“Be Musical” Part II – Timing

Donald Timing

After a long break, it is time to pursue my publications concerning my own interpretation and understanding of musicality in dance.


After connecting to our partner and the music to which we are dancing, comes the movement. When do we step and how do we anticipate the little subtlety in the instruments variations. How do we follow the rhythm and are we able to „guess“ what would be the next change or when?

This calls the second part of my argumentation; mainly the timing in the dance. – What is it, to be „on time“ while dancing?

As explained in the previous article, dancing in it’s own starts with the brain activity, thinking about the movement, imagining the sequences that could match the music, and initiate the movement when we achieve the connection allowing us to move as one.

Instruments composing music could be visualized as sinusoidal waves differing with their wavelength but following the same Tempo or rhythm.

Those different waves harmonies together to create the melody, which is then accompanied with the singer’s voice.

Mathematically speaking, music is mostly based on different tempos.

In Cartesian terms, in music notation on partition, a bar (or measure) is a segment of time corresponding to a specific number of beats in which each beat is represented by a particular note value and the boundaries of the bar are indicated by vertical bar lines. Dividing music into bars provides regular reference points to pinpoint locations within a piece of music. It also makes written music easier to follow, since each bar of staff symbols can be read and played as a batch. Typically, a piece consists of several bars of the same length, and in modern musical notation the number of beats in each bar is specified at the beginning of the score by the time signature.

The most used measure in modern music is 4beats. Since this corresponds to merely 2 seconds, most producers tend to create loop of 4 measures, hence 16 beats, and introduce always a slight change at the 16th beat.

Coming back to the dancer aspect, having the above-mentioned knowledge brings up another „timing“ issue. Meanly that being on time means also to be able to react sharp enough or to predict the exact timing of those little breaks, beats drop, nuances inside the music, which enable us not to just put step on a certain repetition, but to make the music alive through a sequence of perfectly executed steps, matching tempo, changes and meaning of the music. Furthermore giving another dimension to the dance.


The notion of being on time goes back on one hand, to the ability to take all the instruments inside a melody apart, choose one and be able to hit/ step on the highest point of the waves representing that instrument in the music; and on the other hand, to be able to understand the music structure and construction to the point of being able to feel and react to the little changes and nuances happening throughout the whole song.