The Importance Of Improvisation In Dance

The Importance Of Improvisation In Dance

Movement or words that are made up on the spot.
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Choreography is the art of forming movement sequences. Most choreographed pieces are designed before a performance is staged. Improvisation in dance is the art of executing movements without any prior preparation. Improvisation explores the body's shape, different levels and dynamics. I will be discussing the correlation between set choreography and improvisation in dance. It allows creative juices to flow and helps one to really understand the music they are choreographing to. I will discuss the benefits of solo improvisation and I will also discuss the relationship between set choreography and improvisational dancing. Improvisation can have a big impact and a great help with choreographed pieces.


Before I go into depth of the benefits of improvisation to choreography, I would first like to discuss the benefits of solo improvisation in dance. Improvisation is a very important skill for someone to study. It has many different benefits to it’s act. For example, improvisation can boost one’s confidence. Getting to comfortable in only dancing to predetermined, choreographed pieces can be mentally dangerous. This is because it can lead to insecurities with one's dancing. Practicing improvisational skills can allow for dancers to not be afraid of making mistakes. Mistakes and correcting mistakes are an essential part to the training and learning experience. Improvisation can also lead to self-discovery. This means that improvisation can help dancers to find out who they are as dancers, what style they like and even what they would like to do with dance in their future endeavors.

Another important aspect to dance that would benefit from the practice of improvisation is musicality. By allowing dancers to freely move to the music, they tend to start to move to the beat of the music. This will help with musicality because it will allow for the dancers to be able to connect movements from a dance to the music. Lastly, another way that improvisation is beneficial to a dancer is that it will help to aid performance recovery. (This means that when a dancer misses, forgets, or falls out of a step they are able to recover from it and make the mistake look seamless.) Improvisation can help with situations like this because the more a dancer is comfortable with coming up with something on the spot and using spontaneity, the easier it will be to cover up a mistake made on stage. Improvisation can be extremely beneficial to a dancer in many different ways.


Improvisation is a key aspect to choreography. Improvisation can lead to better choreography, and make the creation of choreography easier.I believe that in order to choreograph it is very important to have a clear, stress-free mindset.Improvisation can help to get the creative juices flowing. Just one full hour of solo improvisation can lead to more creativity and ideas. Improvisation boosts quick thinking, clears distracting thoughts, communication skills and self-expression. Sometimes choreographs start to use the same types of moves and skills over and over again. Authors say, “choreographers fall into ruts where they use the same combinations of positions and skills over and over again.” This problem can be solved by using improvisation. Improvisation can lead to new discoveries in a dancer's body and fresh new ideas for choreography.

Choreographer William Forsythe practices improvisation for choreography and teaches classes based off of that idea. Forsythe would break improvisation into around 30 smaller, individual movements, which he called “modalities,” the site explained. These smaller movements, like collapsing and folding, then served as building blocks to create new dances. He picks certain types of movements that he uses when he improvises, for ideas for newly choreographed pieces. He uses these movements as a way to get creative ideas flowing and as a start to new choreography. Helen Pickett took one of Forsythe’s improvisation classes. She says, “It opens up avenues that allow you to expand your ideas of what you thought your body could do,” She means that improvisation can lead a dancer to learn new things about their body’s range of movement which can open many different doors for choreography. By becoming more comfortable with thinking differently, choreography will become easier and flow better because as a dancer becomes more confident with their abstract ideas, their choreographed dance will become more true to themselves and the dance will be more creative.

According to researcher Minton, “The first step in creating a dance study is to discover appropriate movement through improvisation.” Minton is saying that improvisation is necessary in order to start a choreographed piece. Improvisation can also be used in choreography to get rid of mental blocks. Mental blocks are when someone can not think of anything to do at the moment. This kind of thing can be extremely frustrating when creating a dance. When someone is improvising, for the most part, the dance flows and it becomes a dance very easily. It is very common for a choreographer to find set movement that they would like to use in their piece through improvisation, but for various sections of the dance. For example, they may find the last section of a piece through an improvisation practice, before finding the beginning or middle. Improvisation is a very big factor in the creative process of choreographing. Improvisation is a very important practice that dancers should study.


Choreography is the sequence of different movements or steps. Improvisation is movement or words that are made up on the spot. Improvisation is very spontaneous. I believe that there is a very strong correlation between improvisation and set choreography. Improvisation is the building blocks and the starting point of a choreographed dance. In my opinion, improvisation is an art form that is necessary to study. Not only to improve skills as a dancer technically but to better oneself in choreography as well. Improvisation helps choreography by allowing creative freedom. It opens up the playing field to different movement and free movement. Improvisation can allow a choreographer to find new moves they had never thought of before and skills to add to a piece they are working on. Improvisation in choreography can be extremely helpful. Improvisation is a very big help to starting a dance that has set choreography.

Cover Image Credit: Dancer

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The Answers to All Your Typical Questions For People From Los Angeles

If You're From LA, You Get It.
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Being from LA and not living in LA can definitely be a culture shock.There are people that you are surrounded by who are so curious about what being from LA is like. They have assumptions about what it's like so they tend to ask all these stereotypical questions.

Here, I am going to list 10 typical questions that people from LA get asked and try my best to answer them from my own personal experiences!

1. Do you know / do you ever see famous people?


The answer is yes! What's not to love about the beach?! It's relaxing, it's hot, you get tan or you play in the sand, and it's the perfect place to just lay down, while drinking a nice cold glass of lemonade, and stare at the gorgeous ocean. The beach is also the best place to catch the sunset in LA! It's the perfect hangout spot for a group of friends to get together and there are always chill and happy vibes at the beach!

3. When you are in LA, do you stay tan all year long?

For the most part yes, but definitely not all year long. People don't really know this but shocker, LA is not scorching hot all year long. In fact, during the winter months it gets cold for us Californian's. It rains a good amount and the tan glow tone on your skin begins to fade away. However many people find solutions to this problem and get by because before they know it, the sun is right back where it belongs in the sky. It is definitely possible to stay tan all year long when you live in LA for some people but that doesn't apply to everybody.

4. Isn't there really bad traffic in LA?

It would be a lie to tell you that the answer was not yes. There are certain times throughout the day that we are told not to drive during because the traffic is so bad and that goes for specific days of the week as well.

Sometimes, you will just want to go somewhere that is 20 minutes away maximum but it will take you almost an hour to get there because the traffic is so bad. But if you grew up in LA, you are totally used to it by now and if you aren't, then you should be.

Sitting in traffic is not my favorite thing to do to say the least but there are ways to make the time pass so it's not so terrible. You can blast music by yourself to a fun TBT playlist, you can sing out the window with your friends to other cars, or you can play a fun car game.

There is always something you can do and honestly, some of my best memories with my friends from home have been while sitting in traffic. This is a perfect example of when life gives you lemons, make lemonade!

5. How far away do you live from San Francisco?


Pretty far away. A lot of people who don't live in California don't realize how big of a state it is. Driving to San Francisco from Los Angeles is not a short trip and it's definitely not right around the corner.

To drive to San Francisco it would take about 6 hours and that doesn't include any traffic or pit stops. San Francisco is gorgeous, I love when I meet people from NorCal because even though they aren't from LA we still share that California bond.

But again, San Fran is not a short ride away, it is definitely a mission to get there but California is California and everyone who lives in this state, shares that same deep love for the west coast, which has created this big California community as a whole.

6. Why would you ever leave LA?


Leaving LA is definitely a hard thing to do. There is so much to love about the incredible city but sometimes, you can wake up one day, take look at your life and realize that everything around you seems familiar, and a little too familiar for your liking. You need change, you need something different, so you pack up your bags and go. When you live in the same place your whole life and you are a part of this little bubble, you can feel stuck or claustrophobic.

It doesn't mean you don't love home, in fact you most likely do love home, it just means you need to change things up for either a short amount of time or long period of time. You need to do what's best for you. It is very common to feel that feeling of, what if there is something else out there for you and you will never know. So, it is very common to go and find out.

Everyone has there own reasons as to why they decide to leave home but just remember that it is very difficult to stay in one place for a long period of time, whether that place is LA or a small town in Nebraska, but it is also never an easy decision.

7. So, have you ever seen the snow before?


While it may not snow in the city of LA, there are many opportunities for people who live in the city to see the snow. Many people decide to travel out of state to either Colorado or Utah to go skiing or snowboarding. You can also drive about two hours away to Big Bear Lake which is a big snow destination. You can drive about six hours away to Mammoth Mountain which is a very popular destination, or you can drive about 30 minutes outside the city to the San Bernardino and see snow at the very tip of the mountains.

We Los Angeles habitants, may not be accustomed to the cold nor have we experienced a rowdy winter but yes, most likely we have seen snow before.

8. Do you surf a lot?


Surfing is definitely a popular sport on the west coast in general but it is an off the charts sport in LA. There are for sure a ton of people in LA who wake up every morning and check what the swell statistics are for that day in particular and are then ready to go, board in hand.

When walking around the city, you are also very likely to hear someone say "lets shred the gnar" and "shacka bruh" and it doesn't even phase you because it happens all the time. However, there are also a fair share of people who don't know how to surf or don't surf often and get by completely fine without doing so.

9. Do you ever go to Rodeo Drive?


I always laugh when I get this question because Rodeo Drive is just a normal street for me but to people who don't live in LA, Rodeo Drive is an infamous, iconic, street in Beverly Hills where supposedly all the rich and famous people hangout.

Rodeo Drive is very pretty and there is a sense of classiness when you walk around there but it is a very normal thing for people in LA to walk down Rodeo just to walk or even shop. It is an even more common thing to just hangout in Beverly Hills, especially on the streets around Rodeo Drive, and get a bite to eat or get your nails done or grab a cup of coffee at a local coffee shop. Going to Rodeo Drive if you live in the city isn't really a big deal at all.

10. Can I stay with you if I visit LA?


The answer is always going to be yes. The real mystery at hand is if you, the person asking, will actually follow through with coming to LA. So many people will say how much they love LA and how much they want to go back or how they have never been but want to go so badly but they never actually do.

Any person who lives in LA will always offer to host someone who isn't from LA because we get to show off this awesome city that we grew up in and take them to all our favorite spots, which is obviously so much fun!


Cover Image Credit: Hilton Honors

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Losing Mr. Rochester

The darker side of Jane Eyre
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The first time I read "Jane Eyre", I thought it was a love story. I was convinced that the brooding, gruff Mr. Rochester genuinely loved the serious, studious Jane. Sure, he pretends to love another woman, and “orders” Jane to talk to him whenever he feels like it. But he also calls Jane an angel and his better half. He says he can’t live without her. Mostly, I was convinced that by the end of the book, he had changed.

However, as I have read the book more, and especially talked to people at Wellesley, I realize that what Mr. Rochester is doing exactly fits the patterns of emotional abuse.

When Jane finds that Mr. Rochester’s first wife is suffering from mental illness and has literally been kept in the attic for many years, she understandably wants to leave him. He alternately tries the tactics of threatening to hurt Jane and saying that he will never be able to live without her. He claims that Jane should still be with him because his first marriage essentially doesn’t count, and he makes it clear how much he hates Bertha, his first wife. She is cast as a “fiend” and “that thing,” when in reality Mr. Rochester’s behavior may have contributed to the way she is.

When Jane finally does leave, she feels guilty and worries Mr. Rochester genuinely might hurt himself. This is under no circumstance how she should feel.

After months away from Mr. Rochester, Jane determines she still loves him and must go to him.

This is partially because another man has aggressively insisted that Jane marry him and go on a religious mission with him.

When Jane finds Mr. Rochester, he is blind and has lost a hand due to a fire set by Bertha, during which she (conveniently for the plot) has died.

Jane claims to be happy in her new, lawful marriage, but I have come to doubt this supposed happiness. It is helpful that Mr. Rochester does not have power over Jane in the way he once had, but I don’t feel he should be forgiven just because he’s blind, or because he supposedly tried to save Bertha from dying by “calling her name.”

This does not mean that I dislike the book. I think it’s a stylistic masterpiece with an interesting lead character, beautifully crafted metaphors, and powerful emotional expression.

I think that even and especially in today’s world, it is important to recognize that abusers use many tools of manipulation, and that Jane is not “weak” or alone in believing one of them. Charlotte Bronte was by no stretch anti-feminist, and the man her heroine falls for highlights that abusive behaviors are sometimes passed off as “romantic” or “caring too much.”

A more mature reading of "Jane Eyre" has led me to lose my sympathy for Mr. Rochester.

But by losing Mr. Rochester, I have found Jane, and Bertha as well.

Someday, I hope all women like them “lose” their Mr. Rochesters.

Cover Image Credit: Fanpop

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