Dancing with Props
Dancing with Props
Props have the ability to make a dance piece more interesting, unique, and exciting. Here at Bella Ballroom we most commonly see the use of props within surprise wedding dances and for our student showcases. While learning to dance with a partner has its sets of challenges, learning to dance with inanimate objects has others. If you’re considering adding props to your dancing routines, read on for tips and tricks.
The best way to become more familiar with dancing with props is obviously to practice. Practice with your prop often and spend more time on the moves or tricks that are hardest for you. Make it your goal to create seamless and skilled movements that eliminate any insecurity you may be feeling around using your prop.
If you decide to use a prop, commit to using it. An underused prop can be awkward, confusing to audiences and leave the object without a purpose. Use your prop to set the theme for the dance or add another dimension to the piece. Your prop could even be a fun surprise! Give your prop intention and use it so that it adds to your dance.
Don’t Let Your Prop Out-Dance You
Don’t let the prop detract from your dancing. Ask yourself, if you didn’t have the prop and you performed the same dance, would it still be interesting to your audience?
Clothes Are Props Too!
Your costume has the ability to come to life when you perform dance. Extra fabric on long dresses can be used during skirt work. Shoes can be used for tap dancing. Even long hair can be choreographed into movement within a dance. I tell brides who are preparing for their first dance to consider their wedding dress as a prop. The amount of fabric and the potential restriction of movement create elements that both the bride and the groom have to learn to dance around or with. Grooms have to slide their feet and take smaller steps to not trample their brides’ gown. Brides learn to take smaller steps or control their arm movement in a way that works with their dress. We provide practice dresses for wedding couples to rehearse in so they can get used to it before their wedding. Just like any other prop, costumes should be practiced in before show day!
Ask your Bella Ballroom instructor for help dancing with props. They will be able to teach you moves, and create choreography for you with your prop. They will also be able to address any potential safety issues that dancing with the prop might present.
Almost anything can be a prop. When I clean studio floors, the broom becomes my dance partner. Think outside the box on what you want to dance with and how you can interact with it. Once you feel comfortable dancing with your prop and know some moves well, have fun with it by experimenting freely and creating new dance ideas!
Article by Ziva