4 Prompts That Will Help You Beat Improv Block
We've all been there—smack in the middle of the improv portion of an audition, when suddenly our brain freezes over. All the creative movement born out of story telling and honest expression becomes the same right-battement over...and over...and over again. Yikes!🙅 Here are four prompts to help you break that dreaded right-battement cycle. Use them the next time you are feeling stuck, and they'll help you get back into your groove of awe-inspiring improv in no time!
1. Try becoming a character entirely different from yourself.
Let your movement channel a character's story. Make everything you do intentional to creating the experience and background of the person you are imitating. As you develop an entire person through your dancing, you'll discover a whole world of movement that you hadn't considered before.
2. Focus all of your attention on the texture of your movement.
Move back and forth between exploding and contracting. Reach the limits of moving quickly and slowly or with force and subtlety. Moving between textural extremes will quicken your mind and allow you to explore a wide range of movement opportunities.
3. Try an improv session where the music drives everything you do.
Match its style, emotion, and syncopation. Complete your movement by expressing the feeling of the music all the way up to your face and eyes. Don't get caught in "contemporary face" (that trendy facial expression where everyone looks like an emotionless zombie can get you stuck in a cycle of the same movement.) Following the variety the music provides will keep you from repetition.
4. Don't allow yourself to do the same thing more than once.
Keep your mind engaged as you remember which sequences you have done before. Try to avoid what is familiar, and challenge yourself to create something completely unnatural and unexpected for your body. (Clearly, no right battements are allowed in this one.)
There's an entire world of improvisational prompts that can help you grow beyond what you can imagine. Start with these four and see what they can add to your craft. Above all, choose to improv without judgement. Allow yourself to explore new ideas without getting in your head. You have so much to offer.
Get in, losers. We're going to Broadway.
OK, not losers, actually—more like the bajillion die-hard fans of Tina Fey's 2004 cult hit Mean Girls, who've been wearing pink every Wednesday since a musical adaptation of the film was first teased back in 2013.
Now their world is like a cake filled with rainbows and smiles, because Mean Girls the musical, which had a trial run in Washington, DC, last fall, is set to open at Broadway's August Wilson Theatre April 8. And in a very grool twist, it turns out the show—with direction and choreography by Casey Nicholaw and a book by Fey herself—is delightfully dancey.
Today in Ballet Dancers Are Actual Superheroes news:
You've no doubt heard that the fabulous Alicia Vikander is playing Lara Croft in the newest iteration of Tomb Raider, which hits movie theaters this Friday. But while her training for the high-octane action role was crazy tough, she says, studying at the Royal Swedish Ballet School was far tougher.
Everyone loves a good viral video, especially when there's dancing involved. And though many viral videos are contrived and created for the soul purpose of instafame, the story behind the latest video catching the eyes of millions—including Rihanna, super model Naomi Campbell, and Diddy—is even more unique because it features children who don't even know who those celebrities are.
A dance troupe in Nigeria has become the next internet sensation, thanks to their exuberant dancing and passion with which they perform. Their enthusiasm for dance is evident in every step and it's hard not to smile as you see these children (who range from ages 6 to 15) express pure joy in something as simple as dance. These nine kids are part of The Dream Catchers, an organization started by 26-year-old Seyi Oluyole, that gives impoverished children a place to live while teaching them how to dance.
For 16-year-old Amanda*, dance is everything: her passion, her escape from the daily grind, and her career goal. Her parents see things differently. "I have siblings who are active in sports," Amanda says, "and my parents would rather I play soccer or basketball. They don't see dance as something I can earn a stable living from in the future. They often tell me I should just quit."
Some parents aren't able to, don't know how to, or choose not to give you the kind of support you need to thrive in the studio. And when your parents are adding stress to your life, rather than alleviating it, there's a lot at stake. "Dancers who don't have the support of their parents might struggle with self-doubt," says Dr. Linda Hamilton, a former dancer with New York City Ballet and a clinical psychologist specializing in the performing arts, "while those whose parents are too involved can crack under the pressure." Whether your parents aren't there when you need them or they're always there, practically smothering you, try these tips to improve your situation.
On Friday night, the iconic RuPaul made history as the first drag queen ever to receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. And it didn't take long for the world's most fabulous RuPaul fan/one of our favorite human beings, Mark Kanemura, to commemorate his idol's accomplishment with—naturally—a WALK to end all walks.
What do you get when a hoard of dancers collaborate to the catchy tune of "Love Somebody," by the band Frenship? The most epic dance party ever, of course! Said dance party was directed by the talented Michael Riccio, who's choreography has appeared in "La La Land" and "Dancing with the Stars."
They say there's no "I" in "team"—and nowhere is that truer than the world of college dance teams, where precision reigns, uniformity is key, and a single misstep from any given "I" can cost a group a championship trophy. So it's unsurprising that securing a spot on one of the best dance teams in the country is no easy feat.
Members of these highly athletic teams rehearse for hours every week—on top of academic classes and commitments—and perform at football and basketball games, annual concerts, and nationally televised competitions (hi, ESPN). And "no I" rule notwithstanding, each of these top teams is made up of highly trained, highly technical, highly hard-core individuals, who come together to create a ready-for-victory pack.
These six teams aren't one-off success stories—they're consistently strong, and earn the top spots at major competitions like UDA and NDA nearly every year. Up for the challenge? Here's what to know before you go to auditions.