Leading on from last weeks post, Pole Dance Plateau, I thought it would be useful to share some pole dance choreography games that you could use to explore and expand your movement vocabulary. Even if you are a pro at choreography it is good to go back to basics every so often. Moreover, choreography games are useful because sometimes we can get so caught up in what people expect from a pole dance, or from any style of dance, that we forget that the movement has a voice. The games listed below will keep you occupied for at least an hour, so make sure you give yourself time and don’t rush. You can do them on your own or with friends. Or if you’re a teacher, you can use these techniques with your students as a fun way to spice up their training session or as a way to generate movement material for an upcoming show.
The word game will typically start with your name or that of someone in the space with you. Think of the name and begin to draw it with a body part. Once you are comfortable with this particular body part, take it to another and expand the name. Make it big, make it small, travel it and swap sides.
If you are with other people and they are not writing their name it is fun to try to guess what they are writing.
This can be progressed by changing the direction in which you face the pole. Behind, in front, left right, up, down.
Think about a certain activity that you do on a daily basis, maybe it is sitting at a desk or cleaning the house. It can be anything. Once you have come up with the activity, stick to it and begin to figure out the gestures that are repetitive during this activity. Pick out 4 gestures and begin to link them to one and other.
Again, you can start this on or off the pole. If you’re a beginner, maybe try it on the floor and then progress it to the pole. For example, if you chose the activity of sitting at your desk you might choose to perform a seated position up the pole or at the bottom of it, then move arms forward as if you’re going to type, put head in hand when you don’t know what to type etc.
Think about how these small gestures can be turned into something much bigger.
This task would involve coming up with a 16 – 32 count phrase whilst having specific rules in place. Use the suggestions below to get you started.
- How can I keep contact with the pole without putting my feet on the floor?
- Staying in close distance, how can I move around the pole without touching it?
- If I start at the top of the pole, what’s the slowest way to get to the bottom?
If you were able to complete the above tasks you should now have around 16-34 counts of movement. If so, follow the steps below to find a piece of music to go with it.
At first perform it in silence which will enable natural dynamics to occur. Then you will take 3 different tracks of music and perform the same movement to each track. You could try something heavy metal, classical music and pop. Whatever you like. Record yourself with a video phone and witness the way your body responds to the sound.
You might find that you respond better to one task over another, just do whatever works for you. If you are using these games to create a piece of choreography, and not just for fun, consider the different sections of movement as pieces of a puzzle. You could repeat the bits that work like the four corners of the puzzle, and then you can move and manipulate the center pieces by making small adjustments to ensure they fit. To read more about putting it together, Speaking through Movement would be helpful to you.