1. Overview of 2nd GoGo Class: Focusing on Arms

    Thank you everyone for making last Tuesdays class such a fun and heart warming experience! It was lovely to have everyone in class, sharing, and dancing, and having a good time!!! I am so excited that we now get a chance to share this with our online class members!!!

    Last week we focused on our arms in class! We started off with a nice stretch before getting into the nitty gritty of the class!!

    Arms are a key part in GoGo dance! Our arms are what polish our dances, and take movements appropriate for the dance floor and make them big stage worthy! Arms create our space and can be used to express emotions and characters.

    When focusing on the role of our arms in GoGo dance, our first consideration should be engagement. What does it mean to have engaged arms? It means we use them with intent! If we attempt to extend an arm across our body, then we must go through the full movement before moving onto something else. If our hand is on our hip, in a rest, every part of our arm is involved in the movement, from our fingers to our elbows to our shoulders! Are your fingers engaged and pretty? Is your elbow creating a clean and beautiful line/shape for your audience? Is your shoulder back and relaxed? Generally our wrists should be relaxed, and our fingers engaged! An engaged arms is flexed where it should be flexed, relaxed where it should be relaxed, and is going for its movement with 100% commitment!

    Much of GoGo dance is really just posing! This should be our first consideration when building our freestyle dance! Take the time to look at yourself in the mirror and just pose! What poses look good to you? Why do those poses look good? The first thing they have in common is that a pretty pose creates beautiful lines. We can easily create these aesthetically pleasing lines through minding our planes!

    The planes on which we move our body are important to mind while working through a freestyle dance! If you are putting your arms out, parallel to the floor, then your arms should be parallel to the floor, with your armpit creating a 90 degree angle! Not a 78 degree angle. Not a 105 degree angle, but a 90 degree angle so that your extended arm creates a beautiful line with your body and with the floor! If we mind our planes, it will go a long way to making our dance look polished!

    Finishing your movements is the next step in mastering the perfect GoGo arm! If you begin with your hand on your hip, take a step, and extend your arm out to be parallel with the floor, then drop it after only two counts and move on to something else, you are not FINISHING your movement. A great way to practice finishing your movements is focusing on a body part or combination for at least four counts, then changing your focus to a new body part or combination. (Thinking about changing your focus, whatever that may be, on counts divisible by four is a great way to finish any movement -arms or not- and something we will focus on in the technique class).

    Drill your arms by stepping back and forth, changing your arms every two to four counts!

    Different genres of dance lend arm movements to us in GoGo dance! A lot of your long, pretty, big arm movements are rooted in modern and contemporary dance! But those long pretty movements aren’t appropriate for all types of music! We can pull inspiration and combinations from dances such as hip-hop and breakdance or even whacking and voguing! It all depends on the music and what we are trying to portray with our bodies! Take the time to research these dances, and watch videos online to pick up combinations and stylings!

    Personally I like to take a lot of my rests and holds from hip-hop! Arm rests and holds are used when you are focusing your dance on other parts of your body, such as your feet or hips! Hands on the hips, or holding yourself, even rubbing your hands through your hair or up and down your body while focusing your full highlighted dance elsewhere is a great way to keep your arms from fatiguing during your performance!

    Practice perfecting your arms by drilling poses in the mirror, by freestyling in front of a mirror or video camera while focusing on your arms, pickup combinations and styles from videos online and practice weaving them into your own dance!

    Thanks so much for joining me on this GoGo adventure! I can’t wait for the next class!!!

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