Move it, Move it

Daily Movement Prompts, Saturday, May 27, 2017 edition: Move it, Move it

Today I want to share just something fun and light. Please enjoy this song from the animated movie, “Madagascar.”

Some Slow Music

Daily Movement Prompts, Sunday, February 26, 2017 edition: Some Slow Music

I just finished editing a video for my students to use for drills. The music is one of my favorite ambient, slow pieces. And I haven’t shared just some music in a while.

Please enjoy “Assoul” by Tinariwen on their album Amassakoul.

How did you move your body today?

Music When You Need a Lift

Daily Movement Prompts, Tuesday, January 31, 2017 edition: Music When You Need a Lift

Do you have any “Go To” music tracks that you play or sing or enjoy when you need to raise your mood? I used to have several songs in my youth that specifically were to pick me up. I would love to hear your standard songs.

Has music been part of your movement of choice? Or do you use it to relax? Or keep you going?

Here’s one of the earliest pick up songs of my youth: “Feeling Groovy” by Simon and Garfunkel.

A Concert from UCSB Middle East Ensemble

Daily Movement Prompts, Wednesday, January 25, 2017 edition – A Concert from UCSB Middle East Ensemble

Today I am at odds with a ton of things, and I decided to find some inspiration in music. Here is an hour and a half of music and dance from the UC Santa Barbara Middle East Ensemble. I hope you enjoy this.



How are you moving today? How do you find inspiration when things are rough?

Music: Latcho Drom

Daily Movement Prompts, Sunday, January 15, 2017:

Toady, I just want to leave you a bit of light and bouncy music. I am headed to comfort a friend at the funeral of her husband, and there’s not much I can say. But I can be there for her.

So as you look at your day, your movement, your body, your friends and family, know that there are people who care about you and would be there for you, even if it is just virtually over the Internet.

And here is “Latcho Drom” for your listening pleasure:

Sunday Arak

Daily Movement Prompts, Monday, December 12, 2016 edition

Sunday Arak (Feta. Dana Leong)” by Balkan Beat Box (on Balkan Beat) — is a fairly slow song for fast dance moves, at only 100 beats per minute. In contrast, yesterday’s song was more like 122 beats per minute.

You might use this 5 minute song to work on tricky moves at a slower pace. Or you might use it to build your stamina (5 minutes can feel like FOREVER sometimes). Or you could try dancing slow moves on top of a semi-fast song, to see how that feels different to you.

Non-dancers: Maybe you’ll find these songs inspiring for all sorts of movement. You could be doing stretches, walks, sprints, gardening, house-cleaning, rock-climbing, running stairs… whatever gets you excited about moving.

Or any of us could be inspired by music when we are in chosen rest and recovery — to lift our spirits, to keep us connected to other friends who are listening to the same music, or just to relax.

Music: “Vino Vino”

Daily Movement Prompts, Sunday December 11, 2016:

This morning’s prompt is a music link, a bit of inspiration. Dancers, you may enjoy rehearsing and drilling to this fast paced 4/4 time song. Non-dancers, I hope this music just inspires you to get moving today, in any way you choose — stretching, yoga, running, climbing, walking, or even just resting and recovery today. Eastenders: “Vino Lubirea Mea (!DelaDap Remix)” from Balkan Trip volume 1 — affectionately called “Vino Vino” by some of my friends.

Khaled – Aicha

NEW VIDEO: CaySwann Dance: Level One Slow Drill (no turns)
[private, just for CaySwannDance class members]

Some days require more thoughtful and slow movement than others. On those days, I find myself embracing the Slow vocabulary.

This drill has you on your feet, but saves your ankles or knees (if they give you any trouble) by avoiding all turns. The movements focus on arms/hands [Floreo and Arm Undulations], torso [Body Wave and Torso Twist], and hips [Taxeem and Circle Step]. And for a little added elegance, wear those zills while dancing.

The song is called “Aicha” and is performed by Khaled, on his album titled “Sahra.” Enjoy.

Dance Drills with Freeze Frame

Daily Movement Prompts, Saturday, November 12 edition:

It’s very late in the day, but even when it’s late, you can still get some movement in for the day.

Have you done a freeze-frame kind of game yet? There’s a thing going around lately called “Mannequin” where you dance, the music ends, you freeze, then someone walks around filming everyone frozen like a mannequin.

You can work on your arm strength and stamina with something similar. You could put on music and hold a pose for as long as possible, move, and reset for a held pose again. This can also be an excellent way to get to know some music better, by practicing to it regularly.

Some music you might enjoy: The song is called “Heeme” and is by Etran Finatawa.

Let me know how this drill works for you.

Transitions Drill

NEW VIDEO: CaySwann Dance: Level One Fast Transitions Drill
[private video, for CaySwannDance members only]

This drill is about trying to learn to think of the next move, then cue it (on purpose) on the 4 count so that the whole team starts together on 1. So you will notice that I name a move then count 2, 3, 4. Arms should move on 4 as the cue, then the body starts the new move on 1.

Of course, in real dance, you would not say the names out loud on a stage. But it is an extremely interesting game to play in rehearsal and in classes–to see if you CAN say what the next move is, and then dance it on the correct beat and phrase.

These moves are only the Level One Fast fundamental moves: Shimmy, Pivot Bump, Egyptian, and Arabic.

Music: “Golden Gate Mist” by Phil Thornton on his album “Nexus Tribal.”