Dance is an unusual creature – ticking both physical and creative boxes, and because it’s so demanding on the body and mind, sometimes it can suck your creative well dry! And this is where cross training comes in.
“Cross-training refers to an athlete training in sports other than the one that the athlete competes in, with a goal of improving overall performance. It takes advantage of the particular effectiveness of each training method, while at the same time attempting to negate the shortcomings of that method by combining it with other methods that address its weaknesses.”
For dance – I feel that cross training doesn’t apply to just the physical aspects of the dance alone. It applies to the creative side too!
Find a release for your creativity when dancing just won’t do. For me – painting and art is a way to improve my creativity, to re-set any artistic frustrations I’ve been feeling, and give my brain a chance to re-adjust and get back into dance again. Especially after a particularly busy dance period – it can be nice to take time out, reset, and then begin again!
Looking at different art forms can also add to potential choreography ideas, and jog the creative juices. Paintings, Music, Theatre, Film, Literature – all these mediums can create some really strong images and ideas that can kick start a choreography – and personally I feel it’s good practice to really immerse yourself in these in order to engage and train your brain to think creatively and outside the box! Something that I always find really engages me is period dramas and antiquated fashions. I love pouring over old books on the Tudor court, Victorian clothing, and old fairy tales from bygone eras. They really conjure up a sense of beauty, of poignancy, of the magic of history that for some reason really gets me going artistically.
Find something that works for you and embrace it! One of my dance colleagues found inspiration watching a skirt dance from the 1800’s on a historical BBC programme! You never know what might inspire your next performance, costume, or music choice.
Never say never – you might be frightened to pick up a paintbrush, write a poem, or feel that reading is just not your thing – that’s ok! But don’t rule these things out. They may seem like you are goofing off, and not dancing – but they will benefit your choreographies, costumes and theatricality no end!
I hope this helps you to work on your creativity within dance. Some of my best ideas have come to me when reading a novel, listening to an unusual radio show ( BBC R2 Folk Show has given me some goodies!) and when visiting galleries or unusual places! Above all – be open, and let the world be your oyster!
Final Note for the Day:
Take a chance to have a look at one of my favourite websites Pinterest. It's incredible how images can really trigger ideas, thoughts and emotions - and the best thing about this site? You can save your own ideas on your very own moodboard! You can see my pinterest boards here.
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