In the deep, dark space of itunes… you’ll find all the music you could ever want. But, I feel like choosing the song to Pole to can be the biggest manipulator in how hard I train. The song can change my mood so quickly and can be the difference as to the speed I move, how long I practice, my choreography or strength of a move. My connective spirit to music has its own mood swings.
So, how do I find the song that will work for me in my next performance or competition?
1. Never choose the song before you start working on material.
2. Test your body to different genres and see what your body connects on both, a mental and emotional level. You test yourself by freestyling material on and off the Pole to every different genre you can find. Don’t be embarrassed when you really don’t connect to a genre, just move on to the next one.
3. Record yourself freestyling to the different genres you connect to without choosing any song in particular. Freestyle on and off the Pole to many different songs in the genres you feel you connect both visually and spiritually to.
4. Evaluate these recordings and allow others to view your videos to see what they believe to be your best connection.
5. Once your genre has been chosen, both by your peers and you, now it’s time to put together some material. Develop moves and transitions that you feel flow to this genre without actually putting them to a specific song. The moves you choose should challenge you but not overwhelm you. Expand on your choreography by building a solid flow of material on and off the Pole. (Seamless motion)
6. Continue recording yourself with your choreography and fine tune the moves. Continue developing more choreography to that specific genre and build at least 2 minutes of material without actually choosing a specific song yet.
7. Once your 2 minutes of choreography is prepared, NOW it’s time to explore a song that is ideal for your material. (Try dancing your 2 minutes of material in different places of the song. You may find out that your prepared choreography should be the last 2 minutes of the song; or perhaps you might rearrange or split up the material. The timing of these moves will probably change and that can be a great thing; timing the moves to your music will be where you visually show how connected you are.)
SHEW!! Seems a little bit strange to do things in this order but it’s for a good reason; let me explain why:
You always want to give yourself ample time before the competition/show to prepare and the material should always be the most challenging part. The song is merely your background and non-visual, your body has to tell a story and be the display. By working on your material first, you are able to challenge your body through movement and not timing and lining the moves up to different points in the song. This will also give you ample time to expand on your existing ideas and material. You can start fine tuning movements to better fit a certain song without feeling like you are starting over or not displaying challenging material.
Some common discoveries with this technique:
1. Your favorite genre of music may not be your best performance/competition genre
2. Getting comfortable with your challenging choreography first can eliminate last minute add-ons or big changes
3. Your movements have become muscle memory
4. You can enjoy the music more because the movements have become so comfortable
5. The audience can see your connection through movement and the music will seem very suitable.
6. Allowing more time to pass may allow you to pick a newly released song by the time you hit the stage and not an old hit.
Challenges with this technique:
1. You may find the material needs to be rearranged in order to fit different points of the song. (Good thing you’ve been practicing the movements for a while)
2. You may wait too long to pick a specific song and it’s close to your deadline or show (If this is the case, go with a song in your genre that you’ve been practicing with, even if you don’t love it. For the sake of time, at least you know you connect well with the genre and the song is familiar to you.)
This technique is not perfect for everyone. You may find it doesn’t work for you. But, one thing you need to keep in mind… you’re not doing yourself any good just sitting in front of the stereo waiting for the right song to come along… you may be waiting all day.
Get up and start moving!! Motivate yourself through movement and just start piecing some moves together.