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A man and a woman performing a modern dance.

Image via Wikipedia

Like everyone else, I have secret delusions of grandeur. I think I can do a lot of things well, but dancing is definitely not one of them.

I wish I could dance. Unfortunately, I’m encumbered with lead feet.

In tennis, I pride myself with swift feet. They allow me to get to the ball in a flash. I can dash around the tennis court at supersonic speed, thanks to my winged feet. But the same speedy and light feet would freeze, become heavy, and lose rhythm once music plays.

I would watch with envy magicians like David Copperfield, who often dance on stage with gorgeous partners. The way they glide around the stage adds beauty and panache to their illusions. I imagined the many opportunities to misdirect the audience if only I could do those moves.

Now that you know I can’t dance, I will give you tips on how to use dancing to enhance your magic performance. My not being an expert in dancing will not stop me from dispensing advice about the subject, because I’m reputed to be a know-all and a stubborn writer.


A misdirection this strong can vanish an elephant.

1. Dance to misdirect. If you can twirl, glide, gyrate and tap onstage, you can vanish or produce almost everything short of the size of an elephant. Twirling, gliding, gyrating and tapping are so attention grabbing that you can do something secretly while the audience enjoys the dancing—and get away with it.

2. Dance to enhance the presentation. Unless you are performing bizarre magic, a dance sequence can always add aesthetics to your act. Well, if you want to make your bizarre magic more bizarre, then by all means go ahead and dance with the apparitions you create.

3. Dance to stretch your magic. You just bought an illusion for thousands of pesos. The illusion’s magical moment lasts only for three seconds, say, the girl appears inside a cage. So what do you do? You prance around the stage for four minutes to stretch the time and get more stage time from your thousand-buck-three-second-illusion.

4. Dance to drown the magic. If your magic sucks, go ahead sway, swing, and spin around the stage. If you can, throw in a pirouette or two. Your goal is to entertain the audience, if not with a tenuous magic then with a lot of frolicking and gamboling onstage.

Photobucket5. Live to dance. No, that’s not about magic. That’s the title of Paula Abdul‘s reality TV show.

Stay magical,



e misdirection. Moves that are interpretive of the music yet distract from the stage action.