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As a representative of the first generation of the Nigerian-Canadian diaspora, I had a specific experience regarding dance art. In particular, this experience was expressed in the perception of dances as a set of energetic and dynamic movements of the human body that can convey the history and culture of a particular nationality. However, this dance class has given me new knowledge and changed my mind about this form of art. In particular, these classes have allowed me to improve my body and its internal physical perception, develop my communication skills, and understand that dance is a more complex category than it seems at first glance.
Participation in this dance class gave me the opportunity to make my body more flexible, resilient, and perfect. In particular, I have realized that the body is the main element of the dance, and its effectiveness often depends on a person’s awareness of one’s physical and kinetic capabilities. For example, the alignment process, which leads to good posture, plays an important role and therefore improves the quality of the dance moves. The process of improving the body may be painful, but many ways can help to overcome and alleviate pain, thereby making a person more resilient to physical exertion. It is necessary for a dancer is to perform the process of warming up before performing dance. It allows raising body temperature, relaxing, and preparing muscles. As a result, using the knowledge and experience gained, I have managed to improve my physical abilities and make my body more flexible and obedient to maximize the conveying my emotions and sensations in dance.
An important goal that I have achieved while attending the dance class is to improve my movements. In this case, a special role belonged to kinetic awareness, which helped me to realize my body and its movement in space. Effective workouts, during which we made throws with an imaginary ball and simulated swimming to music, also contributed to achieving this goal. It is also necessary to note that exercises on the rotation of the spine in space in different directions, at different levels, and different amplitudes gave a good effect as well. In this way, I have begun to feel myself and my movements better, which means that I have increased the quality of my dance by one more point. In addition, I must mention about the importance of learning dance terms. The dance has its original language, the knowledge of which helps a dancer to understand what exactly and how he/she should do, what position he/she should take, how he/she should listen to music, and so on.
Undoubtedly, the development of an internal physical perception of the dance was a useful experience for me. Several exercises that assisted me in this task included moving my body in space (along with an analysis of this movement), relaxation exercises, and simulating activities such as throws, walking in the fog, rain mist or through the sun. The goal of all these activities was to learn to feel one’s own body in the process of dancing and to capture its rhythm and movements within oneself. The exercises have also fostered my imagination, which had helped improves my dance moves and creativity. In this regard, the dance class has helped me to improve my sensory skills and gain the ability to control the movements of my body in the dance independently.
The classes have helped my personal growth and improved my communication skills. In particular, earlier, I always imagined the dance as something individual and personal. The characteristic features of my psychology made me lock myself in and dance for myself. However, in the process of attending the class, I have learned that interacting with a partner or with a group is a much more important action than focusing solely on my feelings and emotions. Mirroring practice exercise has helped me a lot in this regard. In the process of performing it, I had to repeat the movements of my partner, predict them, and look for answers in the eyes of this person. Group dance have also contributed to my improvement, as we learned to interact with the team and hear each other, thereby improving the quality of the overall dance. Therefore, it was a unique experience that has helped me to open up, feel part of the team, and learn how to interact and feel other people.
Finally, I have realized the important point - the dance is not just a movement. It can display ethnic or cultural identity. However, most importantly, it is a means of conveying emotions through the body. Therefore, in order for the dance to turn out to be really beautiful, it must involve the dancer’s ability to move with time and be filled with energy, using different and appropriate qualities, musical, balanced, and emotional.
In this regard, this dance class has provided me with a significant experience that has improved me. This statement applies both to the development of the capabilities of my body and my personal growth. I have reconsidered my understanding of dance, gained communication skills, and learned to feel a partner. However, the most important point that I understood is the importance of constant dance growth and improvement.
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