Being an actor is as much about movement as it is about learning your lines. Being in tune with your body’s tendencies is essential to being an evocative performer. One of the best ways to get fit and improve your coordination is by taking dance classes.
Here we will take a look at different types of dance and how they can help push your acting skills to the next level. What is the importance of dance for actors and actresses?
Dancing builds strength
Having a strong, flexible and fit body is always going to be handy in any acting role you take. Dancing is one of the best ways to make your body do exactly what you tell it to do. Dancing combines timing, mobility, balance, strength and even memory.
Learning to dance entails developing rapid reflexes, and choreography is a cognitive challenge. Learning lines is another cognitive demand. Dance training can help you become a far more well-rounded actor, who can command the physicality of a role and the emotional side.
On the subject of emotion, dance is an inherently emotional form of performance. Being able to project using your innate physicality is an invaluable tool to a performer. It doesn’t matter if you are in a panto or rehearsing Shakespeare, understanding how your body is moving and how you are appearing to the audience is the key to a good performance.
Helps your mind to focus
Sometimes when you are set on a particular role or are enraptured with your acting, it may be a good idea to have some form of distraction. Dancing can be a great way to move your mind away from the intricacies of a role and refocus your attention onto more pressing matters, like remembering your lines!
Types of dance that can help your acting
Picking what genre of dance you would like to practice can be difficult. You should consider enjoyment as well as what might benefit your acting roles. Here are some of the most popular kinds of dance that are useful for acting:
Possibly the most famous type of dance, Ballet has various subgenres, including classic, romantic, neoclassical, and contemporary. It is a very precise, highly technical type of dance.
Contemporary dance covers a wide range of styles that can be seen in a more modern setting. It is usually very expressive with a wide range of influence, including modern, jazz, lyrical and classical ballet. This creates a very powerful style that is one of the most effective at communicating emotions.
Many actors practice some form of contemporary dance, even if they are not aware of it. The evocativeness of this style is perfect for stage, and can even be integrated into productions depending on the play. Subject to your ability, iampro offers beginner and intermediate contemporary dance classes.
You will likely be familiar with this style from Strictly Come Dancing, characterised by its formal dress, sweeping movements and intricate footwork.
Tap dancing may seem like it comes from the realm of fancy men with top hats and bow ties, or perhaps very stiff-backed Irish dancers who line up and make an extremely loud clippity clap sound. But in reality, tap dancing is a fantastic way to improve your stamina and coordination.
You will likely recognise this style of dance for its incredible athletic moves and amazing spinning techniques. The quintessential break dancing move of spinning on your head may not seem too applicable to acting, but break dancers have some of the most flexible and mobile bodies around. Break dancing is a key element of hip-hop, another genre that iampro offers choreography classes in.
iampro and dance
At iampro we offer a wide range of movement and dance classes that are built around helping you become a better performer, no matter what you do on stage. From comedian to actor, learning about the flow of your body will make you stand out from the crowd.
Check out our list of great dance classes from professional movement coaches, or get in touch with us.