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Updated on October 16, 2014

"Without portraying the emotion inside of us. . . a dance is nothing."

~Lai Rupe


Dance is all about the technical movement one can create to the rhythm of music. However, without an inner expression full of emotion that is displayed throughout the dance, it suddenly becomes lifeless.

Dancing without emotion is without point. This is why we will discuss tips to help you dance from your soul and teach you how to give your dance emotion, until it comes naturally.


1. Facials

When you are first learning to dance, it may be hard to focus on your emotions, when you are trying so hard to focus on the moves your are dancing. Because of this, many dance teams, studios, and soloists, actually choreography facials into a dance routine.

This not only will help your dancers be uniformed with the expressions on their faces, but it will also help your dancers be able to express themselves while still focusing on movements. Facials are basically choreographed emotions - smile, pucker, straight face, big eyes, "wow" face, etc. By setting these in place, you will be better able to show the judges "inner" emotions. Even if you have to set the facials, they can still be from within and express realistic emotions.

Often times when you think about smiling or doing facials, it actually releases real hormonal emotions and allows for choreographed facials to become real.


2. Vocals

Just as facial expressions help you focus on performing a routine, more than simply doing the steps, vocals help make routines more dynamic as well. Dancers choreograph vocals into routines to help remind dancers to breathe and encourage different facial expressions as well.

For example, a breath-like "yeah" vocal, encourages a smile on your face; a "wow" vocal, encourages an "O" facial expression. Using vocals and facials while dancing encourage dancers to perform routines, not simply dance them.

How do you "lose yourself" in a routine?

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3. Story Preparation.

As a dancer, you should be wanting to know WHY you are dancing. Ask you choreographers to explain the story or purpose behind your dance routine. Every dance has a purpose, whether it is to be sassy and flirtatious or promote awareness for cancer.

The purpose is still prevalent.

Once your know the purpose for your dance routine, submerse yourself into the story and make it become a real even for yourself.

For example, Lai Rupe's Choreography recently choreographed a routine for a Studio in London, England. The story behind the routine is from the perspective of a young wife who just lost her beloved husband. To submerse myself into the routine, I pictured losing my husband and how I would feel. I Instantly began to cry and was able to fully perform the routine, with the emotions it was designed to invoke.

I'm Kissing You - Preview Choreographed for London, England Dancer.


4. Closed Eyes.

Especially when performing a lyrical or contemporary routine, it is all about expression. Telling a story and making emotions come to life is the primary purpose for the choreography. However, sometimes as a dancer it is hard to capture the essence of the routine.

This is why Lai Rupe's Choreography encourages you to submerse yourself into the emotion of the routine. To do this, just close your eyes and simply listen to the music. Listen to the rhythm, the melody and the lyrics. Just let the music speak to you, and see what emotions the music makes you feel. This will help you not only draw a close connection to the song, but it will also help you listen to the way you feel.

This type of meditation will help you awaken your inner soul and reach a whole other level of performance within your dance routine.

Awaken your Soul and DANCE!

Dancing isn't just about the moves. Sure, the tricks make the routine look exciting, but what is a dance without the performance?

If you want to take your dancing abilities to a whole new level, it is time to connect with the routine on a more personal level, and really bring it to life. Get in touch with the lyrics and create facials and vocals to help you truly perform the routine.


Have any dance questions, concerns, or topics to discuss? Don't hesitate to reach out to Lai Rupe's Choreography. I am here to spread the beauty of dance.

Also, feel free to check out the article, "The Beautiful ART of Dance," to hear a bit more about the other perspective of dance as both a sport, and an art.

Thanks for your LOVE and Support!

~Alaina (Lai) Rupe


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    • abrodech profile image

      Anya Brodech 2 years ago from 130 Linden St, Oakland, California, 94607

      Another great piece inspiring me to dance!