How to be a good street dancer
Street Dance classes - 5 tips to help you to grow
- 0.1 What is Street Dance?
- 0.2 So what does ‘street’ mean?
- 0.3 Ok. So what was I learning in Street dance classes?
- 0.4 Who’s teaching us?
- 0.5 What SHOULD I be learning in Street dance classes?
- 1 THE 5 TIPS TO STREET DANCE GROWTH
- 2 1) What do I want to achieve?
- 3 2) Find a favourite
- 3.1 3) The Music – Street dance songs
- 4 4) Attend a dance event
- 5 5) Join a community
- 6 Conclusion
What is Street Dance?
For the short answer visit our post here where more than 10 street style dances are listed. In this post we’ll learn more about what street dance classes are actually teaching and 5 ways you can maximise your experience!
Before we go on, you can fast forward to booking our classes here if you wish.
So what does ‘street’ mean?
According to Wikipedia, ‘Street Dance’ is: “a dance style that evolved outside dance studios in any available open space such as streets, dance parties, block parties, parks, school yards, raves, and nightclubs. ”
With tap dance being widely recognised as perhaps the original street dance from the 1800’s, we can appreciate there is a lot to learn.
The Wikipedia entry goes on to talk about ‘improvisational’ and ‘social’ aspects of these dances.
This is just a theory, but if the class you attend never:
- Allows improvisation
- Encourages social interaction
- Feels like it came from one of the ‘locations’ listed above
- Or seems ‘random’ or not steeped in any particular form
..it may not be a street dance class.
Ok. So what was I learning in Street dance classes?
If your teacher warmed you up and taught a routine without referencing any particular movement vocab..it was a choreography class. If your teacher doesn’t give you solid tools to develop your freestyle..it’s a choreography class. And if you can’t use what you learnt in class at the club this weekend..you took a choreography class.
To be clear, here at B-Better we LOVE choreography! Without choreography our team, Manifest Nation, would be a battle squad only. However, if you arrive at a class hoping to develop in accordance with your personal desires, you may not get that. Choreo-centric classes have their place, and we think that should be celebrated. A class called, ‘Move like MTV’, may not be focused on helping you unlock your personal style. That is ok, as long as it’s clear 🙂
To quote Kenrick Sandy, MBE:
“I’m no purist, but if you don’t understand where it came from, you’re just another person jumping on the bandwagon. We need to appreciate and respect the art form”The Guardian, 2010
Who’s teaching us?
The tricky thing about street dance classes is that anyone can start one. They can also teach whatever they like. The beauty of dance is that it’s for all people of every walk of life. It’s important, however, to be informed by those who really understand their craft.
I wouldn’t book a personal trainer unless I’d seen some certification or something that supports their credentials. Neither would most of us. There are some teaching qualifications out there for Street Dance, but passing a course only has certain merits. There is little substitute for being able to ‘get down’.
It’s not necessary for your teachers to be able to freestyle…but it’s nice if they can. Demonstrating moves is important, but aren’t we even more inspired to see them in use? In the UK we are super respectful to everyone, but it’s good to ask these questions (even internally!).
At B-Better each of our teachers specialises in at least one recognized street style dance. This greatly benefits our students because:
- Their development will be steeped in something solid and substantial
- Different dance techniques can be referred to other things (e.g. “this comes from locking.”)
- From a real foundation, freedom can be found
- You leave the class with real knowledge. Not only of the move and background, but also of how YOU can use the move.
- If we have to send a cover teacher, you never know what goodness you’ll get to learn!
In this era, your teacher is probably on social media and their skills and / or background is easily discoverable. Look them up, so you know what to expect when you attend their class. You may be pleasantly surprised!
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What SHOULD I be learning in Street dance classes?
There’s no real set rule to this, but at OUR street dance classes one can expect:
- A clear understanding of what is being taught (even if you can’t do it right away!)
- Technique broken down with distinct labels for each move or theory
- Music that encourages your body to respond in a particular way. For example, we have seen people who love Popping, that learnt on House music. When we put on the Funk music, their style evolved immediately.
- Exercises specifically designed to help you explore your way of moving.
- Other exercises that involve working with others
- Real-life tools and freestyle theory so that you can feel comfortable in social situations
- A host of other delights that are more easily observed on our Instagram. Check out #DanceTeacherHacks too!
We love choreography too, though. Typically, we use choreography in our classes for two reasons:
- To reinforce a point. This may be a combination of moves we’ve used or a theory explored in class. The choreography is used to help you ‘get it’.
- If there is a performance opportunity, we get our students show ready!
Let’s look at some ideas of what can augment your in-class experience. Firstly…
THE 5 TIPS TO STREET DANCE GROWTH
1) What do I want to achieve?
You’ve decided, “I wanna dance. I wanna work it!” That’s the spirit we like. But have you thought more specifically about what you’d like to experience? Most people attend dance class to:
- Gain confidence (body, mind and soul)
- Work out
- Socialise and meet others
- Acquire a new skill
- For the fun of trying something new. Self discovery
We will expand on this another time, but with these ideas in mind we can ask ourselves, “What would I like to achieve?”
Now, it’s likely at your class that a number of these things listed above will happen, but it’s good to come with some kind of plan. Knowing what we want helps us to focus and really embrace the experience.
Once we know what we want, it can pay to…
2) Find a favourite
J-Lo? Chris Brown? It’s a natural part of human nature to admire others. Some of us may even idolise others, but the base appreciation for talent is the same.
Find a person or idea that really resonates with you and embrace the energy it brings. With this in mind, you may find it easier to ‘develop your style’. We ALL come to class ready-packed with our own style and the hope is that the class helps us unlock it. At the same time, we want to develop new ways of moving we hadn’t previously explored.
Once you discover someone who inspires you, try to pinpoint what it is that speaks to you about them. Is it presence, technical ability or unpredictability? Maybe there was one moment in time that made you think, “I’m gonna do this.” Maybe your inspiration is a whole form or way of moving. Whatever you are attracted to gives you ideas and helps you to develop. I mean, these robots sure have some ideas.
Now that you have the spark, it might be worth thinking about…
3) The Music – Street dance songs
Although in reality you can dance to whatever you like, we’ll break down a few kinds of music that ‘go with’ street dance. This is by no means an exhaustive list, but it’ll get us somewhere.
- Hiphop – Comes in a lot of different forms. The good news about hiphop is as music evolves, dances evolve with it. You could try Eric B & Rakim for 80’s beats. Maybe MC Hammer , Nice and Smooth or Ice Cube for 90’s bounce. For the early 2000’s perhaps Eminem, Kelis or Soulja Boy. Current artists may include Drake, Young Thug, J.Cole or Ron Browz.
- Funk – Put a swing in those hips with modern funk artists include Bruno Mars , Tuxedo and the resurgent Chaka Khan. For something with more snap, for the poppers among you, try Chromeo or Fingazz. For a smooth groove try Jamiroquai or Brand New Heavies.
- House – The pulsating heartbeat. Try Dennis Ferrer, King P, or John Tejada. For a more contemporary sound, try Disclosure. Here is a full playlist of House for you.
- Dancehall / Afrobeat – The sound of the times. Try Konshens for Dancehall or Wande Coal for Afrobeat.
With the music in mind you’ll know what to listen out for when you..
4) Attend a dance eventVicious Victor & B-Boy Pocket, SG BBoy Champs, 2016
Attending dance events has several merits! At these platforms we can experience our greatest inspiration. It’s one thing to take a class but another to see what’s out there. Dance events typically include:
- Showcases – These could be in a theatre, at a festival, on the street, immersive or otherwise. We can expect to be standing or seated in one place and appreciate the art.
- Battles – Or as some people call them, ‘dance offs’. 2 or more people competing to win with the outcome decided by qualified judges. We will cover battles more in a future post, as the battle industry is rich and ever changing. For now, find out how Breakin’ at the Olympics may affect the dance scene. A hotly discussed topic.
- Parties – Some club nights are dance-centric and a great place to observe people ‘getting down’.
We expand on some of these ideas in our post about street dance for adults. The natural evolution of attending a street dance event is to…
5) Join a communityThe Bridge, annual street event by Scanners Inc
We’re not talking about just Facebook groups here. Attending events is a great way to get connected to others and getting involved is even better.
- Find people to practice with
- Tell those you admire what you appreciate about them
- Post a video of your training and ask for constructive feedback
- Attend events and participate
- Hang out with your teachers, socially. They have much more to share than just what you learn in the dance class
- Try to make dance part of your daily life
- Explore different styles and movement (e. g. capoeira)
Perhaps the greatest thing about being part of a community is that you might not even need to take classes after all! Around the world there are dance enthusiasts who have never taken any formal training. The love of dance is enough.
Have this in mind when considering your entry to dance. The world is your oyster! Street dance classes can have great utility in real life.. but so does real life! Watch this video on the Coney Island dance community in New York. Street dance doesn’t get much more ‘street’ than this.
The social aspect of street style dance is what makes the worldwide community tick, so to echo the thoughts above, your street dance class should be a segue to this kind of freedom. In dance, the love of music puts the ‘unity’ in ‘community’.
Perhaps now you have more questions than ever about your street dance experience. Where should I go and who should teach me? What should I learn and how will I use it? And what the hell is Dancehall?! Check our directory of street Dance slang here.
To summarise the most important points to improve at street dance:
- Figure out what you’d like to achieve
- Do some homework on your teacher
- Once you have the class, get yourself some music to practice to
- Attend some dance events occasionally
- Communicate with others – both veterans and newbies
- Be inspired by dancers you admire
Here at B-Better, we encourage all of these things and wish you luck on your journey into street styles. Find out about our public classes and online classes and start learning today!
If you’ve read this far, we have a question for you: What info has resonated with you most today? Leave a comment below as we’re keen to hear what our community are feeling ^_^
Have a grand day,
How To Dance Hip Hop For Beginners
So, you want to learn how to dance Hip Hop! You’ve come to the right place.
*Note: The term "Hip Hop" is more accurately described in this article: What Is Hip Hop Dance?
For the sake of continuity, we will refer to it as Hip Hop Dance in this article.
You will learn everything you need to learn how to dance Hip Hop, from understanding music to where to find a Hip Hop dance class in your community. Ready to learn how to dance Hip Hop? Let’s get moving.
Part 1: Musicality
What is dance musicality? Why is it important in learning Hip Hop dance? Dance musicality is how dancers hear, interpret, and dance to music. It sets the tone for our movements and gives sounds to follow.
But, in order to start leaning about music and how we dance to it, the first step is learning how to count music itself.
What is an 8-count?
We use an 8-count to break down the structure of music. It's sort of like a map to know when you do a certain move. For example, if a choreographer says that a move should be executed on "the 5," you're going to count the beats of the music like this: "One, two, three, four, MOVE."
Listen to a song, any song, and try counting in your head – "One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight." Match your counts to the beat of the song – this is what you'd naturally bob your head or clap your hands to.
Follow along with this video for some practice, and a further breakdown of all the moments that you can hit within an 8-count.
Different musical elements of a song
*We're not going into every single sound found in the history of music! Just the basics, so as not to overwhelm or overcomplicate.
The words that the singer is singing! The lyrics are probably the easiest to distinguish, but hardest to count/dance to, since vocals don't always match the strict structure of 8-counts. Sometimes, choreographers will make moves that correlate with the lyrics by miming actions that match what they singer is talking about.Bass
The bass is the lowest of the standard four voice ranges (bass, tenor, alto, soprano), or, the lowest sound in a musical composition – its there to support the melody. Different instruments can produce a bass sound (most often drums or bass guitars). Dancers often use the onomatopoeia "boom" to describe a bass sound, and we tend to associate bass sounds with strong, grounded movements like a foot stomp or a Woah.Snare
It's the sharp, staccato drum sound you hear in most Hip Hop songs, kinda like the sound you make when you snap a rubber band. Dancers often describe a snare as a "ka!" when they talk about their routine. Dancers usually do quick, sharp movements to match this sound. Think of how a dancer might suddenly shoot their arm to the side and snap their fingers, or quickly turn their head to look at the audience.Hi-Hat
A hi-hat is produced by a hi- hat cymbal. Dancers often describe this sound as "tss tss" sound. Hi-Hats are usually paired with sharp movements, but they might melt into something groovier if the sound of the cymbal creates a reverb-y echo. Think of how a dancer might pop their chest right when the hi-hat is struck, and then might add a couple smaller pops right after the first one to mimic the way a hi-hat echoes.Synth
A sound synthesizer produces electric signals converted to sound through amps and loudspeakers. A common type of synth is the synth piano, which may sound like a long, slow bass – a"wobba wobba" sound. This sound goes great with a gooeyyy movement – you want to mimic the way the sound is rippling by using resistance and waves in your movement. A dancer might do this by rolling their chest slowly to a synth.Strings
Guitar strums and melodies are also useful to take note of, for more instrumental / acoustic songs. You can do whatever feels right in the moment to these types of songs!
The piano sounds will also accent, or set the melody/harmony of the song. You can dance to these sounds separately or as chords. If you hear a high-pitched piano note over and over, you might hit that note with an upper-body-focused little move. If you hear a rich set of chords, you might do some flowy, full-body moves to communicate how rich those sounds are.
You'll start to see patterns when you listen to music more carefully. Maybe there's a bass drum on each 1st and 5th count, or a snare on every even count. As you're clapping or bouncing or whatever you're doing to mark the beats in the music, take notice of the sound patterns that exist within it. It'll cue you in to the musicality you should use when you dance.
What does Hip Hop dance musicality look like?
Dance musicality is demonstrated in several ways, depending on the dancer's style, the song, and how they choose to interpret the music.
Check out these 2 pieces to the same song, that are completely different in both style of dance and musicality choice.
How Many Drinks – Pat Cruz & Aggie Loyola
How Many Drinks – Carlo Darang
Everyone listens to music differently, as you can probably tell from these two pieces. Choreographers utilize different pictures and textures to portray how they hear the song.
Not sure what textures are? Read this: What Are Textures In Dancing?
Great choreographers have unique ways of moving to music that bring out sounds you might not have heard when you’re just listening to the song. Now you know what it means when someone says. “UGHHH, their musicality is so sick!” By being more familiar with the different sounds that make up a song and their relationship to the flow of it, you'll have a better understanding of how to execute moves to embody those sounds more closely.
This dance tip is from Scott Forsyth's class on STEEZY Studio!
Part 2: Body Awareness
Have you ever taken a yoga class? Then you'll know that a big objective of yoga is simply to be present – in the mind, and the body. By doing so, you're bringing together your mental and physical selves. Similarly, as a dancer, your mind and body must be working together – your mind is the part that understands the music and the intent behind the movement, and your body is the actual tool for moving. Here are ways to train your body to learn to dance Hip Hop.Try this:
Lay on the floor, and close your eyes. (Turn on some light music here, if you want.)
Then, go through this list of body parts, and focus your thoughts and feelings on each one. Flex or move the part to draw more attention to it. Once you feel fully comfortable with where it is and what it feels like, move on to the next one.
Hips (Try rotating them in and out)
Core (tummy area)
Neck (Try turning your neck, and also rolling it clock- and counter-clockwise)
It sounds almost too easy to be effective – but the key here is not the difficulty of the movement (which is obviously very minimal). The key is how familiar you're becoming with these body parts, which requires a surprisingly great deal of focus. Muscle memory starts with muscle awareness! By dedicating your time and energy in getting to know your body, you're training your most important tool as a dancer!Body Placements In Dance
Cool, so we're getting to know what each part of the body feels like in a resting position. Let's create some pictures to explore how our bodies look and feel in certain placements. We'll be using 3 main ideas for these exercises:
What "focus" refers to in dance is the direction your face is facing. Timed right with a committed facial, your focus has the power to make or break a piece.
Whatever pose you're holding or pathway you're moving through, your focus is most commonly straight to the mirror (not the greatest habit, but it's good to watch yourself at first, when developing body awareness), to the right, to the left, up, down – and to varying degrees.
For example, "right 45" can refer to turning your face toward the right, but only halfway from directly ahead and your right side. "Down left 45" signals looking slightly toward the left, with your chin pointed down, so that your eyes are aimed at the bottom corner of the wall. Focus changes will flow naturally as you learn choreography, but sometimes the choreographer will specify certain pictures and combos to have a certain focus.
This dance tip is from Jeffrey Caluag's class on STEEZY Studio!Try this:
Stretch your neck to the rhythm of a song, by looking to the
- right, left, right left, ↔ then switch to
- up, down, up, down
- then hit the diagonals! ⤢⤡
- then roll your neck around so your eyes are making a big circle ⤿ and switch directions ⤾
Posture has a lot to do with the style or mood of the piece.
For example, Whacking will call for your chest to be more open, and your focuses will be sharp and purposeful. In a more swaggy, laidback-feeling piece, your posture might be directed more toward the ground, with a relaxed torso and shoulders. Think of posture as huge part of your body language that communicates tone and mood.
Melvin Timtim explains how he channels Lil Wayne through his posture in this STEEZY Studio class.
Watch it in action here:Pictures
Before getting into full-body movement, let's study how your body feels when hitting certain angles. When you break down the movements of Hip Hop dance, you will see certain stops in the movement, or pictures.
Practice creating different pictures in the mirror, and pay attention to how they make you feel.
Do you feel powerful when your legs are apart and your hands are on your hips?
Do you feel weak when your hunch your shoulders and point your knees inward?
Part 3: Execution of movement
Chances are, you probably already know how to dance. When you go to a club, or listen to music on the radio, do you bob your head or sway side to side? These are grooves – which is the foundation for Hip Hop dance and Open Style choreography. Hip Hop Dance grooves were invented by people who were dancing at clubs and parties to just vibe out with each other.
Bianca Vallar explains the importance of learning your fundamental Hip Hop moves here:
Practicing grooves are KEY to not looking awkward when you dance.
(But there are more tips here: How To Not Look AWKWARD When You Dance)
There are several elements that factor into how your movement looks. These come more into play when executing choreography that's based around Hip Hop's foundations.Hitting using the RIGHT amount of energy
Hitting is the fundamental move of Popping. You can learn more about it here: What Is A Popping Hit
Even if you're not a Popper, you probably use a similar technique to "hit" certain sounds in choreography.
Flexing your muscles creates a visual that matches louder musical elements, like a bass.
When you hit, you don't want to be too soft and undersell the move, but you don't want to go TOO full out and overkill it. The goal is to become/embody music, not to compete with it!
Imagine your energy levels as following the pattern of an audio visualizer. The louder the sound, the higher the level, and the stronger your hit!"Milking" a move
This technique is most commonly used to describe movement in in-betweens of pictures – the "pathway" between A and B.Here are a few ways "milking" is used
- At the end of a move, instead of "putting a period" on it, that is, ending it definitely by stopping the movement, think of it as a "..." The "dot dot dot," connoting that you're dragging out that move, to extend its pathway past "B," what would've been the stopping point without the milking.
- Or, you can milk from one picture into a completely new picture. To practice this, set 2 poses. Every 4 counts, change your position.. but here's the challenge! Use a different pathway each time, to slowwwly get your body where it needs to be.
- Think of milking as a change in acceleration (ooh, physics terms!) Really, all moves are some sort of slowing down, speeding up, or stopping. Milking is just the term for gently stepping on your brakes. Where your car goes (the pathway) is up to you.
Learning how to manipulate your speed is going to be a huge factor in shifting dynamics and textures. To practice speed control, pretend that your arms are hitting a "wall." But instead of stopping at this wall, that wall is the checkpoint at which you change your speed. Go from fast and hard hitting, to completely "milking." This variance in speed will help switch up the mood and "textures" of a piece.Textures
Think of textures the way you think of the physical connotation of the word. Have you ever heard dancers being described as "smooth"? They probably move like honey. Visualize the way that a song feels. Is it staccato, with abrupt starts and stops? Is it flowy and silk-like, with lots of vocals? Is it gruff and interrupted, like an angry rap song? While many songs do embody a specific "texture," most have elements of several. And because a lot of songs carry with them hints of different textures, the variation in your hits, milks, and speed, are all going to contribute to how you match the music.
Part 4: Class and Training
OKAY OKAY, enough talking about how to dance hip hop – let's start practicing it already! One of the best ways to practice a skill is to... take a class!
Looking for a Hip Hop dance class in your area
If you don't have a dancer friend who can introduce you to different dance classes, it's okay! That's what the internet is for. Do a Google or Yelp search using key words like "Dance classes in ____" or "Dance studios in _____" or "Hip Hop classes in _____" or "How to dance Hip Hop in _____"
Do you live in LA? Train here: The Dance Studios In LA You Need To Be Training At
Once you have a good list of nearby dance studios, go on their websites to see what kind of class offerings they have. If they do not have a website, then call the studio and ask for their schedule. This way, you can ask more questions while you're on the phone, too. Instagram is is a great tool for finding dance studios and dance classes, too!If you keep noticing flyers or class videos (either in your personal feed, or through Instagram's "Explore" page), and click on the location link, you can see where the studio is located. Better yet, if the studio itself has an account, you can stalk their class schedules and instructors to find out more.
Finally, lurking skills from stalking your crush is coming in handy! If you like the instructors / classes offered, or the vibe of the studio, add that into your list of prospective places to take class at.
Which Hip Hop dance class should you take?
Once you've secured the place where you'll be taking your dance class, you need to decide which class to take. You want to make sure you feel comfortable diving into your first dance class, and that it will benefit you, rather than leave you feeling defeated.
A "Beginner" level dance class is probably the best to start with. Even if you're not a beginner dancer, read Why Every Dancer Should Take A Beginner Dance Class
How to prepare to take a Hip Hop dance class
Once you've decided on your dance class (where / when / which one), it's time to get ready. Choose an outfit that is loose and comfortable, but one that you still feel confident in. By no means do you have to follow the latest trends in "dancer fashion." It's about YOU and what makes YOU feel cool. Once you get to the studio, you're going to register at the front desk, pay for your "Drop-In" class, and wait for the room to be ready. There's usually back to back classes at studios, so another class will be exiting as you're waiting to enter. When you get inside, put your stuff down and wait for the choreographer.
Until then, you can just hang out, start stretching, or talk to other dancers in the class. You'll probably start to feel nervous right about now. Remember: It's all about your mindset! Take a deep breath and remind yourself that a class is called a class for a reason: you're there to learn! So instead of being intimidated by the idea of trying something new, get excited to start learning.
What to know when you take a Hip Hop dance class
The choreographer will start (most likely) by introducing themselves, and leading a quick stretch. Aside from the actual learning process (which we'll talk about in the next section), there are a few "class etiquette" notes to keep in mind:
If you're struggling with a move, it's perfectly *fine (encouraged!) for you to ask questions.*However, don't do this in excess! Try and figure out the answer yourself first (by looking closer at the move, trying it out in different ways for yourself), and if you still need clarification, ask.
When the choreographer says to "switch lines" – if you're in the front of the room, move to the back, and vice versa. This is to ensure that everyone gets a fair chance at having a good view of the choreographer throughout the class. It'd be a little selfish to hog the mirror the whole time, right?
Switching inside / out
In addition to switching lines, the choreographer might also ask the class to switch "inside out" / "outside in." And yep – it's exactly as it sounds. If you're toward the middle of the room, move closer to the walls, and vice versa.In general, it's good to move around the room while you take class, regardless of whether the choreographer is telling you to or not. It helps you to not grow dependent on your position to learn or execute.
There are a few cases where you'll have to take a seat during the class.
1. When the choreographer is demonstrating the moves they taught and you're in the front of the room. We do this so that, when the choreographer first matches the moves to the music, everyone can see what the choreography is supposed to look like.
2. If the studio is too crowded, and the choreographer needs to demonstrate the choreography for the "back half" to see. It's easy to follow the choreographer if you can actually see what they're doing, but often the people in the back of the room have blocked or limited vision. (Especially when it comes to intricate details or footwork). We have the front half of the room sit down while the choreographer can teach the back half of the room, then have the whole class join in once everyone "gets" it.
What the choreographer means...
When they say to "Watch"
This is when it's polite for the people in the front of the class to take a knee/seat. Even if you know the moves, really WATCH the choreographer demonstrate the piece. While you watch, take note of where the piece counts in, the true tempo of how fast the song goes, and how the choreographer is hitting each move. The closer you pay attention, the closer you'll know what to emulate.
When they tell you to "Mark it"
Marking means that you are doing the piece more in your head than on your body – but you should still be doing it with your body. Think of it as doing the piece, but with less energy. Be more conscious of the music, timing, and where your body placements are rather than releasing your bankai. The choreographer might use percentages to indicate how much energy you should be putting into your mark. Example: "Let's go just 50% for this first run-through!" or "Mark it around 80%"
When they tell you to "Go full out"
All right, THIS is when you go 100% with your energy. Think of it as the most you can do for everything: cleanliness, timing (that you should've perfected in your mark), but now with power!
Read this for tips: How To Dance Bigger, Stronger, And More "Full Out"
How to learn when you take a Hip Hop dance class
Take note of pictures, angles, footwork, focus, etc.
Scared that you'll fall behind? Use these tips for How To Keep Up In Dance Class
WATCH them demonstrate for the class! Take note of texture, dynamics, milking, everything from their demeanor and posture to their facials and energy levels.
Listening to the music
A huge huge huge huge huge part of being able to get a piece is knowing the music. Know what sounds you're hitting, when those sounds come in the music, the tempo, mood, and style of the song.
If you're satisfied with starting out learning just the choreography, that's fine! But if you feel comfortable with the piece, try and add a little pizzazz to it! Your freestyle, your facials, your personal swag.
After you take a Hip Hop dance class
A class experience is not limited to just learning choreography. After all the moves are taught, there will be a few things the choreographer has you do.
This is when the room is divided into sections, and that group will perform the piece as the other students watch. Groups can get intimidating! But it's also an integral part to your growth. Push yourself outside of your comfort zone and just go for it!
The choreographer may or may not call out a "select group" – a group of students that they noticed and want the rest of the class to watch. The selected dancers may have been really clean, not so clean but performed the crap out of it, had a lot of personal style, or were just fun to watch. There are so many reasons you can get chosen or not for a select group, so don't overthink it!If the choreographer calls out a "any 10 people" or "any 5 people" to be in a group, and you feel comfortable with the piece, you should volunteer to go up!
Recording class footage
Don't be surprised if someone (either the studio staff, another student, or a parent) is recording you dance.The studio sometimes does this to promote their classes, and students/parents often do this for personal keeping or to post on social media.. (let's be real) And if YOU want to record yourself, ALWAYS ask the choreographer first if that's okay. If they say no, don't. Clear it with the studio staff, too. Then ask someone to record you so you can critique (or appreciate) how you did. Or post it on Instagram. Live your life.
At the very end of the class, the choreographer will most likely perform the piece. Honestly, the best thing to do here is just watch so put your phone down, and just watch!
Saying thank you to the choreographer
Once you pick your jaw up from the dance floor, make sure to line up to thank the choreographer. They just shared their craft with you, hopefully in a way that helped you become a better dancer in some way, so it's important to show your appreciation. You can introduce yourself, say thank you, take a picture if you want. You can ask for critiques or tips, but if there is a long line of people behind you, the more polite thing to do is to keep it short and sweet. In addition, ask the choreographer for the song title and artist so you can keep practicing the piece at home!
Part 5: Setting Future Goals
So, you’ve made your first leaps into learning how to dance hip hop. Congrats! Welcome!! Yayyyyyy!!! Now, where do you go from here? Since different dancers dance for different reasons, let’s talk about 4 different goals you can set for yourself and tips to help you reach them.#1: Train in different styles of hip hop dance
How did your first class go? Was it challenging? Scary? Too easy? Just hard enough? Although your first dance class is quite a hallmark in your dance journey, but it's only one of many to come. If versatility is your goal, keep exploring different classes at different studios. Don't just take the same beginner class from the same choreographer week after week. Make a list of specific styles or choreographers you want to train under. Schedule out when and where you can take those classes, and strategize a way to get the most variety as possible. After a while, you'll be able to identify what you need extra help in. And you'll have a better sense of your own "style," based on the types of pieces you tend to enjoy most.#2: Level up! Learn advanced choreography
If your goal is to be able to keep up with advanced choreography, then set a hard date for the class you want to be able to take in a few months. Til then, seek out classes that are more and more challenging as time goes on. From beginning classes, intermediate, to more advanced. And after you take it, don't stop there! Keep challenging yourself with advanced classes – while you continue to train as a beginner. It'll push your choreo pickup and execution, while strengthening your foundation. How To Get The Most Out Of Dance Class (Video)#3: Get involved in the hip hop dance community
It's nice to have a tribe of support for something that started as a personal journey. So if you want to get to know your fellow dancers – take initiative! Introduce yourself to the familiar faces you see in class. Definitely introduce yourself to the studio staff. Be vocal in classes, and ask other dancers where they're from / where they're going. Not only that, attend dance shows, competitions, battles, and even team fundraisers. These events spur a lot of conversations, and give you a better vibe (aye) for what the culture is all about.
STEEZY Studio members connect with each other through our Facebook group – where we share videos, ask for tips, give critiques, and even arrange meet-ups!
See related articles: How To Thrive In A New Dance Community
How To Build A Network In The Dance Community#4: Audition for a hip hop dance team
Lots of us start dancing after watching a team perform. Whether it was on YouTube, or in person, these sets stirred something in us that pushed us to try it out. Consequently, a lot of dancers' goals are to perform with a team, on a stage, at a show or competition. If making it on to a team is your goal – and even if it isn't! – then auditioning is a great experience that can teach you a lot of things. It's going to call on you to pick up choreo quickly, in a crowded room, surrounded by other hungry dancers. You'll have to perform for a panel of judges, and maybe even freestyle.
The pressure might get nerve-wracking, but that's exactly why that experience is so valuable. Auditioning for a hip hop dance team will really test where you are as a dancer, in addition to being another great opportunity to train and meet people. Look into the dance teams in your area. Ask about auditions or private / mid year auditions if you missed the start of the season. Even if you don't end up joining right away, it's great for the psyche to have a clear goal to aspire to.
See related articles: How To Make Your Dream Dance Team
We hope this helped you newer dancers learn how to dance hip hop! Welcome, and we can't wait to share this journey with you!
How to become a dancer who does not interfere with anything?
Who is a dancer? A person who moves his arms and legs to the beat of music or his own internal rhythm is the simplest definition. From the point of view of art, the body is the same instrument as the cello or violin. This instrument expresses emotions, feelings and moods. Dancing is no less an art than wielding a brush. The harmonious unity of the mind, soul and body is important here.
Someone thinks that the ability to dance is an innate talent sent from above. This is not always the case, everyone can become a dancer. Anyone who loves music, who enjoys moving to it, is in fact already a dancer, in the broadest sense of the word. However, to become a truly professional dancer, you need aspiration, desire and perseverance.
As a rule, the title of a professional is given to someone who has studied several years in a dance class. Behind him are more than a dozen performances on stage, knowledge of the names of all dance movements and a pack of costumes on hangers.
When it comes to street dancing style, the academic school will not help here. A professional on the street is the one who dances the best in the area. Many people ask: how to become a street dancer? Only one way: watch and repeat. Watch how they do, what they do, what kind of music. Repeat at home in front of the mirror, over and over, until the result is satisfactory. The style of street dancing has long been on the stage, and you can learn it in studios with teachers. Of course, even when working in the studio, you cannot do without repetitions at home. You need to constantly hone your movements.
Success in the art of dancing directly depends on the goals set. Some want to dance professionally in the styles of Hip-Hop or Go-Go, others strive for a professional career in ballroom dancing, and others have long dreamed of participating in dance theater productions. People who from the very beginning wonder how to become a professional dancer often become the leading choreographers and art directors of their own dance studios.
Where to get knowledge to achieve your goals? We have already talked about the method of observation and self-study, as well as classes in dance circles. Another way to learn is to participate in master classes by visiting specialists and dance competitions. Any professional activity, including dancing, requires the intervention of experienced teachers. Dance competitions will help you get the necessary criticisms and tips to improve your technique. Naturally, one must be prepared for disappointments. But not a single remark should stop a true dancer on the way to his goal.
When a person thinks about how to become a good dancer, he thinks about how to acquire technique and finesse of movement, while forgetting about personal qualities. But they are no less important than the baggage of knowledge and experience gained. A lot is decided by the energy and charisma of the author of the issue. Does he have a talent, or does he mechanically repeat the learned movements? Is he lethargic or does his temperament make him get up from his chair and give a standing ovation? It is personal qualities that sound the very final chord that affects success.
Along the way, in the world of dance, physical abilities are improved, as well as spiritual traits of a person's character. Success in this field can boost self-confidence.
When deciding what events to go to and how to become a dancer, the main thing to remember is that you should like the dance style. The body should literally "tear to dance" with the sounds of salsa or flamenco. Dance revives energy and mood. After all, it is not without reason that there is an opinion that dance is life.
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How to Be a Good Hip Hop Dancer - Street Cultures
Love what you do. If you want to dance, love the dance. Maybe you want to dance so that the girls pay attention to you!? Or guys if you're a girl. In order to look good, you have to stop paying attention to how people see you from the outside, and focus solely on yourself. Put your whole soul into it. If you don’t have a heart for dancing, you will definitely give up after the first movement that doesn’t work out, because it will become stressful for you. But if you really have the desire, you will work hard on one movement until you master it.
Find information about famous dancers. There are many legendary dancers who inspire many dance lovers. It will be helpful to look at the history of how they learned to dance. This, of course, does not mean that you should try to repeat the movements of a professional. It's too difficult. But remember this: choose one favorite dancer, and when you dance, think about him/her and imagine that you are he/she. Let him/her become your invisible teacher!
Learn the movements. You can sign up for dance lessons or learn the movements yourself. A lot of people watch videos and try to replicate what they saw, but mostly it's hard to do. It is necessary that someone supervise the movements you have mastered and correct them if difficulties arise.
Learn the history of dance. Dancing is one way to express your feelings. He is handsome, full of artistry and sometimes just indescribable. There are many styles of dance, such as breakdancing, popping, tatting, locking and others. These styles fall under the hip hop category.
Dance with your friends. Practicing dancing alone can be boring. You can also borrow a couple of moves from other people. Find a nearby dance studio, gym, or just practice outside! Gather your friends, turn on the music and improvise! Even if you look weird from the outside, after hard work there is always something comforting, right? Ignore the passers-by, just practice with your friends. Who knows? Perhaps in the future you and your friends will become the best dance group in the world.
Don't give up! Perhaps your friends will say that dancing is not for you. Pay no attention to them. If it seems to you that you are not succeeding, stand in front of a mirror and look at yourself. Why not? Why do you think you can't dance? Never give up. Tell yourself: you will do it! You are either too shy or too lazy! Of course you can! Now I will learn these movements and show them who I really am. Correctly!
To the details... If you want to practice breakdancing, also known as "b-boy", you first need to know what kind of style it is. They will need a lot of strength and creativity to engage. You must feel it. You may feel like the moves you want to learn are too hard and you're ready to give up, but trust yourself. There are many different moves in break dancing and you can learn any of them and then transform them into your own style.
About the peculiarities of styles… If you want to do popping, which is considered the most popular b-boy style, you need natural inclinations, because with age your body becomes less flexible.