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Floorwork – A dance of the senses

Floorwork, an emerging trend, combines elements from Poledance and Chairdance and is gaining popularity. Accessible without prior knowledge, it encompasses movements performed on the floor and blends elements from ballet, breakdance, modern dance, and dance acrobatics. Through impactful moves and seductive turns, Floorwork adds a sensual touch and offers various levels of difficulty, requiring both strength and speed, as well as solid body control. Beginners can gradually learn choreographies and incorporate their own interpretations as they gain confidence. A dance style full of creativity and expressive power, ideally adaptable to any genre of music.

Floorwork: History and Overview

Floorwork, a captivating dance style defined by movement on the ground, boasts a rich history that unfolds like a captivating story. This narrative begins with Isadora Duncan, a modern dance pioneer in the early 1900s. Inspired by nature, her choreography embraced the floor, mirroring the flow of waves and the grace of clouds.

The 1920s and 30s witnessed Martha Graham and Doris Humphrey weaving floorwork into their modern dance tapestries. Their movements explored the human form, its connection to the earth, and the power of contraction and release. Imagine dancers curling inwards, then exploding outwards in a burst of energy.

By the 1960s and 70s, floorwork took a rebellious turn. Merce Cunningham and Trisha Brown used it to push boundaries, experimenting with improvisation and chance. They explored the dancer's relationship with space, defying expectations and embracing the unexpected.

Today, floorwork remains a cornerstone of contemporary dance. Crystal Pite and Akram Khan seamlessly blend classical and modern elements, crafting narratives that unfold on the ground. Floorwork even thrives in street dance styles like breakdancing, where intricate acrobatics paint the floor with raw energy.

Pole dancing embraces floorwork with open arms, using it to weave between poles or add dramatic flair. Crawls, spins, and leg extensions create visually stunning sequences that showcase strength, flexibility, and pure artistry.

Floorwork isn't just for performances; it's a training staple too. It strengthens core muscles, enhances flexibility, and deepens the connection between body and mind.

This overview reveals floorwork as a versatile language, constantly evolving and adapting. From Duncan's nature-inspired movements to the contemporary explorations of Khan and Pite, floorwork continues to push boundaries and captivate audiences. It's a testament to the enduring power of dance to tell stories, express emotions, and connect us to ourselves and the world around us.

In the mid-20th century, the emergence of contemporary dance further propelled floorwork into the spotlight, with choreographers like Merce Cunningham and Pina Bausch incorporating it as a central element of their work. Cunningham's use of chance procedures and Bausch's fusion of dance with theater expanded the vocabulary of floorwork, inviting dancers to explore a wider range of shapes, dynamics, and textures while grounded on the floor.

Today, floorwork continues to evolve and thrive across a spectrum of dance styles, from ballet to hip-hop to contemporary. In street dance culture, particularly in styles like breaking and krumping, floorwork plays a vital role in battles and showcases, allowing dancers to showcase their athleticism, creativity, and individuality. In contemporary dance, choreographers experiment with floorwork to convey abstract concepts, explore themes of identity and vulnerability, and push the boundaries of physicality and expression.

5 Beautiful Floorwork Moves

  • Corkscrew: Lie on your back, lift your legs, and rotate your hips in a circular motion.

  • Body Roll: Start in a seated position, then roll your body down to the floor, and back up again.

  • Snake Roll: Begin on your stomach, push your chest off the floor, and arch your back while rolling to one side.

  • Shoulder Stand: From a seated position, lean back, lift your legs, and support your lower back with your hands.

  • Leg Waves: Lying on your back, lift your legs and create a wave-like motion with them.


Ready to move like a dancer on the ground? Here are some cool floorwork moves to try, even if you're just starting out!

Beginner Moves:

  • The Crawl: Like a cool crab walk! Start on hands and knees, back straight, tummy tight. Lift your knees off the ground and crawl forward and back, feeling smooth and in control.

  • The Body Roll: Like a wave on the beach! Lie on your back, knees bent, feet down. Push your lower back into the ground and slowly roll your spine up, one bone at a time. Roll back down like a gentle wave.

  • The Spin: Ready to twirl? Sit with legs straight out. Lean back, hands on the floor, and push off to spin like a top! Use your tummy muscles to control your spin and come back down safely.

Intermediate Moves:

  • The Leg Sweep: Kick it out! Start on hands and knees. Stretch one leg out straight, then sweep it across your body in a big arc before bringing it back. Do the other side too!

  • The Dive Roll: Can you tuck and roll? Stand with feet shoulder-width apart. Squat down, hands on the floor. Tuck your chin, roll forward, bringing knees to chest, and land on your back. Roll back up smoothly.

  • The Bridge: Build that strength! Lie on your back, knees bent, feet flat. Push through hands and feet to lift your hips high, making a bridge with your body. Hold for a few seconds, then lower back down gently.

Advanced Moves (Careful, these are tricky!):

  • The Shoulder Stand: Feeling strong? Sit with legs out. Lean back, hands on the floor, and lift your legs straight up overhead. Balance like a star!

  • The Split Roll: Can you stretch and roll? Sit with legs out. Lean to one side, hands on the floor. Lift your hips, roll onto your back, split your legs (one up, one down), and reach for your toes. Roll back and switch sides!

Remember: Start slow and focus on doing things right, not fast. Listen to your body and take breaks when you need them. Most importantly, have fun and enjoy your floorwork adventure!

Fitness of a special kind

Floorwork courses begin with a warm-up to loosen the muscles and bring the body to operating temperature. A warm-up is important and should not be neglected. Your entire body should be stretched before you begin the individual movements. The dance style consists of a variety of dance elements and forms that are initially learned individually. Once you master the basic forms, all elements are brought into sequence. Later, you can incorporate your own ideas into your performance. For example, soft floor movements alternate with acrobatic figures such as splits, shoulder stands, and backward rolls. This creates a flowing choreography that radiates aesthetics and sensuality. At the beginning, you learn various basic techniques to reduce uncertainties and maintain balance. An ideal Floorwork session ends with a cool-down. Gentle stretching helps calm your body. For Floorwork, you should wear comfortable, stretchy clothing. Knee pads are recommended. The dance style can be performed with dance shoes or even high heels.

Show me what you've got!

Whether elegant or sporty, erotic or playful, the Floorwork dance style offers it all. You determine what you want to express with your dance. Physically, it demands a lot from you. Floorwork is a very intense body training and engages every muscle. It promotes your coordination and concentration. Your figure becomes more supple, and you feel great after every class! Through the intensive dance training, your strength and endurance improve in the long run. Floorwork is a workout you'll immediately love. It distracts you from everyday life and gives you a special break. Nowadays, there are countless dance studios that include Floorwork in their class offerings. You don't need a fixed dance partner. If you're still looking for like-minded individuals, register with Let's Dance. You'll find a large community of dance enthusiasts, regardless of level. With a bit of luck, you'll find interested people in your city who would love to accompany you to a Floorwork dance class.

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