|Posted by Twisted Gypsy on August 3, 2011 at 5:20 PM|
By Twisted Gyspy, Katy DeBra
No, you didn't drink too much of a frozen concoction too fast, you just took the lead! As you approach the lead spot you suddenly realize you have no idea what to do next!
It's a good idea, right at this moment for just a split second, to practice expanding your smile (you are smiling right?) or current facial expression instead of widening your eyes. However, if you bring the smile up into your eyes too, the audience will never know what's going on in your head, down deep in a neural pathway that has ended unexpectedly or connected to the cells with the grocery list.
The audience will think, wow, these dancers are so expressive and having such a good time! This is great. I've heard this rumor that tribal belly dancers don't like to smile much. I'm so glad it's not true. It's okay for a few minutes here and there to change the mood, but really this looks much more fun!
Okay, let's get real here: chances are the audience member has something else popping into his or her mind at that very moment--OMG! Did I pack underwear and socks in Suzy's duffle? She leaves for camp tomorrow!!--and isn't likely to notice any disposition change or your eyes flaring open for a split second.
The audience focuses primarily on the facial expression and upper chest area (the heart!) of a performer. It usually takes them a few minutes to start noticing what other parts of the body are moving and decide what's more interesting to look at.
So are you getting my drift? The most basic thing to remember about a brain freeze is that it barely lasts a split second inside and outside one's head, even if it feels like a year just went by and your entire jaw dropped open.
And congratulations, by the way, you've just expanded that neural pathway, or possibly created a brand new one! Woot! We've got to celebrate our learnings and accomplishments in order to fully integrate them. So take that Brain Freeze! I survived you and now I'm high-fivin' with my ladies (when the dance is over of course)! Go new brain cells!
In my experience, brain freezes don't ever go away. This is improv dancing after all. Regular, frequent practice is the best antidote. Going through all the steps I know in my head, remembering them at random times such as waiting at a stop light, helps me avoid it.
Brain freezes will happen again and again. The good news is that you can change how you react to them and feel about them. With practice you can move right through and on from them in a few seconds.
First off, we have a number of basic moves to choose from to turn around and do a check in. There's 8 counts to think of something right there. And if you catch yourself doing a move that the lead before you just busted out, just move on from it as quickly as you can. All else fails, give up the lead.
Forgive yourself and move on. All your fellow dancers and the audience already have. We've all been there. Afterwards congratulate yourself for that great brain and body workout and new brain cells you just gave yourself!