In the second of our special series on dance moves, we have the lovely Alicja Blachut talking us through dancehall. "It's all about the feeling and the sharing!" she enthuses.
Dancehall is funny, silly, crazy, serious, angry but it's whatever you want to express you have to mean it! You have to mean each move you doing! Dancehall is the meaning - it's about everyday life, and how you express daily routines, such as: "brush your teeth", "paint the wall", "wash your clothes".
All about the hips
Dancehall is different that any other dance style. You don't want to look pretty. You want to feel it. Your whole energy should be coming from your hips. You can dance without moving any other part of your body.
Technique: soften your knees (bend) and relax your body - imagine you're tired or can't be bothered to move. You will need some energy to dance - obviously! - focus your whole energy inside - in your hips and try to bounce, walk or move side-to-side with that feeling. You should feel very good and very relaxed!
Dancehall is about the curves
Relax your body, your arms, your back and your legs - if you look into the mirror don't be afraid! Dancehall is what is inside not outside. You want to express yourself through the movements. You should look like you have a big fit ball in front of you and you’re hugging it, without using your arms!
Your legs should be relaxed and strong at the same time - you need to stay grounded and push your energy toward the floor. It's similar to African dances - you dance towards the floor with your energy (even with reggae moves when you have to open your chest and look up you energy is focused in your hips).
There's thousands dancehall moves/dances and each has a specific technique. At the same time you want to put your own feeling into each move. That's why it's do easy and hard too! One of my favourite moves is Cut Dem Off, which is when you lift your arm up and behind your head, and perform a sharp movement hitting other arm between your elbow and your wrist, repeat! You need to keep it sharp and show it in your face too! Another is Frog Back' - I love this move! Going down, bend your knees, move your chest forward - you need to look like a big breathing frog! You need to relax your back so it's moving properly, and add bounce to it!
No matter if you're male or female join me for my ragga dancehall class! Release your inner gangsta or dancehall queen!
Book yourself into a class right now! Go to our classes schedule.