I feel like the biggest problem in the dance world right now, is that so many dancers are not influenced the right way. And by that I mean there are tons of right ways, not just one, but I would like to talk about a few.
This all comes from my own personal observation over the years, journey, and experience as a growing artist whether you’re just starting out or you’ve been at this for a hot minute now. One of the biggest issues I see is intention. Why do you want to dance? Why do you call yourself a dancer? What does it REALLY mean to you? What is your brand or identity as a dancer/artist?
Mia Michaels said it best when she said “You are a human first, then an artist, then a dancer.”
The problem is, so many dancers are way too comfortable, they take the same classes with the same choreographers/instructors, they only want to dance to the same genre of what they call or think is hip-hop music, train at the same studios, and basically just do whatever everyone else is doing at the time. It is so biased to me. There will always be trends, but it’s cool to be different as well. This art should not be about winning a popularity contest either.
They shy away from learning and drilling various styles, from doing their research on where things came from, they think twice about taking random classes on a whim with instructors they don’t know, attending jams and community events, and last but not least they HATE free styling or they say, “I don’t know how.”
It’s like there is an excuse for everything, and I have heard it all, but these are some of my favorite: “I’m not good at that”,”That’s not really my style”,”My body doesn’t do that”, “I can’t do that.” Remember, it’s not that you can’t, you haven’t learned yet. It’s all about pushing yourself past boundaries. Create goals, write things down that you want to improve on, even record yourself over time so you can see your improvements. Most of all, do your best to follow through!
Only doing choreo classes and nothing else is being a great mimic, not a human, artist, or a dancer.
A true dancer is very open minded, stays on top of their training game in and out of the studio, brings their spirit and personality to the table in any setting. Regardless if it’s a class, a battle, a cypher, or dancing in front of the GAP at the mall, LOL!
They keep an open mind 24/7 and they always support and feel they can learn from ANY type of dancer out there when they least expect it, even if they don’t share the same interest in styles.
The problem is dance has been way too commercialized with all of the televised shows, movies, hype, music videos, and so on. And that’s fine, there will always be a commercial industry as well as entertainment. I can be a slave to it as working talent sometimes, BUT…
I never let it consume me and at the end of the day, if I didn’t get that job, get called out in the special group in that master class, or book that tour or whatever it may be, I don’t think anything less of myself.
You’d better believe I will continue to be up almost every night past 3:00am at my house, working on my skills in the lab, working on the things I am NOT good at as well as the things I AM good at.
I will still jump in those Jazz, Modern, African, Yoga classes and so on. Even when I am classified as “the guy that does that funk stuff”. It doesn’t matter, I can learn from anyone, any style, and dance to genres of music I never thought possible. There are no limitations.
SO STOP LIMITING YOURSELVES!
If I didn’t get paid another dime to dance again in my life, then so be it. It will always be a lifelong passion that I will never put down!
Bottom line, don’t be a lazy dancer!!
Go to a class to learn something new, not just about dance, but about yourself. Don’t go to classes just because of all the hype and because promoters are telling you that you might get booked directly from class.
I’ve heard it all before, don’t buy into it. Train because you want to train period.
With NO EXPECTATIONS!
Stop comparing yourself to others, be YOURSELF! Let go of your insecurities, you’re an artist remember?
Don’t get comfortable, and of course know what is cool, hip, and popular, but do what the mass majority is not doing, and if you want to have some kind of success as a working dancer, community dancer, teacher, etc…
GET OUT THERE AND TRAIN FOR REAL!
You don’t want to be a one trick pony!
– Seth Harris Gordon
ABOUT THE ARTIST
A Nevada native, Seth Harris Gordon has never been a stranger to the spotlight. Growing up in the bright lights of Las Vegas and attending weekly shows with his parents, he developed an intense passion for the world of entertainment from the tender age of four years old. He had the amazing opportunity to appear on the children’s show Sesame Street, and from then on knew he had a love for being on camera. His parents later relocated to South Florida where he attended Middle School and High School.
After enrolling in college, Seth realized he could never let go of his innate entertainer. He decided to transfer out of a pre-med program in order to pursue the dreams he carried from his early childhood. As a dance major, Seth continued to develop his skills in dancing and acting and eventually landed significant jobs that allowed him to work with renown celebrities such as Ne-Yo, Pitbull, Sugar Hill Gang, One Direction and more! He is currently an active performer in and out of his community and a member of Screen Actors Guild.