Emotion in Dance

I had a most remarkable revelation the other day when one of my teachers said to me “Let the joy out of your mouth” meaning “smile when you dance, let your joy show.”

It made me realize how easy it is to express certain emotions when dancing and yet how difficult it seems to be to express others.  When we dance we offer our audience a glimpse into our private thoughts and personal self that they would likely never see otherwise.

For some of us this sharing of emotion is easier than for others.  And for many one or two emotions are easy to show while others may be very difficult.

I realize for myself that to show passion, surprise, anger, and sorrow are simple things.  They flow naturally through my personal interpretation of my dance form.  But to show joy or simple happiness is often hard.  I concentrate too much and forget to simply show the joy I feel.

So now I ask myself, how other dancers  break through this wall to express all emotions equally.  How do you learn to impart a true emotion, rather than trying to fake something that looks like what people expect to see?   Is this partly based in the music we chose or do we chose music based on what we find easy to express?  Does the mood and style of the costumes we wear contribute to our expression or do we choose our costumes simply for show?

As a dancer I find that every part of my dance, the choreography, the music, the costume, even the style of makeup I wear helps me to channel my emotions to my audience.   All dancers work towards that perfect harmony of movement and music and when a dancer can express all emotions with equal easy, bringing their audience to both laughter and tears then and only then have they truly mastered this amazing art form.