develop your body

Many years of experience in teaching couple dance shows that as soon as everyone pairs up in a class, any progress in individual style ends. But it is the individual style that distinguishes everyone at the disco: partners change, and style is always with you.

The body as the main instrument of dance must be very plastic, responsive and emotional. Surprisingly, not all pair dance schools have a general physical warm-up. It is vital to tune the body and understand how it works.

You can always train extra and concentrate more on the basic steps, as their true value is as body work. The sequence of steps is, in fact, the simplest thing that can be in pair dancing. The quality of individual performance determines the craftsmanship.

8. Try on the images of inspiring dancers

A psychological life hack for those who have already mastered the steps, but still feel that there is not enough brightness and drive. Most are terribly afraid of being someone else's "clone". Here the action is the same as under the influence of hypnosis - the more you resist, the more you plunge into an altered state of consciousness.

With a high degree of probability, you are already dancing like someone else's "clone". A meaningful fitting of someone else's image is that you mentally take the image of the one who inspires you (inspiration is critical in this case) and "put on" yourself. Then you start dancing and trying to feel in general how it is to be able, for example, to be the best partner or the sexiest partner in a disco. This is much more difficult than it seems. But it works extremely efficiently.

9. Dance to offbeat music

Habitual rhythms keep you tight. Tango salon or speedy timba leave little room for experimentation and fantasy. Pattern dancing is always noticeable and is reserved for beginners.

The truly new is born outside of the usual. Look for places to experiment. If there is no place, organize self-training. The main thing is not to get carried away, because music determines the style. We bring something new to pair dances, rather than trying to change them.

Search, improvise, don’t be afraid to go beyond, develop in different directions, be inspired by music atypical for the style

10. Try your hand at basic dance directions

dances exist according to their own non-choreographic laws.

This is the deepest delusion, which has turned into a ceiling for the qualitative development of partner dances. After all, all professional dancers, for example, in salsa or bachata, build their ideas on the basic choreographic principles.

Do not think that choreography is only applicable on stage. Any meaningful movement of the body can be choreographic. In general, try classical or modern choreography. Basically, hip-hop can work too.

11. Look for battle sensations

Pair dances return us to an active position of manifestation of our body. As in the days of our ancient ancestors, we impress the members of the opposite sex by how dexterous, hardy, sexy, etc. we are. Modern laws of the jungle in the entourage of big cities.

If you look around the dance floor, it becomes clear that the majority are clearly herbivores (not in the sense of vegetarians, but in relation to those around them). I am sure that predators are always more interesting in terms of the attractiveness of the image - try to find a counterbalance among herbivores, for example, a cat woman or a lion man.

The conversation is about an internal position, not about aggressiveness. Lability and lack of control are inherent in adolescents, and not in adult self-sufficient people.

Accordingly, even a training or friendly battle gives, on the one hand, practical skills - to make a bright sequence of movements, bring an idea to a climax, show a spectacular feature, on the other hand, develops the psychological basis of the dance - self-confidence, resistance to extraneous attention, self-control and self-control in complex elements.

12. Communicate with professionals

The environment shapes the internal position. Basically, real passionaries of the dance community are ready to openly talk, discuss and support the development of dance in every possible way. Universal principles and the ideas they articulate have a much longer and more practical perspective than meets the eye.

Accept that, for example, behind the words "listen to your partner" is not only a beautiful metaphor, but also a practical skill to literally listen to your partner. At the same time, always treat every thought, even the most respected teacher, as a private opinion.

Your skill will lie in finding the scope of the idea even in conflicting opinions. Most often, the contradiction is speculative and the truth lies in the angle of perception or situationality.

Your dancing growth will stop sooner or later. This can happen at the level of three basic steps or years of experience in teaching and show performances. Regardless of your level, the suggested 12 life hacks can get you off the ground and greatly accelerate your dance growth. There is no way here without your motivation and activity. Take your dance development into your own hands. 9Ol000 Dangerous sexuality

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What is dance • Episode transcript • Arzamas

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Course What is modern danceAudio lecturesMaterials

Contents of the first lecture from Irina Sirotkina's course "What is modern dance"

Although everyone has an idea of ​​dance, it is not easy to define it. Probably the most general definition of dance is the movement of a person, moving him in space to music or rhythm. But questions immediately arise. What movement? Moving where? And if this is a movement not of the whole body, but of one finger? Try moving your finger now. Will it be a dance? And with the whole hand? And if you move your shoulder a little, turn on the body and turn your head? You have probably already felt how difficult it is to draw a line and say where "just movement" ends and "dance" begins.

The second word in our definition is man. But can only humans really dance? And if, for example, autumn leaves are spinning on the path of the park, can it be called a dance?

And finally, is the presence of music in the dance obligatory? It is known that many modern dance artists preferred rhythm alone. For example, Mary Wigman's favorite musical instrument is the gong. Trying to make dance an independent, independent art, they tried to free themselves from music as from something imposed on the dance from the outside, and declared that they would dance "the music of their own body. " And Alexander Sakharov, a dancer from the Russian Empire, who lived and worked in Munich at the beginning of the 20th century, participated in the Blue Rider art association, even danced paintings - abstract paintings by Wassily Kandinsky.

So, we return to the fact that it is hardly possible to give any formal definitions of dance that claim to be rigorous. However, you can try to answer the question "What is dance?" Not directly, but by pointing to the contexts in which it is included.

Definitely, dance is a part of the movement culture of mankind. Speaking of motor culture, we draw an analogy with visual culture, which everyone is familiar with: these are the visual images that we produce, among which we live, our man-made visual environment.

Aleksey Gastev, one of the founders of the so-called movement for the rationalization of labor, which developed in our country in the 1920s, spoke about motor culture. Motor culture Gastev called "the sum of the motor habits of the people", a set of "motor skills and abilities" available to a person. Gastev was himself a skilled worker at a metal plant, and he had in mind, first of all, the culture of labor movements. After the revolution, millions of soldiers, yesterday's peasants, poured into the city, and Gastev believed that they needed to be taught the culture of movements, and not only labor, but also everyday habits that were new to them, the skills of city life - to eat, sleep, wash.

Then, in Soviet Russia, they talked a lot about the creation of a "new man" - and so, the inoculation of a new culture of movements was a real way to create this new man. At the same time, the sciences of biomechanics appeared (the same Gastev helped its birth), the physiology of movements, and kinesiology. They - each in their own way - studied movement as a physical process: biomechanics - the structure and functioning of the motor apparatus; physiology - muscle fatigue, coordination and regulation of movements from the nervous system; Kinesiology is a practical discipline, the application of biomechanics and physiology to the goals of therapy and movement improvement.

The concept of “body technique” is close to the concept of motor culture. The French ethnographer and sociologist Marcel Mauss proposed in 1930 to refer to the ways in which people in different societies use their bodies: it is similar to what Gastev called "movement habits." At the same time, Moss (as one might expect from an ethnographer) cited as an example not only some exotic movements, but also body techniques of a contemporary person. He tells, for example, that when he was little, he was taught to swim breaststroke. And there was such a habit - to draw in water and spit it out, just like a paddle steamer does. So, Moss swam in this way until the end of his life and was never able to switch to a new, modern crawl. These body techniques are engraved in our body, we carry them in ourselves as part of our "I".

And one more concept, useful for those who want to understand what dance is: the concept of the modes of functioning of the body. I first heard about it from the St. Petersburg philosopher Alla Mitrofanova, but it appeared, most likely, earlier. In the work of the body, there can be different modes that a person can consciously switch, like speeds on a gearbox. For example, the body may be tense, tense, muscular, working, ready to make a physical effort. And it can be relaxed, resting, in a state of calm tone, without excessive stress. Choreographers have long noticed that these modes can be used to create different moods for the audience, different impressions of the dance. Recall, for example, the resting body of the faun Vaslav Nijinsky in his ballet The Afternoon of a Faun: this body is soft, relaxed, but ready for effort, for a jump, like that of an animal.

Faun's Afternoon. Choreography by Vaslav Nijinsky, music by Claude Debussy. Charles Jude and Marie-Claude Pietragalla are dancing. 1970s

And the bodies of the dancers in the "Dances of Machines" are the finale of Fyodor Lopukhov's ballet "The Bolt", staged in the early 1930s on a production theme - tense, dynamic, high-speed.

Bolt. Choreography by Fyodor Lopukhov, revised by Alexei Ratmansky, music by Dmitri Shostakovich. 2006 No video recordings of Lopukhov's choreography have been preserved; this is Alexei Ratmansky's version staged at the Bolshoi Theatre, in which Ratmansky generally follows Lopukhov's idea.

In the last third of the twentieth century, a special discipline appeared - the anthropology of movement and dance. Returning to our question, what is dance: when anthropologists were faced with a variety of forms and types of dance, with very different movements, which in different cultures are classified as dance, they formulated the question in a different way. They began to ask not "What is dance?", but "What do people do when they dance?" For example, people can perform a ritual in this way. Or get acquainted. They can, if they are professional dancers, earn a living or participate in the creation of a performance. They can celebrate something, or they can grieve - for example, in archaic rites, where dances were part of the mourning ceremony and people danced not only at weddings, but also at funerals, saying goodbye to the deceased.

Around the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries, a movement for the emancipation of the body began. In the 19th century, in a decent society, the body was not accepted not only to be shown, but it was impossible to mention it. If it was required, for example, to talk about the body and its parts, then instead of "legs" they came up with the euphemism "lower limbs", and the body itself was hidden under clothes - multi-layered, tight and clumsy. Women wore, among other things, a tight corset in which it was difficult to breathe, petticoats in which it was uncomfortable to walk and run, and men - high collars and a tie in which you couldn’t even turn your head. And when, say, a performance from the life of the ancient Greeks or Egyptians was going on in the theater, the dancers, instead of taking off part of their clothes and walking around like half-naked Greeks and Egyptians, on the contrary, pulled tights over their feet and drew toes on its fabric. The sight of bare feet, bare skin was considered indecent, and nudity in public places could only be imitated.

By the way, the clothing reform began with a dance, or rather with several dancers, one of whom is Isadora Duncan. She is called the founder and even the grandmother of modern dance  It is customary to call modern dance such areas of choreography of the twentieth century as modern, postmodern and contemporary dance (this term usually combines different currents of stage dance that developed in the second half of the century, primarily in Europe and North America, and incorporating elements of not only modern and postmodern, but also neoclassical ballet, jazz and other types of dance and movement culture). , but most of all she looks like a dance revolutionary. However, we will return to her dance revolution, but for now I will say that Isadora has greatly advanced the reform of clothing - not only in the theater, but also in life, everyday clothes. She herself abandoned the corset, shoes and stockings in life and on the stage and dreamed that people in the future would become free, with an absolutely free body - and return, already at a new stage, to the golden age of Antiquity, when happy humanity spent time in communication with nature and dancing in green meadows.

Isadora was wrong: it is impossible to return to the golden age. But she and her associates supported a very important movement for the culture of the body, the culture of the body. The creators of various gymnastics, athletes, vegetarians, "naturists", nudists, progressive doctors and physiologists who discovered the laws of self-regulation and wrote about the "wisdom of the body", and many others have already participated in this movement. At the beginning of the 20th century, dance joined this movement. Followers of Isadora even got the name "sandals". Now it seems natural for us not only to walk barefoot or in sandals and sandals, but also to take care of our body, its hygiene in general, to think about how to improve it or at least maintain its health and youthful forms. But let's not forget that all of this, including improved bodily health and increased (hopefully) longevity, is partly due to the new dance.

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