Learn to Speak Dance: A Guide to Creating, Performing & Promoting Your Moves

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9781926818887: Learn to Speak Dance: A Guide to Creating, Performing & Promoting Your Moves
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Watching a flashy music video or an episode of So You Think You Can Dance probably makes most people a little shy about their dancing skills, but we all know how to dance. After all, dance is just a mash up of everyday movement and imagination. And while a musician might learn how to play piano or guitar, a dancer’s instrument is her own body. We just need to explore the unique, artistic voice inside that instrument and Learn to Speak Dance is all about helping kids do just that!

Drawing upon years of experience as a dancer, and dance teacher, Ann-Marie Williams exposes every aspect of the world of dance from different dance styles from around the world to tips on choreography, costume design, performance, staging, and even managing a potential career. She’s also brought along the expert opinions of a number of other dancers, set designers, choreographers, and reality TV judges, who share great tips and anecdotes throughout. But there’s no need to get stage fright Learn to Speak Dance isn’t an audition, a lecture, or even a class. It’s simply a revelation of just how far your own two feet can take you.

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About the Author:

Ann-Marie Williams is the director of the Movement Lab, a Toronto dance school for kids. She holds an MA in Dance, a BFA in Theater-Dance, and is also a fully certified ballet teacher with the Royal Academy of Dance. She has over a decade of teaching experience in a variety of settings from university dance programs to parks and recreation classes, and is a frequent contributor to The Dance Current. Williams lives in Toronto.

Jeff Kulak is an award-winning designer-illustrator. From his studio, a converted room in a former nunnery, he creates art for magazines and theater posters. He lives in Montreal.

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

From the introduction to Chapter 1

You’re sitting nervously at your desk doing some last-minute cramming, when your teacher makes an announcement your test is canceled. Yes! You’re so relieved, you can't help flying out of your seat and jumping around with excitement. This is awesome!

You probably didn’t think about it, but you were dancing. In fact, the fun of expressing how you feel with your body is exactly what dance is all about. It’s the only time we humans move around just because it feels good, instead of with a goal in mind, like kicking a ball or running to the finish line. It just feels great to dance out whatever is going on inside our heads.

When you think about it this way, you already know how to dance. OK, so you can’t do those killer breakdance moves you see on TV, and maybe you stand in the corner at your school dances, but hear me out! Dance is just a mash-up of everyday movements and your imagination. A musician might learn to play piano or guitar, but a dancer’s instrument is his or her own body. All you have to do to is explore the one-of-a-kind artistic voice inside your instrument.

So celebrate and throw yourself a dance party for one. Shut your bedroom door, crank up your favorite tunes, and shake it. Don’t over think how you should move, and don’t judge yourself. You can’t be wrong, so just do what feels good!

See? You are a dancer.

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