How To Train Your Musicality - Copenhagen Salsa Academy
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How To Train Your Musicality

And express the music on the dance floor.

– 8MIN. READ –
First of all, what is musicality in dance? There are many elements in a song: vocals, piano, percussion, guitars, various supporting instruments and so on. When we listen to a song, everyone is moved by something different and personal. As dancers we showcase that on the dance floor and in turn our body becomes and instrument itself. We can choose simple elements to dance to, or we can pick up as many sounds as we wish and with the movements show what we hear in song.


1. Listen to the music actively.

Get engaged with the music and get familiar different sections of a song: the intro, the principal theme, the “repeating part” (aka. the hook, montuno), and the instrumental section (aka. mambo).
Then break them down and understand each section: try to isolate sounds, and listen closely. Voice and piano might be easier to distinguish compared to congas or claves, that might be harder catch. Here is a playlist we suggest to listen to for isolating the “Tumbao” rhythm made by the Congas.
Finally, try to listen to all the rhythms in a song, even more difficult syncopated ones, which make the songs really interesting. Listen to Salsa Musicality – Clave playlist made by Dennis.

2. Understand how each instrument sounds.

It will be easier to create the image of the song when you know how these sounds are created. Knowing the instruments is like expanding your dancer’s vocabulary.
You can make it simple: pick a few instruments to follow and show through your dancing (advised for beginner dancers) or as many as instruments as you wish and make your dancing a dynamic experience.
When you understand the rhythms and instruments, you can start fitting the peaces together: you will easily “find the one” in the song and keep the beat while dancing.
We can help you with learning it all. Book a private class here.
Live music dancing

3. Be aware of what you want to express in your dance.

Everyone perceives music differently, therefore, every dancer has a unique way of dancing. Even in the same exact piece, what choreographers and dancers find interesting will be different.
In latin music it’s popular to dance to percussion and most dancers aim to “hit the breaks”. Many dance to lyrics, because it is nice to imagine yourself being in the mind of the musician and bring the mood to the dance floor. You can try to understand how other dancers hear the music and dance to it in order to get inspired.
However, dancing gives you creative freedom. What YOU want to display and express on the dance is your own task to discover. Have fun in the process!

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