How can i be a good dancer
The Ultimate Beginner Dance Guide
Do you want to be a good dancer? Well, you've come to the right place.
STEEZY has organized this guide to being a good dancer into 16 steps:
- Get inspired
- Warm up and stretch
- Study music
- Learn basics and grooves
- Take dance classes
- Train technique and execution
- Learn to dance with feeling
- Explore through freestyle
- Create choreography
- Find what makes you unique
- Stay growth-minded
- Kill it on stage
- Become a leader
- Collaborate with others
- Share your work
- Take care of your body
Keep reading to see how you can become a good dancer – starting today.
P.S. Ready to start dancing now – like RIGHT NOW? Head on over to STEEZY Studio: the best place to take dance classes online.
We have a 10-day "Intro to Dance" program that's designed to get you moving and grooving, step-by-step, so you can get down in any social setting and lay the foundation for any other type of dancing you wanna do.
Click here to take the first four days for free!1. Get inspired
Whether it's your first week or 10th year of dancing, the key to being a good dancer is wanting to be a good dancer. Remind yourself why you think dancing is fun or cool in the first place!
This "why" is gonna keep you going in the times you feel defeated or lazy.
Feed your inspiration by watching dance videos, talking to your dance friends, going to dance shows – whatever makes you feel that spark again.2. Warm up and stretch
Before you start dancing, you need to make sure your body is ready for it! Because trying to dance when your body’s cold and stiff is no fun.
Pulling a muscle and sitting out is even less fun. And getting seriously injured is no fun at all.
Warming up and stretching before you dance will help you move with wider range of motion and more control, and help prevent injuries.
Follow these diagrams for an easy, quick daily stretch routine: Do These Stretches To Help You Dance Better (And Stay Injury-Free!)
And watch this video on how dancers should and shouldn't stretch:3. Study music
Training your body is just one part of becoming a good dancer. Studying music will to give you a much, MUCH better understanding of how dance to it.
Dance is, after all, your body becoming a physical representation of the way that music sounds. Those dancers that you watch that somehow become the music?
They do this by first understanding the sounds mentally. Read this to study dance musicality: What Is Dance Musicality?
And watch this video to learn how to count like a dancer:4. Learn basics and grooves
Narrow down the styles you want to learn, and focus on the foundational movements of that style. Something that all dance styles have in common is a groove.
You probably groove all the time already! Do you bob your head while listening to music in the car? Do you go to the club and sway side to side to the beat?
Those are all grooves! Of course, there are so many different grooves – some have official names and techniques that you can learn.
Bianca Vallar teaches tons of easy Hip-Hop-influenced grooves in her "Intro to Dance" program on STEEZY Studio.
Practicing grooves and getting comfortable with how your body moves will make you look better dancing in class, at a performance, anywhere.
Carlo Darang talks about grooving and loosening up:
5. Take dance classes
Taking classes at a studio is a great way to learn choreography, practice performing, and meet new dancer friends! Not sure how to find one?
Use this guide for How To Take a Dance Class.
And if you're not quite ready to head to an IRL dance studio, try taking online dance classes, right at home.
In this video, professional dancer Alexander Chung shows you how to do just that:
6. Train technique and execution
Techniques and foundation are the ABC's of all movements.
Drilling techniques will ingrain that movement into your muscle memory, so you can just do those without thinking.
For example, doing Popping exercises will train your control, power, and understanding of your muscle groups.
Learning House steps will make you more comfortable with your footwork.
Ballet can train, well, pretty much every part of your body.
Whatever the style, focus on the elementary techniques first using this easy-to-follow training method:7. Learn to move with feeling
Executing movement the way you want has a lot of different parts.
There are the technical parts (which you'll master through learning the basics of a dance style and taking lots of classes) and the artistic parts (which you'll learn by connecting to the music and finding ways to convey the feeling of a sound).
While it's important to start your dance training by learning the more technical building blocks that you'll need to move your body in a way that looks cool, confident, and relaxed, the next phase of your training should be focused on becoming THAT dancer –
The person who walks onto the dance floor or stage and makes EVERYONE think: wow, they don't dance to the music. They become the music.
To do this, you'll need to learn all about texture, which is how dancers describe how sounds feel.
For example, the sound of a cymbal being struck might feel sharp and sudden.
Or the sound of a bass note might feel intense and deep, like a boom that reverberates through your chest.
So when you hear a cymbal you might dance sharp and fast.
When you hear a bass, you might use heavy, grounded movements.
Learn more about texture in this video!8. Explore through freestyle dancing
Freestyling is a great way to practice your fundamentals, get in touch with the music, and to explore the ways your body wants to move.
Here's a more comprehensive guide on freestyling: How To Freestyle Dance
If you feel insecure about your freestyling, then watch this video:
9. Create choreography
Making choreography is a great way to challenge yourself as a dancer.
You'll be pushed to come up with creative new moves, freestyle, and pay attention to music in ways you never did before.
Never made a piece before? We got you: How To Choreograph A Dance In 6 Simple Steps
Watch this video when you get stuck:10. Find what makes you unique
The most captivating dancers are the ones who have found their own voice and learned to use it.
Think about your music tastes, develop your natural groove, embrace those weird poses your body comes up with.
Your unique style won’t just make you a better dancer, it’ll make you the best dancer you can be.11. Stay growth-minded
Don't pigeon-hole yourself into a "type" of dancer. Let yourself explore all different kinds of dance, let yourself fail, let yourself keep striving for growth.
Read tips on becoming growth-focused! 5 Ways Your MINDSET Is Holding You Back As A Dancer (And How To Change It!)
If you’re constantly growing, even in baby steps, you’ll soon be at a level you never thought possible.
So keep growing, keep changing, keep evolving – one day at a time.
Scared of judgement from others? Watch this video:12. Kill it on stage
Dance is a performance art – so being a great dancer means that you know how to kill it on stage.
The next time you're at a show or competition, or filming a video, bring out your best performance.
Try these tips: 7 Easy Ways To Kill It On Stage
Make sure all eyes are on you.
Read: How To Dance Bigger, Stronger, And More Full Out13. Become a leader
If you want a push yourself even further, then consider being a captain or director of your dance team.
Not only will being a leader teach you management and communication skills, it's an opportunity to give back to a team and community that gives you so many opportunities.
It all starts with the 'why.'
Write your team's mission statement the help of the pioneers: Dance Leadership Tools From Arnel Calvario And Anna Sarao14. Collaborate with others
We’re blessed to be surrounded by talented, passionate, like-minded individuals in our community.
Share the love by collaborating with other dancers – this can mean working together to create a piece, host a workshop, whatever!
Tips on joint choreography creation! How To Collab With Someone To Make A Piece15. Share your work
It's not about the video. But if you worked hard on a piece or enjoyed teaching a class, do share! Your work can inspire someone else, and push you to create better.16. Take care of your body!
Though our bodies are the very tool we use for dance, many of us neglect it.
A healthy, nourished, hydrated body will perform much better than a weak, stiff, dehydrated one in any dance setting.
Be a good dancer by keeping your body in optimal, dance-ready condition.
Do these things to be in tip-top shape: How To Take Care Of Your Body As A Dancer
Being a good dancer is a journey that looks different for everyone. Take the tips you need in yours to make your growth more focused and efficient!
We hope this helped you understand how to be a good dancer.
How To Become A Better Dancer: 5 Tips -
So you want to know how to become a better dancer?
Here are 5 important tips that will help you improve as a dancer fast:
1.Take Lessons Consistently (You’re not special)
Some people think that they can get good without ever taking any dance lessons…
This is a mistake. Think about everything else you ever learned in your life, did you just wing it? No, you probably took lessons to become good at it. The same goes with dancing. You can take lessons in person or online. For in-person lessons you can do group classes or private lessons. For online lessons you can learn from videos. Check out our online Ballroom dance videos here.
Furthermore, it is important to take the time to find the right dance teacher for your goals, because some are definitely more qualified than others. My recommendation is try out a lesson with several teachers before committing to one specific dance instructor. Read our article on what makes a good dance teacher.
2. Practice Daily At Home/Studio
One of the most important habits you need to adopt is daily consistent practice. No matter how naturally good you are, you need to practice if you want to become a better dancer. Many people assume that just because they take lessons, they don’t need to practice. This could not be further from the truth. It is precisely because you take dance lessons, you need to practice even more to make sure you retain everything you’ve been learning.
Becoming a better dancer requires muscle memory. And muscle memory requires a lot of repetition through practice. So don’t overthink it – simply make some room in your living room, get a mirror and practice the things you worked on at your last lesson/class. Check out our practice guide for Ballroom dancers.
3. Have A Goal
One of the fastest ways to improve your dancing is simply to have a goal to work towards. The goal can be a performance at your studio’s showcase or party. It can also be a dance competition. Even if you don’t want to perform you can still come up with a social dance goal such as “be able to dance comfortably at next month’s party”. Be creative with it as there is no wrong or right goals. The most important thing is to have one and to have a future date that you’re working towards. This will keep you motivated with your daily practice!
4. Feel your body
After you’ve learned the mechanics of the steps and routines, you need to make sure that you let your body “Feel” the movements so that all the steps and styling can really sink in to your muscle memory. You don’t want to be stuck in your head when you’re practicing or taking lessons, you need to be in “your body” to retain the dance moves, and progress faster.
After you got it pretty good, just put on the music and try to feel your body going with the music… This will also add enjoyment to your dancing.
5. Keep yourself inspired
It is critical to work on staying inspired and motivated with your getting better in dancing goal. Life gets in the way, so some days you will be more inspired than others… The key is to figure out some specific triggers that can energize you quickly to get back in the groove, whenever you’re not feeling it.
For example, let’s say you don’t feel like going to your dance practice today. What you can do is watch some videos of your favorite dancers performing your favorite choreography on youtube!
That should get you back on track fast.
Watch Video – 5 Tips For Improving As A Dancer:
What do you think? Leave a comment below.
By: Leon Turetsky
Professional dance instructor
More Dance Articles & Tips
Types of ballroom dances
Styles of Latin Dances
5 tips to help you make progress in dancing
Is it possible to quickly improve your dancing skills with a few simple and effective steps? Yes! Read our tips to improve your dance technique.
Whether you're a beginner or an experienced dancer, whether you're into ballet, modern jazz, hip hop, or any other style, these 5 tips will help you reach your peak.
Would you like to change your dance costume while keeping the same clothes? This can be done with a single accessory or piece of clothing - a favorite item that can be worn in many ways.
Depending on your style of dancing or how you feel at the moment, you can wear this piece however you want right now to give yourself a whole new look.
Your dancewear is part of your expression, so get creative by choosing an outfit that reflects your personality. Mix styles and develop your creativity.
What dancer has not had difficulty maintaining balance during the batman retreat or when performing a pirouette without a somersault?
To keep a good balance, remember this: when you move into a half-pointe position, automatically think about getting taller, as if someone is pulling you up. Press down on the ground with the foot that touches the floor to keep a firm footing. Also pay attention to the muscles of the core: tighten the stomach, imagining that the navel should touch the spine, and tighten the gluteal muscles.
Dancing is not always easy to gracefully express yourself and see your body moving smoothly and elegantly. However, viewers often pay attention to the upper half of the dancer's body. To become more graceful, try to move in a relaxed way and keep a natural expression on your face. No one should notice the slightest sign of effort in your eyes!
Free your head and let it move, don't tense up. Do not spread or close your fingers as if you are holding something. A good dancer should have "light" hands. Your fingers should be controlled but relaxed (imagine water dripping from your fingertips and focus on the sensation).
Watch how you hold your hand: from the shoulder blades to the very nails. Keep your elbow from "falling" by taking care to support your wrist. Good support and resistance will help you shape curves that are smooth and elegant!
Flexibility is not required in dance, but it remains a highly sought-after characteristic for many dancers nonetheless. If it is not an innate trait, it can be developed gradually, with patience and care, given the capabilities of your body.
To make your body more flexible, we recommend a special exercise - splits . It is recommended to perform it only under the supervision of trainer ! Find a trainer at All Do Sport to train efficiently and safely.
First, warm up for 10 minutes, alternating several basic exercises. Sit on the floor with your legs together in a butterfly position and do a few rolls on your back. Then warm up your legs with a few exercises, do a series of jumps and a few deep lunges, and move on to the next:
- Execution: lie on your back and put your feet on the wall. Use your hands to move as close to the wall as possible. Touch the wall with your buttocks. Straighten your legs up and stretch your toes, keeping your feet and knees together. Legs and buttocks should rest on the wall. Start slowly spreading your legs apart. Lower them down to the most extreme position. Fix this position and try to relax, allowing gravity to push your legs towards the floor. Lightly press your hands on your feet. Gradually open your legs wider and wider, stretching your muscles.
- Breathing: inhale deeply and exhale slowly throughout the exercise to relax and oxygenate your muscles. This will gradually help your body become more flexible.
- Safety tips: make sure you keep your buttocks firmly against the wall and your back against the floor throughout the exercise. Pull in your stomach and lower your legs as low as possible, but not with force!
Do this exercise once every 15 minutes.
If you are already flexible enough, put on ankle weights such as Gym Weight Domyos. They will increase muscle tension and add extra inches to your stretch!
Before the performance, it is important to take time for yourself and relax. Every dancer has their own set of tips for overcoming fear on stage. Do you want to know the proven way? Learn to relax through conscious and deep belly breathing.
Really deep breathing brings a sense of calm and awakens your mental powers. It also helps to better oxygenate your muscles. To feel good about your body and mind, do this relaxation exercise while preparing for the performance and on the day of the event itself:
- Sit with your back against a wall or lie on your back
- Breathe in through your nose, slowly and deeply
- Place one hand on your belly and exhale through your mouth (you can gently press on your belly with your hand)
- Then inhale through the nose, expanding only the belly (the belly should rise)
- Exhale slowly through your mouth. Your exhalation should be slower than your inhalation.
- Repeat the whole sequence three times
Now you know 5 secrets that will help you improve your dancing skills or just feel good in your body before going on stage. On the day of your performance, forget about everything else and focus on just one thing - the pleasure of dancing!
I want to dance. 10 misconceptions about dancing
The desire to learn to dance is natural and natural in the modern world. You can list the reasons, starting with obvious and popular pragmatic desires, for example, to start moving or losing weight, ending with unconscious and even existential ones.
This is due to the fact that dancing is at the subtle intersection of the inner and outer worlds, physical and spiritual. Above this, music becomes a driver that cannot leave anyone indifferent.
In dancing there is magic inside a person, which is not always noticeable when observed from the side. At the initial stage, it is the external picture that attracts to dances, and sometimes repels, as it seems too frivolous and superficial.
But there are even stronger obstacles that stop many people from starting dancing. These illusions and delusions roam the minds of the majority, and are often afraid to ask about them directly, or they ask the question about it so often that they are no longer ready to hear an honest direct answer. I will try to do it in this article.
There are many examples of contemporary dance instructors sharing their thoughts about not expecting to be in the dance industry. Once upon a time there was a man and was engaged in adult, serious business. Sometimes even very serious. A person could have children and even grandchildren. I saw dances only on stage or on TV. For reasons unknown to himself, he ended up in dances. At first, everything seemed like entertainment and a useful pastime. But time has passed, and a person catches himself thinking that he thinks about dancing not just every day, but really all the time. A couple of years pass, and he already becomes a teacher or organizer of some event.
A similar path can start at 15 or 55 years old. The only difference will be in the self-perception of the starting stage, that it’s too late to dance. In fact, for each age there is its own dance direction, which can reveal it to the greatest extent at this stage. Hip-hop or breaking is closer to children and teenagers, and Argentine tango is closer to adults. It's never too late to start dancing. You need to make the right choice of dance style based on several parameters: age, gender, music, goal. There is a dance direction for any arrangement.
Misconception 2: Men don't dance
Our culture has a number of restrictions related to dancing. Most of these causes are psychological and lie outside the realm of rational reasoning.
First, in our culture, in principle, dancing for pleasure or self-expression appeared relatively recently. 20-30 years ago dance clubs were only for children. To start dancing even in adolescence was considered exotic.
Secondly, the aesthetics of the body in our country for men is not in the focus of attention. In general, this can be attributed to the fact that Russian men try hard not to draw attention to their appearance and clothing. Men in our country use other tools for this.
Third, dancing is associated with entertainment and alcohol. If a man feels serious and respectable, then he either does not have time or desire for this.
Nowadays the general cultural background has changed and the result is that men are learning to dance. It becomes as much a sign of masculinity as clothing, hair or beard.
Unfortunately, many misconceptions remain even among those who have already started dancing. Dance teachers do not always pay attention to this, as it seems to them that this is a matter of course.
Fallacy 3: special training is needed
For an outside observer, there is always a cognitive dissonance about what dance is. What he sees on the big stage in the form of a show with sweeping movements and splits is obviously dancing. Breakers doing unimaginable elements in the air and on their hands, competing with each other, also seem to be dancing. Pensioners in the park waltz. Dancing again, but for some reason everyone is so different. How to understand that this is a dance, and what physical criteria should be in the body.
In fact, any self-expression through the body to music can be attributed to dance. There are a number of reservations, but they are not essential. For self-expression, a person uses the set of plastics that he has. Subtlety and technique do not depend on extreme ways of self-expression, and it often happens that splits and somersaults interfere with a meaningful dance. The development of plasticity and the expansion of the body's capabilities are part of the preparation of the dancer, but not an end in itself.
Misconception 4: You must learn to dance in pairs
In couple dancing, the final learning outcome is that the couple dances at a party. It would seem that you should always train together to get the desired result. This is not true. Let's take an example from boxing. An indicator of a boxer's skill is a fight with an opponent, but this does not mean that he constantly has to fight. Also, the ability to dance is built on the possession of one's own body and the ability to interact.
The skill of the teacher is the correct selection of methods so that the student masters the skill. Based on the skill, you can engage in creativity and self-expression in dance. Not everyone knows, but it is no coincidence that almost all social dance dancers have a serious dance background, which is based on the development of individual techniques.
The same can be attributed to the interaction in a pair. The ability to separate in oneself the one who leads and the one who follows the lead is impossible within the framework of studying the sequence of movements in pairs. For this, there are special exercises that make the skill more versatile. For this, the presence of a permanent couple is not necessary, as well as the regular presence of a partner in general.
IMPORTANT! You can’t experiment at a party, and everything should be in its place there: men dance with women.
Getting rid of illusions is a complex internal process. If you leave them to yourself, you can even get the opposite result.
Misconception 5: plastique and stretching are mandatory attributes of dance
Much depends on the genre of dance that you want to master. In previous articles, I have already mentioned that different dance styles are suitable for different ages. It is appropriate to dance hip-hop in adolescence or youth, Argentine tango is a more adult dance, it is important to enter classical choreography at a young age.
The degree of necessary plasticity and sensitivity to the dance direction also correlates. For example, breaking requires great physical effort and dexterity. Elements are built on acrobatics and high speed of execution. Who are they more suitable for? Obviously young people.
There is a lot of interaction in salsa. It is necessary to feel the partner subtly, to be able to show a variety of figures and elements. Twine or acrobatics are completely inappropriate here. However, a variety of ways to show oneself are required. Accordingly, the dance is youthful, but not at all childish.
The older the dance, the less stretching or acrobatics is required. The main emphasis is on the quality of technology, the variety of ideas and the ability to show plasticity.
Misconception 6: Mirrors are necessary for learning
There is a set of instruments that dancers use to learn how to dance. The fact is that the dancer needs to receive feedback on how his movements look from the side. It is impossible to dance and see yourself from the side at the same time. The most common tool is a mirror. But not the only one.
Like any auxiliary tool, mirrors have positive and negative effects. The positive is that they can receive feedback in real time and technically it is not very difficult. The downside can be dependence on mirrors. A situation where a dancer cannot capture the feeling of dancing, such as on stage or at a party. For these purposes, you can use, among other things, video filming or proper preparation.
In many countries in Latin America, dance classrooms are not equipped with mirrors. Classes are held in bars or large halls. The dancers initially form the skill of focusing on the inner sensation, and not the habit of looking for their reflection in the mirror with their eyes.
Misconception 7: there is a lot of obsceneness in dancing
A common question from novice dancers who are taking their first steps in more contact couple dances is “in order to dance cool, there must be passion inside the couple?”. I immediately answer that no, not necessarily. Kizomba, bachata and Argentine tango attract many with their close contact. Like any other contact in our everyday life, in dances, contact can be different. We hug friends, parents, children. These hugs can wear many different shades. Sexual overtones are one of many.
The culture of dance also includes the boundaries of what is acceptable. A compliment from a well-mannered person is different from a statement about female sexuality by a gopnik. Usually, those who study at a dance school already have an idea of what boundaries should not be crossed. A good dance from a technical point of view will never look vulgar or vulgar.
Dancers always have a choice about the boundaries of contact. Most prefer to leave a good impression of themselves, as word spreads just as fast in the dance world.
Misconception 8: the best dancers are the bearers of culture
Even the very question of the origin of a particular dance can be paradoxical and ambiguous, especially when it comes to its development and performance.
For example, the Viennese waltz did not originate in Vienna, but in Germany. Salsa has its main roots in the USA, not in Cuba. The famous Greek folk dance sirtaki was invented for the film "Zorba the Greek" and appeared only in 1964.
The same can be attributed to the development of modern dance styles. Korea is known for its world-leading break dancers. People go to Turkey for Argentine tango, Spain is strong with excellent salsa and bachata dancers, in Egypt, Russians are considered the best belly-dance performers.
A good dance is based on quality training and diligence. Skin color, place of birth and age are secondary. Exotic appearance, unfortunately, is often a reason to be more superficial about one's own professional development. This becomes the reason for the low level of teaching among the bearers of culture. I am sure that few readers of this post will be ready to conduct a master class in Russian folk dance outside of Russia.
The mastery of mastering and teaching a particular style does not depend on the dancer's homeland. And "they absorbed the dance with their mother's milk" is nothing more than a common misconception.
Misconception 9: You have to know a lot of moves to learn to dance
Focusing on learning a lot of moves often detracts from the essence of dance. Of course, the sequence of figures is important. Especially at the start. Over time, the dancer should have an understanding of how movements can be generated independently. Accordingly, instead of memorizing millions of figures, you can understand how to create them.
From every system of improvisation that a dancer can use as an instrument, dozens, hundreds or thousands of variations are derived. This frees the head from trying to reproduce the exact sequence and definitely adds freedom in the performance of the dance.
The huge theme of musicality can be attributed to the same question. Not every pre-conceived or learned sequence will fit specific music. The dance should give freedom, and not drive the dancer into the shell of the ropes.
Misconception 10: dancing is homosexual
The unusually high attention to the body and the flair from stories about professional ballet led to the spread of this myth, among other things. Unfortunately, such an idea still exists in the minds of our fellow citizens.
The dance industry is now very broad and is represented by many dance styles. Some of them can even be called homophobic. Dances reflect the general attitude to the world and it is different depending on the life position and worldview of a person.
In many dances there is contact between the dancers. In Russia, dance contact between men has always been perceived very intensely. In most other countries it is different. An example of the fact that this tension is associated only with the dance theme and does not apply to other areas is, for example, wrestling. When practicing techniques, men are in much closer contact with each other. Sometimes lying on the floor and holding each other tightly.