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Musicality + Timing

Musicality + Timing

“Work on your timing and musicality.”

3 different studios. 8 different classes. 8 different teachers and choreographers. Same correction.

Guess I better work on my timing and musicality …

 But, that would be easy. Just listen to the song, dance on the counts, and you’ll be fine. On to the next thing.

Except, no. Not that easy. I started watching these teachers and choreographers with more intention and realized that working on my timing and musicality was going to be a lot more difficult than I initially thought. Here are some of my struggles & tips I’ve learned along the way to help me keep working. 🙂


With timing, I took a moment to think about the ways we count in dance – 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 – and the variations this takes on. For example, let’s look at the way we can count 1, 2.

Is the dab on the 1, or the and 1?? The answer?

Pay attention to the timing.

Once I had a grasp on the different kinds of ways I could count music, it became easier to look at how teachers were counting the music.

Next, I created a visual to show the way many teachers explained timing in their own classes. When dancing, you wanted to be almost late. Wait until the last possible moment to hit them folks. I heard what they were saying, but struggled to work it into my movement until I saw a couple of teachers explain it differently.

In this graphic, think of Point A as one count and Point B as the next count. You don’t want to be early, you don’t want to be late, you want to be almost late.

Tough stuff. I know.

I started implementing these two tactics when approaching learning choreography and creating my own choreography. Then, I added one last ingredient – re-focusing. It’s especially easy for me to get overwhelmed in class. I’m equal parts lit and tired; somehow this combination always leads to the loss of details, musicality, and timing. However, these 3 things help me a little bit to refocus.

Timing is something I have to work on and think about every second that I’m in class, but now that I know what to work on, it’s becoming more of a growing process and less of a confused flurry to stay on count.

Next time, I’ll tackle musicality.

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