Crystal Michelle knows how to get your heart going — through dance. Michelle, the liaison between Dayton Contemporary Dance Company and ArtStreet, is teaching UD students how to move their bodies in new, creative ways. DCDC is serving its second year as community artist in residence at UD.
Using DCDC artistic director Debbie Blunden-Diggs’ concepts of what dance is, Michelle has five easy ways to get your body moving, illustrated here by DCDC dancer Alexis Britford.
1. Make shapes with your body Think out of the box — literally. “You can use shapes as they exist in nature to inspire the architecture of your body,” she says.
2. Take up space Dancing can be stationary or “locomotor” (in other words, moving from point A to point B). Explore the different degrees of movement as you work it out in the room around you.
3. Experiment with tempo To really get going, play around with moving your body in rhythm with various types of music.
4. Break the rules Have fun and think creatively. “Don’t be afraid to be upside down or sideways. Use your entire body,” she says.
5. Learn the five levels of movement Now that you’ve got the beat, try lying down, sitting, kneeling, standing or jumping. Challenge yourself to layer these heights, making shapes to tempos and levels.