The Process to Becoming a Musical Dancer

Musicality. This word is so loaded with expectations and mis-understanding. Talk to any experienced professional teacher in dance and they’ll readily admit that “musicality” is the cream on the cake for any dancer, often not truly understood or attained within many years (often quoted as over a decade) of training.

I constantly hear people talk about “musicality” as if just by saying the words, it will imbue those around them with an understanding of what this means.

The 4 stages to musicality in dance are

1. Beat : Many people in Tango and Salsa find this first stage a challenge in itself. With other styles of music such as R&B used in WCS and Zouk it can be easier.

2. Rhythm : the synchronisation of movement within particular patterns of beats. Also incorporates "phrasing"

3. Critical Timing : Difficult to describe in a sentence and what many social dancers do not understand. Essentially the understanding of how to move our body within the space of the beats. With this we can show different qualities of movement and can truly start the process of showing the “feeling” of the music. This stage requires physical conditioning and discipline, beyond doing social classes.

4. Musicality : The final stage.

When someone talks about musicality who does not yet understand rhythm & phrasing & timing, they are simply “missing the point”.