How long do dancers practice

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“When a dancer is judged for their performance and ability the experience can be exhilarating at one extreme or disheartening at the other extreme.”

Competition dance has great value as a training tool for young dancers. First, it provides numerous opportunities for extra performances as an individual soloist or as a member of a group. Performing as a soloist has many positive attributes. It requires a good sense of self-confidence, which increases the more the dancer puts them self out there. The dancer is able to show to the judges as well as to the audience the skills that they have personally acquired as a dance student. If they have a special skill that no one else can do, this is the time to show it off. Competing in a group has a different set of benefits. Although the dancers are still performing for a set of judges, they are demonstrating their ability to blend with each other in dance technique, style, and personality. This is usually not the time to shine as an individual but a time to display teamwork, synchronization, and a common sense of work ethic and support for each other. The dancers share a common goal as a team: to do their best and aim for a high scoring performance. This teamwork is not only essential but also rewarding.

Second, the extra training and rehearsal time that goes into being a competition dancer is similar to that of training for professional dance status. This is invaluable in becoming a more accomplished dancer. Most competition dancers are able to reach an ability level far beyond that of the average recreational dancer. Competition dancers usually train and rehearse every day often including weekends. They are most likely in the studio 15-25 hours a week. This time is spent taking required classes, attending required rehearsals, and in many cases private lessons are pursued. Obviously this extra time spent dancing hastens their progress, advancing them at an accelerated pace. Upper level skills and a better understanding of technique, style and performance most likely will occur at a younger age than for the recreational dancer.

Third, competition dance can in some cases, create contacts in the professional world of dance. Competitive dancers often have the opportunity to attend dance conventions and master classes where high profile teacher/choreographers see them take class, rehearse, and compete. Often times a dancer will be noticed for their talent at these venues and may even be awarded scholarships for further training and opportunities. In some cases, a “stand out” dancer may not only be noticed but also recognized and remembered from one year to the next. This can be a tremendous steppingstone into the professional world of dance.

When a dancer is judged for their performance and ability the experience can be exhilarating at one extreme or disheartening at the other extreme. Whether performing individually or with your teammates, the dancer needs to be able to humbly accept the opinion of their dancing at that time and from those judges. Competition judges are generally knowledgeable, fair, and in most cases have helpful comments and critiques to share with the dancers. No matter how much a number is rehearsed there may always be room for improvement. By competing, the dancers are made aware of details of their performance that could use some further work or fine-tuning. For a serious dancer this input can be invaluable and often reinforces what they are learning from their own dance teachers.

Whether you choose to be a competitive or recreational dancer, dance should be a fun activity that delivers a sense of self-satisfaction and reward just from the simple act of the level of commitment you are willing to make before entering into it. The time commitment and work ethic required a great deal of passion, dedication, and personal sacrifice. But when that desire is there, it can be well worth the pursuit.

This article by Andra Stecklein

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In this article, you’ll discover what to consider when planning your practice hours, taking your skill level and goals into consideration.

Practice What You Learn

As with any sport, your time spent practicing is as important as the information you receive from your teachers. It’s unreasonable to expect great results if you neglect training with a coach, but you can neither expect to reach the top position in a competition if you don’t practice further on your own.

This, though, is the only generalized statement I can make on the subject; the following advice is personalized.

Recreational or Competitive

First things first: define your approach to dancing.  

Do you dance only for the fun of it? Perhaps you like to attend a few classes per week just as a recreational hobby.  If that is the case, then the program you find at your local dance school is perfect for you. With a couple of lessons per week, you’ll receive basic notions that will introduce you to different dances at your own pace.  You can enjoy time away from your everyday routine. 

If you’ve moved further and have begun more regular practice, maybe you’re thinking of participating in competitions in the future… If dancesport is your primary activity, keep reading!

Different Levels, Different Needs

Let’s outline what I mean by the four following competitive stages:

  • The beginner is a dancer who—no matter the age group—is at the starting point of their competitive career.
  • Intermediate is the stage when you’ve danced in several competitions and have started to receive good results. You practice regularly.
  • An advanced dancer dedicates all their time to dancesport, apart from school or work. They’re aiming for very high results.
  • Pro dancers have made dancesport their life—it’s as simple as that.


For the beginner dancer, it’s very important to avoid overload. The body and the mind are not yet ready for a huge amount of technical information or physical hours on the dance floor.  Keep it simple and work gradually

At first, you mostly need to develop your coordination and learn the basic principles of each dance. Thus, just a couple of hours of dance per day, 3 or 4 times a week is a good starting point. 

Estimation: 6-8 hours per week


The intermediate dancer must surely practice more than a beginner.  At this stage, your confidence on the floor makes the biggest impact on your performance.  By now, you should have the correct technique, physical endurance, good floor craft, and a relatively good connection with your partner. 

You can only achieve these skills through many hours of practice, including stamina training and specific group lessons intended to make your skills more competitive.  

Estimation: 8-12 hours per week


For the advanced dancer, there is nothing else but dancing. Of course, you attend school or to work, but otherwise, your focus is on the development of your dance career.

It’s difficult to estimate how much time you should spend practicing if you’re at this stage; it looks different for everyone.  Nevertheless, I can say that you should practice every day, with only one day off per week—ideally about 3-4 hours per day. 

Your program should include: 

  • private lessons
  • practice sessions
  • stamina practice
  • group lessons

How you use this time and how effective it will be for you is up to you and your coaches.  Ask for suggestions and try to find which kind of practice gives you the best results.

Estimation: 15-24 hours per week


The pro dancer really needs no suggestions. If dancesport is your life, you basically eat, sleep, and breathe dancing. Everything rotates around it; the schedule of your lessons is the schedule of your day. You eat when you have a break and you sleep when you aren’t in the dance studio. 

At this point, what matters most is the effectiveness of the training. Choosing the right kind of practice, working out the correct concepts, and establishing the perfect relationship with your partner are much more crucial than the clocked time. 

Estimation: hours per life

Every dancer has different habits and different needs. Take the time to find what works best for you!

Make sure you also visit Dancesportlife Academy to check our library of courses and camp lectures with some of the best teachers in the world!

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How many times a week should I dance

Dancing is a great way to express yourself and keep fit at the same time. Having decided on the direction, almost every novice dancer is interested in the only question: how much time will it take to devote to classes to achieve a good result? It will not be possible to unequivocally answer this question, since much will depend on the goals set, the level of training and the personal interest of the student.

Regularity and consistency is the first rule for achieving good results when attending dance classes. You should not try to devote all your free time to dancing from the very first lesson, as this can lead to the opposite effect - the body's strength will quickly be depleted, and interest will be completely lost. In order to prevent this from happening, it is advisable to choose the optimal schedule for yourself, in which a stable result will be achieved gradually. There are several factors to consider:

  • Purpose of attending classes. There can be many reasons for attending dance classes - the desire to lose weight, become the owner of seductive forms, gaining confidence, participating in competitions. Depending on this, the time for training can vary significantly. If two or three classes a week are enough to maintain good physical shape, then in order to become a real professional, you will need to devote the maximum possible amount of time. To perfectly perform the dance elements, you need to constantly hone your skills and repeat the movements many times in a row. If you want to become a professional dancer, you will need to attend four to five classes a week, while working at full strength.
  • Level of training. Of course, it will be much easier and faster to train those people who have already been dancing or have a sports background. Body skills and muscle memory will be real helpers in achieving good results, but this is absolutely not a cause for disappointment for beginners. Beginners need to understand that in order to gain flexibility, endurance, muscle strength, additional time will be required. In addition to the standard two or three dance classes per week, an additional one or two lessons can be added, during which it will be possible to devote time to stretching or performing strength elements.
  • Individual features. An important role during dance lessons is played by the predisposition of a particular student to master the elements. Sometimes you can meet a beginner who literally "grabs all the movements on the fly" and skillfully repeats the dance elements after the teacher. For such active dancers, we can recommend the optimal number of classes - two to three lessons per week. If there are no such tendencies, you should not despair - one or two additional workouts and perseverance in achieving the goal will help to achieve remarkable results.

Beginning dancers often make the same mistake - they want to master all the links and elements right now. Unfortunately, this does not happen in life, since each dance movement is a combination of proven technique, skill and experience. It is worth remembering that everyone can develop physical skills, but this is not always enough to achieve their goal. It is necessary to have a great desire, which will give strength on the path to self-improvement.

What scientists know about dancing

On April 29, people around the world celebrate International Dance Day. About what type of dance is best for retirees, why flamenco will not help much with weight loss, and whether dancers need painkillers, says the science department of Gazeta.Ru.

Many people see dancing as more than just a hobby or a professional sport. Often we start dancing to get in good physical shape, without resorting to visiting a sports club and exhausting walking on a treadmill. Numerous scientific studies show that dancing really has a positive effect on the physical and psychological state of a person.

First of all, dancing has an extremely positive impact on health, regardless of gender and age. Physiologists from the University of Illinois at Chicago conducted experiment , during which 54 elderly participants practiced Latin American dances twice a week for four months.

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Prior to testing, scientists measured the time it took subjects to walk a 400-meter distance. Before the experiment, the participants were not very physically active, and as part of the dance program, they had to attend classes in salsa, cha-cha-cha, bachata and merengue.

The study found that the participants took 10% less time to walk the 400-meter walk than before the experiment, and their overall physical activity increased, which reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes.

In the future, the researchers want to check, using MRI, how positively dancing has an effect on human brain activity.

A similar study, published in the European Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing, was carried out by scientists from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. It turned out that Greek dance (for example, sirtaki) helps older people with heart failure become more physically resilient. Zacharia Vordos, one of the authors of the paper, suggested that such "dance therapy" could attract more patients than traditional treatment programs.

Scientists also claim that partner dancing can have an effect on a person similar to that of an anesthetic. In the journal Biology Letters , a study was published in which biologists measured the amount of endorphins formed in the blood of people after dancing. They found out,

the more difficult the dance movements were and the more synchronization of actions the dance required, the more “hormones of joy” were in the blood of the participants.

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Researchers attribute this to the fact that in addition to the pleasure of a correctly performed dance element, people feel a social connection, which, in turn, also affects the concentration of endorphins.

It is obvious that dance is different and many people who are eager to practice this sport are faced with the choice of their style. American scientists agreed on that hip-hop is the healthiest dance. The fact is that dance classes do not always involve active physical activity. Using accelerometers (portable electronic counters of the number of movements), scientists measured the physical activity of 264 girls aged 5 to 11 years old, involved in 66 different dance classes. A study published in the journal Pediatrics found that children spend an average of 17 minutes of active exercise and spend the rest of the activity, which usually lasts about an hour, listening to music and doing quiet exercises or stretching.

Flamenco turned out to be the most “inactive” of the seven types of dances studied: the children involved in it moved only 14% of the time. In hip-hop classes, the children devoted about 57% of the time to increased physical activity.

Today there are a huge variety of dance styles, some of which are known to relatively small groups of people. For example, in South Korea there is a musical genre called K-pop, which has absorbed elements of Western electropop, hip-hop, dance music and modern rhythm and blues. Thanks to the Internet, Korean pop culture has spread to parts of Southeast Asia, and an entire dance genre, K-pop, has been born. Korean engineers from Pohang University of Science and Technology developed the virtual K-pop dance teacher, which allows you to track the movements of the 15 joints of the human body, making it easier to learn dance at home.

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Deijin Kim and colleagues presented the development at the IEEE International Conference on Image Processing (ICIP) in 2015. To create the "trainer", the team took 100 K-pop moves performed by a professional dancer and recorded the changes in the position of his joints. Then, using 3D tracking technology, they checked how similar the movements of an aspiring dancer and a professional choreographer are.

Another type of dance, previously unknown to almost anyone, but which has made a lot of noise over the past few years, is twerk. By the way, the word itself is not something new - linguists found in the 1820 edition of the Oxford Dictionary the word twirk , denoting twitching movements. The verbal form of the word was found in a dictionary of 1848, and in the current form ( twerk ) the word appeared in 1901.

The dance itself is an active movement of the hips, buttocks, abdomen and arms, and the word "twerking", denoting a dance direction, appeared in the dictionary in 2013.

Fiona MacPherson, Senior Editor of the Oxford English Dictionary, commented: “We were convinced that the word twerk came from twist and jerk . However, the presence of earlier origins in the name of the dance surprised us.”

Even more surprising is the fact that the concept of "twerking" occurs in nature. Arachnologists at Simon Fraser University in Canada have discovered that male black widow spiders, one of the most dangerous spiders on the planet to humans, oscillate their abdomens to prevent the female from eating them.

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