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Moving on Up

After that, you can add to this foundation with some upper-body motion. Perhaps the character moves her shoulders to the beat as well or throws her hands above her head. All of these can be layered on the basic hip motion (see Figure 3). Again, by creating a few basic arm moves and a few basic hip moves, you have a large palette from which to create a number of combinations. As with the hips, you need to make sure that your upper-body motion isn't too repetitive by mixing up the poses.

Figure 3 Adding a bit of arm motion expands on this foundation.

When you're posing the upper body, be sure to keep the poses balanced. If the character has weight on the right leg, for example, the left leg will be bent. This means that the left hip will be low as well, forcing the shoulders in the opposite direction to compensate.

Don't forget the head, which will also bob to the beat. Some dance moves, such as the jerk, require extreme head motions. A good example of using the head is the "Peanuts" TV specials of the late 1960s. The characters had really big heads, and they danced simply by rocking their giant heads from side to side.

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