One of the things that I love about capoeira is that it was one of the first places that my brain would realize potentialities. I would be watching others in the roda and notice that the thing they were doing right then could very easily turn transition into a different move. I think part of this is because a huge amount of time is spent in capeoira training taking the basic few kicks and dodges and stringing them together in drill after drill. I got used to the feeling of using momentum and redirecting. I got used to selecting one movement as appropriate to what my partner was doing and having that suggest to my body the next place to go.

Shortly after I had this break through in capoeira I started to lead in blues. Very quickly the same sort of discovery was apparent to my mind. I would get to a movement, and as my follower was finishing it, I saw possibilities arise. Their position, or momentum or even some movement flair would suggest sometimes one and sometimes a dozen things to do next.

I have attended hundreds of beginner lessons for blues dance. I think that in blues dancing giving beginners a sequence to try out is out of favor, if it was ever in. I’ve had discussions and the feeling toward connection and improvisation is always brought up as why we shouldn’t teach sequences. However, in light of how capoeira drills sequences and then expects you to break them, I think improvisation can be learned from there. Someone else once compared teaching sequences to creating sand art. You follow the direction of someone else until you get it. Then you erase it and use the same rules to make your own.


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Filed under blues dance, following, leading, learning, teaching

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