Joel and Clara Marasigan

The Inner Sound of Dance


Clara showed me some of the feedback from our Robson Square show on her Facebook wall the other day.  Among all the very cool comments (which btw, thanks everyone!), there was a question posted about whether or not I make the same sounds I did during our solo Waltz demonstration as I did in competition.

Now for those of you who were not at Robson Square to take in all of the JC Dance Co shows, you may want to read the previous post, or just watch the Youtube video shown below.

During our solo Waltz, not only did I narrate the figures and the different levels that we were dancing, but I also added some interesting ‘sounds’. I believe these are the sounds that were in question over Facebook.

The short answer is ‘yes and no’.  Hmmm, let me clarify.  You see, the sounds that I made during the performance were external representations of what my body was creating within.  I believe this is why people always refer to singing and dancing within the same family of performance arts.  At the most primal level, both singing and dancing are outward expressions of how we feel inside.  What happened on Friday was just that, except instead of using actual words, I just used sounds.  These are the same basic feelings that I had when I competed, so my partial answer is yes.

On the other side of the answer is no, because when I was competing I was more focused on feeling these sounds within my body and expressing them through my actions, rather than expressing them vocally.  Maybe if I had a microphone on me during comps, I may have been more vocal, but since that was not part of the environment, I kept the majority of those sounds inside.

This conversation is actually quite an insightful one for anyone wishing to be more true and emotional with their dancing, instead of just ‘correct’ or ‘sporty’.  If you can create an interesting ‘sound track’ to your dancing, you are well on your way to creating a true and emotional performance.  So here’s a personal challenge to all you true dancers out there:  take your iPhone (because it seems like everyone has one except for me and Clara), turn on the sound recorder and dance your choreography without any background music.  After you are finished, listen to the recording and ask yourself the following questions:

  1. Did I make any sounds at all, or was I too tight to even breathe, let alone create sounds that represent my dancing?
  2. How many different sounds did I make during the dance?  (Even at the Bronze level, I would expect to hear a minimum of 5 distinct sounds and at a Champ level well over 20.)
  3. Do my sounds truly represent the figures that I am dancing?  Remember that there is no right or wrong sound for a particular figure, because dance is an art, not a science.


If you’re having difficulty getting something out, first try counting out loud throughout your routine.  From there, add some changes in volume and pitch (high/low).  After that, the rest is up to you!

Explore and have fun with your sounds, just like you should have fun exploring your dancing.  And remember, the more loud and clear the sounds are within your body, the more loud and clear your body’s actions will become, and if you still feel stuck and unfulfilled, let us know.  We’d be happy to lend a helping sound!  :)


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