How to be a really 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
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Styles of Latin Dances
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 break dancing, also known as "b-boy", you first need to know what kind of style it is. They will require 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. Thus, you will have to start training from a young age, or if you have the inclinations of nature. If you don't have the makings and you didn't hear about popping as a kid, then you'll have to put in a lot of effort, because popping is literally "shuddering to the music. " It can both attract attention and scare away.
Keep training. Practice every day. This does not necessarily mean a hard workout. Let's say you're practicing handstand while you're waiting for your lunch, you can practice a little. There is a minute of free time - train. Anywhere in your home. When you go somewhere, make a couple of movements, keep repeating them, because the more you practice the movements, the more naturally they come out.
Speak up. Audition! Good work on the dance. Forget everything you've learned before. You can perform on your own or with friends. Do all the learned movements to the music and the dance is ready! Listen to the reaction of the public, their advice and do better next time! Dancing on stage will inspire you even more. Be proud of your work, but don't stop, keep improving until you reach your goal!
How to become a good dancer | Take and Do
Dancing to your favorite song can be a lot of fun when you go to a club with your friends. However, you may become uncomfortable if you do not feel confident in your actions. If you recognize yourself, don't despair. There are a few simple tricks that will help you get a better feel for the rhythm. "Take and Do" will help you learn how to dance well and always be in the spotlight.
1. Take dance lessons
You may think you don't need lessons to dance well. But if you study with a teacher or watch online videos, you can reach your goal faster. When you are in a group or taking private lessons, it is important that you try learning from different people until you find what works for you. 💡 When you take lessons in one particular direction, do not stop there, practice other styles at home. For example, if you choose salsa lessons, you can also learn some ballet moves. So you can become more flexible and increase endurance.
2. Learn to feel the rhythm
Try to pay attention to the repetitive rhythms in the song. For example, every time you listen to music on the bus, try bobbing your head to the beat. This practice and being comfortable with the way your body moves to the music will help you look your best when you dance. If your body is too tense at the same time, follow these recommendations.
- Try not to keep your hands close to your body, rather lift them up.
- Relax your shoulders and move freely.
- Bend your knees. When you dance, your legs should not be straight.
3. Get into character
Dancing is a kind of performing art. So when you dance, try to imagine that you are a movie character or a famous dancer, even if it seems unnatural to you. Remember that it's perfectly normal to feel like a different person on the dance floor, especially if it gives you confidence.
4. Create your own choreography
This way you can learn to improvise, come up with new moves and feel music in a new way. To do this, follow these steps:
- Select a song and carefully listen to it several times. In the process, try to visualize the movements that you think fit the song.
- Draw inspiration from things around you (books, films, conversations with others, etc.). You can also watch videos of your favorite dancers to get some ideas from their performances. All of these can help you come up with something unique.
- Play your chosen song and let your body move to the beat. Pay attention to how your body reacts to music. Then try to incorporate new movement variations into your choreography or combine them with others.
4. Connect the movements together. Start with the easiest parts or the ones you like the most, even if they don't go together. You can add links between them later. 5. Fine-tune your movements by practicing and perfecting that particular picture you have in your head. 6. Edit what you've created: try adding new moves, removing parts you don't like, etc. Make as many changes as you like until you feel like the choreography is finally done.