Funky Faces

By Badger, Sarah | Dance Spirit, February 2013 | Go to article overview

Funky Faces


Badger, Sarah, Dance Spirit


THE PROS WEIGH IN ON PULLING OFF THE PERFECT HIP-HOP FACE.

You may have fierce hip-hop moves- but do you have the face to go with them? When it comes to hip hop, the right attitude can make or break your performance. Skilled dancers use their facial expressions to bring choreography to life, but sometimes figuring out exactly what to do with your face can be tricky. Should you glue on a goofy grin or go for a smug smirk? Can you pull off a classic "stank face"? Should you? We asked some of hip hop's hottest dancers, teachers and choreographers for their tips on how to make powerful, effective expressions part of your dancing.

"Smiling is OK! Hip hop doesn't have to be hard all the time. But whatever face you use, it needs to be confident. Weak doesn't work in hip hop." - Leslie Scott, hip-hop teacher at EDGE Performing Arts Center and Millennium Dance Complex in LA.

"A 'stank face' is great if you're in a crewbut it often doesn't work in the commercial dance world. It can come across as mean or ugly if it's not natural. Work on achieving that kind of intensity without sticking on a stank face." -Tabuha D'umo, choreographer on "So You Think You Can Dance"

"Don't think about it too much. That can make your expressions seem contrived and stiff." -Napoleon D'umo, choreographer on "SYTYCD"

"Don't look like a deer in the headlights. Another look to avoid? The one that says, "I don't want to be here!" That's one of the worst things you can do." - Bryan Tanaka, commercial dancer

"Have an intention when you dance. I'm usually really animated, but 1 don't think specifically about my face as much as I think about the lyrics of the song I'm dancing to." -LS

"There's a fine line between feeling it and faking it. …

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