When I started exploring more social dance in 2012 I found myself focusing more on the connection between the people I danced with. I was learning big sweeping motions but was mixing in isolations and stillness. Then late 2013 in Seattle, I found a micro dance class was offered by Mark Carpenter and Kelly Howard. It helped me to express, define, and share the dance with others.
I would like to offer some clarity in terms: Micro Dancing is not Blues Dancing!
Blues Dancing is an umbrella term for a family of dances done to blues music and blues structures. It is an improvisational dance form primarily danced with a partner, but also solo or in a group.
Parallel to blues music, blues dance is based on social dance styles created from African and European roots in America between the 1800’s and mid 1900’s, although it has experienced significant evolution within the last 10-15 years.
Rooted in African movement, blues dance places a high value on rhythm and individual movement. Today there is a strong emphasis on connection with your partner, the music, and the community.
While there are now a wide range of Blues dances, each with unique dynamics, aesthetics, rhythms, attitudes, and step patterns; they share numerous characteristics that allow individuals to stylistically and creatively express the music. These include:
- A balanced, flexible posture
- Dancing behind the beat
- Everyday found movement
- Bent limbs & torso
- Movement radiating through all parts of the body
- Grounded & earth focused
- Call/Response and Lead/Follow
If you are interested in learning more about blues there are many resources available!
What is Micro Dancing?
Micro Dance focuses on small, subtle movement. We can explore more intensity and mutual listening.
This allows us to create a space for an intimate, highly focused connection; a quiet conversation between two people in their own world, right in the middle of the crowded dance floor. By making our movements teeny tiny, we focus intently on our partnership and create a dance that's just for us.
Within Micro Dancing we find a way to accentuate stillness. We can explore; breath, isolation, and sharp changes in tone. This creates a wide range of tiny movements within the dance, and an experience that can be difficult to describe!
Micro Dancing very difficult to see on the dance floor and is even harder to capture with video!
Micro dance, for me, was discovered with a need for stillness. It has been a way for me to focus on the connection between my partner and the music. While dancing everything else melts away. With this connection every movement becomes magical and expressive.
This is what I believe makes up Micro Dance:
Here are some songs that I enjoy experiencing Micro Dance with. I believe it is possible to find stillness in many songs and styles of music!
It has been challenging to find teachers of Micro Dancing. These are the individuals I've found in my travels so far.