From bio-mechanics through technique towards style

Barbara Ambroz explains in point form her views on different learning stages

By Barbara Nagode Ambroz


  • Dance technique is the correct way of performing the movement individually and with the partner.
  • Technique is the chosen way of treating the movement in order to achieve control and character/style of the dance.
  • Under technical quality we understand the dancer’s special motor ability, portrayed through the control of the action, timing, posture and body shaping.
  • Each dance style uses terms for specific actions or movements.
  • Technical vocabulary increases along with dancer’s development.
  • Technique develops biomechanical stereotype into specific movement.
  • To achieve technical quality practice is essential. The secret is repetition without repetition, which requires dancer’s involvement (motor, mental and sensory) and creative participation.
  • Ideomotor learning combines physical repetition and training in the mind (visualizing in the mind a clear picture of the task ahead, leading to the brain registering it as an instruction to be carried out).
  • Ideomotor learning supports prediction and anticipation of action outcomes.
  • Ideomotor control supports selection and control of action.
  • Mind has to understand and to analyze the task and at first stage body is simply doing what the mind is commanding.
  • Holistic approach to the technical training involves senses, intuition and instinct already at very early stages.
  • Muscles need to develop certain memory, with practicing movement becomes more and more automatic.
  • Too automatic can become just a physical display, not automatic enough can still cause problems to a dancer. There is a thin border in between, the precise regulation is necessary. Anyway dancer has to adjust technical skill consistently, as the entire psycho-motor ability is changing on daily basis.
  • Technical exercise can become dance if dancer contributes its interpretation.
  • Technique can gradually disappear into a function, effect, skill which can talk for itself or it serves as a vehicle to say something else.
  • Good technique means to have control, mastery over the movement and strength to perform with ease.
  • When technique is not only a physical exercise, but creative tool of a dancer, individual style starts to shine through it.
  • To use a lyrical language, technical quality gives to a dancer roots and wings, stability and freedom.

Barbara Nagode Ambroz, April 2011

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