How to Do Improv
by Celeste

Improv is simple in principle. It's just dancing to the music. But there is such a thing as "dancer's block", akin to writer's block. There are tips and tricks to get around it but the best way to become better at improve is just to do it. It will also help you create choreographies more easily if you are able to improv.

So… How do you do that?

Do a move until you want to do something else. Well, that's clear as mud, right? Here is what I personally do. I may be a bit too organized in my thinking but I do have a plan for these things. Anyway...

1. I start move X and make it flow to the music.
2. Then, the move is kind of on autopilot (i.e., I don't have to actively think about it).
3. Then, I think of what I want to do next and how to transition into it (if need be).
4. Finally, I listen to the phrase; okay, this is the end of the phrase... and... start new move.
5. Repeat 2-4.

So, when you are doing improv or when you're working on it at home, just start one move... any move... do it as long as you need to... until another idea pops in your head... don't stop even if it takes forever for an idea to pop... and don't think about whether it will fit or not... try it and you will see if it fits... take your time to find the beginning of the phrase... even if it means that you have been doing mayas for like 1 minute straight... starting at the beginning of the phrase will make you feel good and will look way good when you're actually doing it in front of people. Be forgiving to yourself! We can't all be Rachel Brices just yet! (or whoever you admire) And, the more you do this, the quicker your brain will remember moves and make you transition into them.

To get rid of the "dancer's block," one thing that can be done is the following. Write the moves on little pieces of paper. Put them in an envelope or whatever else and draw 2 or 3 moves. You will have to put these moves into your improv that you are going to do. So, you have at least 2 or 3 moves to do. Most likely, you will then think of other moves to do as you are dancing.

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