Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Momentum - A Good Basis For Creativity

In the beginning stage of becoming a teacher I asked myself what defines me as dancer and back then I concluded that part of it was the creativity bit. I know there have been discussions about the topic and the word, but for me it's like any other discipline - not a magical property some people have and some don't, but rather something that you learn. The following is an excerpt from my creativity class.

There are two main definitions of creativity in psychology today that are accepted: A creative work is when you do something new and on purpose and A creative work is when you do something new and on purpose that is of value to the domain. When I talk about creativity, I always only assume the two attributes the definitions share.

One of the aspects that visually attributes to lindy hop to me is the exchange of energy on a line and thus the momentum that we have to have. Momentum itself can be understood as composed of two elements - a linear and a rotational energy (for simplicity we'll ignore the vertical aspects for right now). Concrete: we can go forward, backward, turn left and right. We can combine the linear and the rotational movement (turn left while going forward etc.) and we can do those movements at different speeds, which makes it scalable. This will make the difference between a turn to the right and the leader's movement of an underarm pass.

A key to creative work to me is to start with something existing and then modify it as opposed to starting from scratch. Changing the energies leaves you, depending abit on how you count, with four options: increasing and decreasing of the linear and rotational energy and the combinations of it. Decreasing an energy might lead to zero energy - no linear but only rotational energy is what we call a spin - or inversed - going forward instead of backword - energy.

You can apply this during or at the end/begining of a move. A nice side effect of this is that resulting movements are fairly easy to integrate into the dancing, because they connect automatically.

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