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What I Learned by Doing Dance Improvisation for a Month

In February I decided to give myself a dance challenge. I chose to do dance improvisation on random song which popped up on me after I opened YouTube. I went with the first song I saw. The inspiration doing this challenge came from more sources. Some came from established dancers and choreographers, as improvisation is considered a great tool for exploring and developing our creative voice. Another inspiration, associated more with the energy of the challenge, was a fact that there is a campaign called Dry February in the Czech Republic and it is for people who want to abstain from alcohol for a month. As I rarely drink alcohol I thought doing dance improvisation, recording it and posting it daily on social media might be more challenging experience for me. So I did it and now I would like to share what I learned from this experience.

  1. Being consistent and showing up every day for my thing We can do many things every day. But what is the thing, area where we want see the progress? My thing is to express myself creatively and become stronger dancer and choreographer. Doing dance improvisation daily is something that has helped me to move the needle. I continue to do my improvisations and record them but share them on social media with less frequency.

  2. Edit videos Even though doing the dance improvisation took me just couple minutes a day, editing videos took me much longer. In the beginning it took me more than 2 hours but with the time and daily practice I could make it within 30 minutes in the end of my challenge. I was adding the music, going through the videos and choosing parts that I want to post.

  3. Being Creative I did not give myself any extra prompts or intention besides doing the videos. It just came naturally with every upcoming video. I started thinking about what I was going to wear to match the music I was going to improvise to. I started thinking about places where I am going to make the videos. By showing up for the thing and doing it consistently the creative voice started to be more aloud and clear.

  4. Create space for the inspiration to come and trust the process There were songs which inspired me to move instantly and it felt very natural to move to them. Even though I did not know them, the energy of the song or the beat was something I liked. So it was easy and fun to express myself with these kind of songs. But there were also songs I did not like at all. I did not feel any connection. I felt frustrated. In these moments I would stay with the song a little longer than usual. And wonder of wonders it worked. The inspiration started to come. My work at those moments was just to stay open and trust. With more attention, the moves started to unfold and finally it somehow worked out. And if not, I just had a good laugh after looking at the videos backwards and remembering my frustration while recording them.

  5. Facing my resistance and overcoming fear of being seen There were very uncomfortable feelings while doing the videos in public space. Especially in the beginning. I had to find a way how to deal with those feelings. I did some of the videos at home but many of them outside. Not necessarily infront of people but people could randomly pass by and see me. I felt shame. It could consume me. But I faced those feelings and kept reminding myself my intention. Trying to shift the attention from outside, from checking if someone sees me and instead go more inward and focus on the work I came to do. My February mission :). It worked. I practiced not thinking much about what others think of me and it was very freeing.

  6. Friends and relatives are helpful I was always happy if I could ask my friends or relatives to record me. It just brought some extra spark into the mix. Feelings of connection, moments of collaboration and co-creation. With other people, there is an extra dose of energy and inspiration. And by doing my thing I also inspire others to do their thing :).

  7. Stretch my skills Improvising everyday has helped me to practice my dance skills. I felt that by practicing even couple minutes a day made me feel stronger in my skills and more confident to express myself. The other thing is that there are dance styles that I like but do not practice much. With these improvisations I allowed myself to bring some of the movements into the dance, take more risks and be more playful. I have also practiced connection with the music which I learned with Teresa Espinosa.

  8. Dancing on different music genres By doing this challenge I learned about so many new songs and music artists. What I liked about it is the fact that I touched several different genres, for example RnB, hip hop, pop, techno, house, film music etc. It was also something which helped me to stretch my dancing and creative skills. Get out of my comfort zone. I learned about music that I like and I also about music that I don't like and kept dancing anyway :).

I believe there is so much more that I learned from this process of doing dance improvisation and I am still learning as I continue to do it every day. I hope that my thoughts were inspiring for doing your thing. Let me know.

With Love,


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