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What is Demi Character?

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By Samantha Bellerose, B.Ed, Dip.Dance(Performing Arts)

Demi Character Dance is generally found in addition to classical ballet sections at dance eisteddfods and competitions. They allow the ballet dancer to showcase their technique whilst portraying a character. 

Competition organizers who offer the demi-character category will often define the demi character dance as having to have a storyline with a beginning, middle, and end. Props may be used with the dancer dressed in an appropriate costume to assist in the portrayal of their character. Gestures, facial expressions, and movement is used to tell the story. Demi-Character dances are generally danced to classical or similar music without words.

Demi Character dances can be based on traditional roles from the Great Ballets such as Giselle, Coppelia, Sleeping Beauty, or Odette from Swan Lake for example but there is an opportunity for both teachers and dancers to be creative within this genre, with any role and story the mind can conjure being told from a lifeguard saving a swimmer on the beach to a retelling of the movie Frozen.

Because of the name, Demi-Character Dance should not be confused with Character Dance. Character dance is studied within many ballet syllabuses and is used by ballet companies and within many of the great ballets. Character dance is the balletic representation of folk and national dance and uses gestures and movements to represent people, nationality, and even occupation for example that of a king compared to a peasant, or a Russian, Spanish or Arabian character within the ballet.    

This page is just one of hundreds of definitions of the many styles and genres of dance. This library is being continually added to by the writers and contributors of Dance Parent 101!