Dance Expert: Gbemi Abon

Dance is much more than simply “twirling” around in circles or even jumping in place. Not only are you performing when you dance, but you are trying to tell a story within that performance. I started dancing when I was 3 years old and instantly fell in love with the sport and continued to pursue it for another 14 years. Being introduced to dance has helped me overcome many obstacles in my life and has helped my mental, physical, and emotional state.
The diversity in the different types of dance is what drew me in at first. It was very comforting to experience how versatile a sport could be. I believe dance is a universal language that anyone from any place in the world can understand and learn due to its many styles. There are eight different styles of dancing: jazz, tap, ballet, contemporary, modern, hip-hop, lyrical, and musical theatre. Each style is unique in their own way. As a dancer, hip-hop speaks more to me than lyrical, but for others, it is different.
A dancer’s practice usually consists of about 15 hours or more a week, but varies with each individual. At practice you often have 4 initiatives or goals: stretching, conditioning, technique, and cleaning /adjusting the dance. The purpose of stretching is to make sure you do not get injured and to also improve flexibility. Conditioning for dancers is for the purpose of building up stamina so they do not burn out after performing, and strengthening the core. A director or coach may make a team do a dance several times to a key component to becoming a better dancer. Through improving one’s technique, a dancer can grow stronger in the areas they are lacking in or master what they are already proficient at. I highly advise anyone interested in dancing to keep working hard and trying their best despite the inevitable frustrations that they face.
Being a dancer or training in dance takes a lot of time, energy, and hard work. It may lead to confusion and frustration or insecurity and great discouragement from others who are better. Dance takes blood, sweat, and tears, but if it was easy, everyone would be a dancer. If you truly have a passion for dancing, nothing can stop you. Hopefully, the next time you watch Dancing with the Stars or So You Think You Can Dance, you now have some knowledge of all the hard work, time, and dedication it takes for one to get to where they are in dance.