It never ceases to amaze me when I see someone dance with meaning, intent, and confidence. It’s like seeing the music come alive right before my eyes. The dancer becomes both the instrument and the instrumentalist. The body acts as both the orchestra and the conductor. To be able to dance with the music, and not to the music; it’s a slight distinction that makes all the difference.
Look at 1:06 in the video above, when Tony falls into a lower level while tracing his body. The subtle glitches coincide with the prominent xylophone-like notes. But it feels so natural, because the background static and the echoey vocals demand for smaller, more subtle motions.
Someone dancing to the music would have hit those three notes harder. Someone dancing with the music knows to reel it in and go soft, despite the obvious choice to just hit it.
Musicality does not mean hit every beat. It’s almost the reverse. Musicality is knowing when to miss certain beats, even if they seem tempting. It’s switching between different combinations of instrumental and vocal layers at will. It’s uncovering hidden aspects of the song, and bringing them to light. As a dancer, musicality is a way to convey to the audience not only how you listen to music, but what you hear and take away from it.
So get creative with it. Going slow when the music goes fast (and vice versa) will make things interesting. Just know when it’s appropriate to do so. Seek to stray from the obvious path, and your dancing will become that much more special.