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Conscious Music Choices

As dancers and dance teachers, we are not only inspired by movement but by music. Whether it’s a technique class, a workshop, or a choreographed piece I always choose music that inspires me, inspires the style, and inspires the dancer.

Consider for a moment the music you choose in class. Aside from choosing edited music without coarse language and appropriate-for-kids content, consider choosing music that also inspires your dancers not only to DANCE but to consciousness as well. So what does inspiring consciousness in dance class actually mean? This could be uplifting music that energizes your dancers, or awareness raising music that teaches your dancers new information, or even thought provoking music that leads your dancers to be thinking about that piece of music long after class finishes. As the teacher and director of your class, it’s completely up to you how you bring consciousness into dance through music.

Consider it part of your job to bring inspiration to each and every class each and every day. In this way, you manifest the passion, creativity, and love for the artistry of dance that is equal in importance to learning dance steps and styles. You decide if you’re inspired to save the whales, foster gender equality, or raise awareness about an issue in another country and have the power to bring that to your students. To inspire this consciousness, you must pay particular attention to the things that create strong feeling within you and put those feelings to movements and to music. Often times, it’s the music that inspires the movements. You must also pay particular attention to the music that stirs your soul. You inspire your dancers when you are passionate about an issue, a song, a feeling, etcetera and can bring messages in your music as well as your movements/choreography . Isn’t it also part of your job to teach and foster creativity along with dance steps?

At competitions we tend to hear the same popular songs repeated. As easy as it is to choose songs because they are popular at the time and have a simple counting scheme, they can also become redundant in both their sound and style. At competitions you earn points and special awards for creativity. Let that creativity and the message be conveyed in the music as well as choreography and costumes. Give us something different, step out of the box, and inspire the audience. This begins in the studio by inspiring your dancers. Guide them in connecting with music as much as movements. The results are dancers that are artists of the world – they can contribute to our art in positive and influential ways by conveying messages and social commentaries; and this can be a conduit for change. Consider your favourite dance artists and why they inspired you. Chances are it is because they themselves were inspired, conscious, and connected and doesn’t that make for a dance artist who is relevant throughout a lifetime and beyond?

One of my all time favourite pieces of music to start or end my classes to is this gorgeous songs by Patrice. Check it out here and leave your comments to share YOUR favourite piece of conscious music to use in studio.

Sophia Bush-Anderson

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