My daughter really likes a certain kind of music. She thinks it is better than ANY other kind of music. So much so, that she doesn’t even want to listen to any of the other inferior music styles out there. At all. What’s a Mom to do? And I am a Mom who loves many, MANY different styles of music.
I launched into a passionate rant about being well rounded and appreciating diversity in music. I raged about all the great musicians and artists out there. I think I did a pretty amazing job. Truly. I sold it. It was beautiful and powerful. I’m sure she will remember my speech for the rest of her life. (ya, right. Haa!)
Anyway, being well rounded, I think, is extremely important in life. You want to be able to talk to other people about many different things and to do many different things. It is great to be diverse when it comes to people, books, hobbies, music and whatever else. But for a dancer, being well rounded is actually vital. Not just a nice thing to be, but an absolute necessity.
It is proven week after week on that show on TV…you know, the So You Think You Can show. You have to be able to do many different kinds of dance to win that show. All the dancers must do different styles of Hip-Hop, Jazz, Contemporary, Theatre, Ballroom, maybe even some Ballet. You need to have the ability to interpret various musical styles. Perform as different characters, follow distinct counting, rhythms and just be overall diversified. Variety is the spice of life they say. Variety is the dancer’s most valued asset.
You will not need as much diversity in the world of ballet…but even then, you will be called upon to do some different styles, eg. contemporary and classical, also some character and folk dancing. Broadway dancers are required to be majorly well rounded. They will be called upon to do period dances like a Charleston or The Jive. They need Jazz and theatre styles, like Fosse for example. Each show may have many different styles in it and you may have to do Hip-Hop, Ballet or some Salsa. It also helps if you have tricks in your arsenal. Some acro, pas de deux, Tap perhaps? Back up dancers for pop music world tours need to be well rounded as well. I could go on all day about all the types of dancing that you should at least try once to get the feel for it and have it on hand when necessary.
There is a reason why fitness people do cross training…dance cross training can be amazing for the dancer’s body too. Set out to be a well rounded dancer and you will reap all kinds of rewards, I promise you.
If you always do ballet, try some jazz sometime. Always shaking your booty? Try holding it still at the barre! Do some belly dancing or take a swing class…
You never know what you will find or experience when you try something new and “cross train”. At some audition in the future, when they ask, “does anyone here know how to lindy hop?” you will thank me when you are able to raise your hand!
So, I told my daughter that if she really loves music then she should try to respect, appreciate and at least sample ALL the different styles out there. (I said try…even I don’t appreciate some of it. Haa!)
Being well rounded in music and in dance really does make things more interesting.
Being well rounded in dance can give you so many more options for work.
Being well rounded in life is a great idea for ALL people and hopefully opens our eyes to new ideas, experiences and ways.
Being well rounded helps us appreciate different things and different people.
Never a bad thing.