Forum: General / Jazz / Lyrical

Putting Emotion Into Lyrical Dances?
By xxquatrieme
On Tue Sep 29, 2009 08:02 PM

I don't know, it's just hard for me to do the really down, sad Lyrical dances. I try to put the sad emotion into it, but I don't know, it just doesn't end up looking like that.

People say it looks like I'm thinking too much, and I'm nervous.

Any Tips?
I've only been doing Lyrical for 3 years. This is my 4th year.

17 Replies to Putting Emotion Into Lyrical Dances?

re: Putting Emotion Into Lyrical Dances?
By Meg_a_dancermember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Tue Sep 29, 2009 10:25 PM
My only tip is to just let the music and the movement have you. Rely on your subconscious knowledge and muscle memory of the dance to get you through the movement and try not to concentrate too hard. You want to just let go. If you can do the movement you can find the emotion. It's in there i promise! You just have to not be afraid to let yourself go. good luck!!
re: Putting Emotion Into Lyrical Dances?
By xxquatrieme
On Wed Sep 30, 2009 10:48 AM
Thanks so much!
re: Putting Emotion Into Lyrical Dances?
By dancetoexpressmember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Wed Sep 30, 2009 07:00 PM
I like to connect the dance to a hard time in my life. While I dance, I think about the struggles I went through. Usually, that evokes a lot of emotion. Put yourself in another place. What Meg said is sooo true. Let the music envelope you and go for it! Dont hold back anything you are feeling!
re: Putting Emotion Into Lyrical Dances?
By RandomAngel93
On Wed Sep 30, 2009 07:43 PM
One great tip is to listen to the music like a million times. Look for things like a message or major climax points where the emotion is strong. After finding the exact message, use your true feelings to create the emotion, then it wont be as hard to make it look "real". When there are major points in the music where the emotion is extremely strong, make sure to REALLY show through on the emotion. You will want to relax and clear your head before performing as this will help you feel the music. Just let the music carry through on your face and you'll be just fine. Otherwise, just don't think too much and have FUN!! (:
re: Putting Emotion Into Lyrical Dances?
By amandadancer
On Wed Oct 28, 2009 02:56 PM
yeah! def!
put yourself in the shoes of the artist and about whatever h/she is singing about
how would they feel
its okay to cry sometimes if you are really in the mood!
closing your eyes at some points depending on the mood also gives effect and makes it look like your really into it
hope this helped1!! :D
re: Putting Emotion Into Lyrical Dances?
By arwen123
On Wed Nov 25, 2009 05:43 PM
just relax it just think what the song and dance is about happened to you!!!!
re: Putting Emotion Into Lyrical Dances?
By c58sgreat
On Tue Dec 08, 2009 12:06 AM
Have you tried videoing your performance or watching yourself in the mirror? It may sound crazy but practicing facial expressions in the mirror can be a big help. That way they don't feel so false when you perform.

You should also have people you trust watch you dance. You can allow yourself to be vulnerable with them and maybe get rid of some of the self-conscious/nervous feelings.
re: Putting Emotion Into Lyrical Dances?
By MitchieDancer97
On Thu Dec 17, 2009 02:15 PM
ive been lyrical dancing for 1 year and i think my best area other then grasping the movement is conveying emotion. When your teacher gives u the song you could think for the words and just put your self in the singers shoes. Feel what they must be going through. It always works for me . Another thing is think of something in your life thats similar to the lyrics to make it a more personal connection !
re: Putting Emotion Into Lyrical Dances?
By kmfdancer
On Sat Dec 19, 2009 09:06 AM
One of my teachers when I was younger always used to tell our lyrical class not to be afraid to look ugly and not to worry if you feel silly while you're performing. A lot of the times thinking about this makes you feel like you're feeling the music wrong, but the truth is, there is no way of feeling music wrong, because everyone feels it differently. So my advice is basically the same as everyone else's. Let the song move you, if you need to think about ways that you connect to the song on a personal level. Often it helps me to listen to the song at home and really focus on the words. Better yet, look up the song on a lyrics website, that way you can focus on the words, and it's easier to connect with. :)
re: Putting Emotion Into Lyrical Dances?
By Music_is_love13
On Sat Dec 19, 2009 01:18 PM
I've always found the sad lyrical dances to be pretty easy, but that's because I can't help but connect with them. I actually feel a lot better if I focus on something that's really upsetting me and just let that dictate how I move. I was once in a musical where we had this really raw and angry dance, and we weren't conveying the emotion to the satisfaction of our director so he asked us "What are you stomping out?", and the responses ranged from ignorance to old boyfriends. Basically, he was telling us that every time we made a movement, we were to focus on whatever made us angry. The next run-through of the dance was worlds better! Before you do your next sad lyrical think of something that upsets you, access the sadness that we all involuntarily push down during the day and just let it go.
re: Putting Emotion Into Lyrical Dances?
By cutedancer1
On Wed Dec 30, 2009 06:05 PM
This is my 1st year in lyrical. I just have to say that i love it! I think that you can't be thinking too much. When you practice the dance alot at home it makes it easier to just sort of let go when you are on stage. So my advice is practice practice practice then let go!

Hope this helps. Happy dancing!
re: Putting Emotion Into Lyrical Dances?
By Color_of_Desire
On Wed Feb 03, 2010 11:57 AM
Sometimes I have a hard time relating to a song, but the past two years our songs for my lyrical class have been really sad and related to the death of a teacher at our studio. Knowing this is where I pulled my emotions from. If you can find any sort of connection from the song, go with it!
re: Putting Emotion Into Lyrical Dances?
By AlwaysOnStagePremium member
On Wed Feb 03, 2010 02:36 PM
What helps for me is NOT thinking about emotion. If I try to force emotion in it, it makes everything fake and false. Instead, I have to do the dance well enough that I can reserve space in my head to choreograph my facial muscles. If I have that room in my mind to keep track of what my face is doing and have the technique on auto-pilot, it works a lot better.
re: Putting Emotion Into Lyrical Dances?
By dancegal2member has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Thu Feb 11, 2010 08:48 PM
Sometimes trying to think about applying emotion while dancing is just too hard and ends up looking fake/not working/drawing your attention away from technique while dancing.

How about trying this. First think of emotional times yuo have experienced in your life. Good and bad, happy, sad, joyful, scary, stressful. A whole range. Then put your music on repeat, and listen to it over and over. Think about what emotions are evoked in the song, and think of a situation you've expereicned that emotion in. Try to make this second nature before you go and put the emotion in to the dance.
re: Putting Emotion Into Lyrical Dances?
By SuperFurryAnimal
On Fri Feb 12, 2010 12:47 AM
I have the same problem with emotions... I do everything that you guys have suggested at home. But once I go in for rehearsal, or a performance I completely forget about it and my face looks "dead".
It's so hard for me to make sad facial expressions. and I don't know why.. It's really sucky. :(
I do anything.. I've even CRIED before going on stage once and it still didn't work.
re: Putting Emotion Into Lyrical Dances?
By jetaimeballet
On Fri Feb 19, 2010 09:51 AM
This used to be the hardest thing for me to do, especially after I started focusing on ballet. But I've learned that it's best when the emotion comes from a real place. We're all been happy/angry/depressed/crazy at some point in life, however short that time might have been. For some people thinking of a story helps. Personally, I don't like recalling a fight with a friend, or someone dying etc every time I have to dance to a song... at least not in the studio. So I get a vague idea of the situation, and focus on the emotion only and the lyrics while practicing. Then by the time I have to perform, 60% is me being the character in the song, and 40% personal expierence.
re: Putting Emotion Into Lyrical Dances?
By footundeez
On Tue Mar 23, 2010 12:36 AM
the only advice I can give is, feel the music and even if you dont relate to that particular song, change the meaning to make it work for you! relax your lips and really break through that 4th wall when your on stage, make sure you tell the story through your eyes too. Take extra breaths and overly emote for it comes through to the audiance and/or judges


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