Most new(er) dancers — including me, when I’d just started out — ask this question (in fact, come to think of it, I continually ask myself this question) at some point: how can I become more fluid?
I remember watching some of the greats and thinking “oh good gravy, I’ll never be able to move like that.” I watched dances with beautiful, elegant transitions, floorwork, and pole moves, all exquisitely bound together. It didn’t matter whether they were dancing to slow or quick beats, these dancers were fluid, and every single gesture was just right.
In contrast, I felt awkward and mechanical, even though I was technically correct (for the most part … no one’s perfect!) in my execution of a given movement. So I started to study how I moved versus how they moved, and I realized something: fluidity isn’t necessarily about having perfect technique as much as it is making a move yours. Making it, errr, “dance-y,” in a way that fits you and your body and your frame of mind. Think about watching a talented dancer, ice skater, singer–really, any performer. There are some who are technically brilliant–that is to say, their mechanics and technique are phenomenal–but they come across as cold. Brilliance without soul. Then there are those who may not be spot-on in terms of their technique, but they leave an audience mesmerized. I know which I’d rather be as a dancer.
So back to flow and fluidity. Watch other dancers. Watch them a LOT. Take notice of how they position their bodies, their arms, their hands (hands are critical in dance), their legs as they transition into and out of moves. Take notice of what moves they put together in combination, what sorts of transitions they use, and then try to break the combinations down and analyze them. Why did they combine the moves they did? The why is more important than the what here.
And … this is IMPORTANT … spend as much time as you can simply dancing. I’d also suggest that you record yourself. Video doesn’t lie, for better or worse! Set aside a half-hour of any practice to dance and you’ll be amazed at how much better your flow is after a week or two. Put on comfortable clothes and dance. Do floorwork. Avoid tricks when you’re in the middle of a freedance exercise unless they are solid and you can do them gracefully with transitions into and out of. Dance to music that moves you, that you love, that you can listen to time and again without growing weary. Allow yourself to get pretzeled up and then figure out graceful ways to extricate yourself. Move deliberately.