A dance solo can be quite a nerve-wracking experience. There is no one else to fall back on and absolutely nothing to take attention away from you. But performing a beautiful and powerful dance solo can also be completely exhilarating. Check out this video of an Ori Tahiti (Tahitian dance) solo to see just how mesmerizing it can be.
Ori Tahiti is fairly unique in terms of dance solos. There is a strong storytelling element to the dance style which you can see come through in the video. There are various different types of Or Tahiti dance styles, all of which have different meanings in terms of Tahitian culture and history. The storytelling, Aparima, style is one that has captured imaginations around the world.
Even if you don’t dance Ori Tahiti (although it is something you should really try if you ever get the opportunity!), you can take inspiration from the unique way in which it communicates stories and emotions to the audience to bring to your own dance solo.
Remember that dance is a form of art and the role of art is to tell a story to the audience. No matter what dance style you perform, your dance solo will be most memorable if you manage to keep the attention of your audience by taking them on a journey.
If you already have a song in mind, think about the themes of the song. What emotions does the music convey? What about the lyrics? If the song is about heartbreak, you can choreograph your dance solo around this idea by making it wistful, sad, and longing. If it is a joyful song, you can communicate this through your dancing and connection with the audience. Your dance storytelling should always match the music because otherwise, it will create a disconnect for the audience.
A great way to start is to put your music choice on a few times and just move naturally. You will likely find that patterns emerge in the movement choices you make at different points of the music. Once you have an idea of the highs and lows of the song and how you naturally engage with it, you can think about nailing down the different elements of your dance solo.
Adding a storyline will help you to fit your dance to the music. You could even write the story down so that you have it clear in your mind and can apply it to your movement choices. Clear communication of your story and your emotions will be your best bet of impressing whoever you are dancing for.