Dancers Anonymous > Do you play a musical instrument?

Discussion in 'Dancers Anonymous' started by DanceMentor, Mar 14, 2016.

  1. SwingingAlong

    SwingingAlong Well-Known Member

    Private lessons for piano, since I started at 7, but free lessons through the school system for viola. One I left school (I was making violas for a bit), private lessons for a few years. Everything else self taught. I found it took a while to understand that dance happens between the beats, and was often scolded for rushing - I was trying to land my foot smack on the beat rather than moving my body first:confused:
    j_alexandra likes this.
  2. cornutt

    cornutt Well-Known Member

    :D I had that problem too... I wanted to play my feet like I was playing a kick drum. Took me a while to figure out why that didn't work, and then I had to find where the beat lived in the dance if it wasn't in my feet.
  3. SwingingAlong

    SwingingAlong Well-Known Member

    yeah, that's it:rofl:
  4. FancyFeet

    FancyFeet Well-Known Member

    Hmm... maybe that's why I hate counting while dancing... because it doesn't sync the right way in my brain, thanks to all those years of music! I'm generally known as a very musical dancer, and people are always surprised when they find out that I don't count... which I never understood, because counting makes me the opposite of musical. Think mechanical dance robot... like those toy monkeys with the cymbals :D

    (To clarify: I know my counts. I'll count a routine for the first week or so as I learn it, but after that it's danced by feel... at most, I'll sing a rhythm in my head at tricky spots. Asking me to count my routines aloud - which are full of syncopations and other tricky rhythms - while dancing full out is my version of hell. Counting basics to help in a group class, etc. is no problem.)
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  5. cornutt

    cornutt Well-Known Member

    ;) I do count, but I had to learn to separate that from the movement of my legs and feet. It wasn't easy, either. Oddly, one thing that helped was doing foxtrot, because it was one place where I felt like I could be loosey-goosey with the timing and not worry where my feet were landing relative to the count. I've gotten to where I do it fairly well in smooth. Sometimes I still struggle with it in rhythm.
  6. SwingingAlong

    SwingingAlong Well-Known Member

    Having not done much Latin, I still don't know if I am supposed to land on the beat in jiveo_O
  7. j_alexandra

    j_alexandra Well-Known Member

    Sister! This. So much, this.
  8. SwingingAlong

    SwingingAlong Well-Known Member

    The other one that got me was how the word syncopation is used in dance - in that it seems to mean an evenly split beat, like "1 and", whereas for me, I was thinking syncopated as in "playing a note ever so slightly before, or after, a beat".... I still find it hard do a chasse as "1, 2 and 3" (kick drum style with a beginner) - I tend to play around and phrase it differently.
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  9. cornutt

    cornutt Well-Known Member

    Yeah, that's like the difference between "swing" in dance and "swing" in music. These days, we dance swing to a lot of music that doesn't have musical swing.
  10. FancyFeet

    FancyFeet Well-Known Member

    Not exactly in my case... taking the example of a new chunk of my waltz, we might count it 1&23&, but those "ands" really are syncopated... the first one is longer - more of a true half-beat, but the second is so late and quick that it's almost on the 1 of the next bar. I will admit that we only arrived at that timing after playing with the rhythm a bit... started off as 1&2&3, then moved to strict 1&23&, then became more syncopated as we played with the effect we could generate by delaying some things. And it also has a tendancy to change slightly depending on the song.

    ^This would also be an example of why trying to count while dancing makes my head explode.
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  11. SwingingAlong

    SwingingAlong Well-Known Member

    Agree totally. However, as a beginner, it made my head confused, as I was trying to land exactly on the beat on 1, and then doing my own interpretation of syncopated on the part beats. Must have been hard for my teacher back then.:eek:
    Not so bad now that I understand how it can all work together:) I love watching great dancers play with the timing, especially in Tango....
  12. dancelvr

    dancelvr Well-Known Member

    Played piano in high school (private lessons and eventually accompanying the freshman choir in school) and sang from 6th to 12th grade. Haven't done either since.
  13. Akylas

    Akylas New Member

    A bit of guitar but I had no special talent. It was dancing that taught me to follow the beat.

    I did very little drumming when my friend and I got the bright idea to change roles. I guess I did learn I could manage a simple 4/4 beat then.
  14. Xelebes

    Xelebes Member

    Viola in elementary school (I still play it but mostly to fiddle. Was not a fan of playing too much orchestral music.)
    Synthesizer and Drum machines (Here is an example of a production from almost a decade ago in my now locked-out Soundcloud account [thanks Soundcloud!] )
    Played chromatic percussion in high school band and took choir.
  15. True Bliss

    True Bliss New Member

    I started out as a music major in college. I played oboe, English horn, flute and piano. Interesting that there are fellow oboists here! I think that it has helped with dancing as I can easily identify the time signature of the music playing., what dance would be appropriate for the music and when the first beat of a measure occurs. I find it hard to follow a leader who isn't moving with the music.
  16. twnkltoz

    twnkltoz Well-Known Member

    Well, since my post on this thread last year, I have been very slowly progressing on the piano, taking voice lessons, and now I've gone back to school as a music major!
    IndyLady and cornutt like this.

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