In this dance, the performer makes a ribbon move to the beat of the music and the changing rhythms dictate the flow and size of the various movements. It is based on a form of Chinese choreography.
Note the construction of the ribbon, which consists of two components. The stick is basically a small dowel, made of wood, plastic or fiberglass, that's 50 to 60 centimeters long. A colorful, satin ribbon is attached to one end. Some ribbons are only 5-feet long, while others are 12-feet long. The length usually depends upon the height of the dancer. Most ribbons are around 3-inches wide.
Listen to the beat of the music. Your goal is to make your ribbon move and flow with the music.
Make large, smooth movements with your arms when the beat of the music is slow. The ribbon will flow slowly and gracefully through the air. As the beat speeds up, make quicker movements with your arms. The ribbon will shake and flutter to match the increased tempo.
Use the ribbon to create large circles and spirals throughout the ribbon dance. Let the music cue the size and speed of your movements.
Keep the ribbon off the floor and free of knots throughout the ribbon dance. This requires a surprising amount of arm strength and coordination.
Remember to move your lower body, too. You can dance and move across the stage as you twirl the ribbon to the music.
Decide whether to perform alone or as part of a group. Group performances are often quite dramatic, as the appearance of multiple ribbons moving to the music is very beautiful.