How to be more loose when dancing

How To Not Look AWKWARD When You Dance

Do you feel awkward when you dance??

It’s pretty normal to feel insecure about your dancing.

I mean, it’s your body. Your literal SELF that's being put out there!If you’re that person at the club swaying awkwardly or hanging out by the wall at a school dance…

We’re here to help make you feel more comfortable in your body.

Ready to stop being a wallflower?? Wanna get movin’ and groovin’??!?!

Let’s go!

1. Own your style

If you feel awkward when you dance, then you will look awkward when you dance. And if you keep telling yourself you're awkward, then you will stay awkward.

The first step to overcoming awkwardness is to stop that self-deprecating narrative.

You don’t have two left feet.

You do have rhythm.

You can be a good dancer.

Re-defining your view of yourself is the only way you allow yourself to grow.

And if you're truly convinced that you can't follow a beat or stop tripping over yourself... just take some time to practice those basic foundations!

STEEZY's online "Intro to Dance" program walks you through all of the fundamentals step-by-step, so it's the perfect place to start.

Click here to start the program for free!

2. Find your body’s natural groove

No two people in the world have the exact same bodies, music tastes, dance training, or life experiences. This means that no two people really dance the same.

Everyone dances like themselves. You, included! So find that groove that feels right to you.

When you take class, modify the choreography to fit your body. And when you freestyle, just start with a basic two-step.

That simple left-right, right-left skeleton leaves SO much room for you to build off of.

Feel the way your body reacts to the music...

Let yourself groove out...

3. And COMMIT to it

A lot of the time, dancers will look awkward because they PLAY THEMSELVES!!

That slight hesitation, that SMIDGEN of under-delivery, that look of “oh sh*t” on their faces…


Knowing and committing to yourself is the only way you won’t look awkward when you dance.

4. Loosen up!

Really, an instant fix. Most people look awkward when they dance because they are stiff. And they’re stiff because they aren’t moving.

Don’t lock your knees.

Free your neck to let your head bob.

Shake out your arms.

Relax your core.

You can even do some stretching or pilates to help your muscles get used to that relaxed, loose state!

This pilates class on STEEZY is perfect as it's literally designed to loosen the muscles you use when you dance.

So get LOOSE. No excuses.

5. LISTEN to the music

Maybe you look awkward when you dance because your body isn’t matching the tempo of the music.

Simply aligning the rhythm of your movements to the beat will make your dancing look a lot more put together.

Or, your vibe isn't matching the vibe of the song, making your dancing look off.

Follow Melvin Timtim's advice on this:

6. Have fun

I’ve never watched someone genuinely love what they’re doing and judged them.

Pure fun never looks or feels awkward.

So stop overthinking! Put on a soundtrack to a musical you love and lip sync it all the way through. Blast some dirty rap music in your car and go awff.

Play some sexy bedroom music and serenade your lover. At the end of the day, dance is something that lets you play.

You can be anyone you want, do anything you want, and escape from whatever stresses are plaguing your mind.

Dance is an escape, not another stressor.

So have fun with it :) and looking dope will happen on its own. Being a good dancer or a bad dancer, a dope one or an awkward one...

It depends on what you practice – both mentally and physically. Use these tips to make dancing look and feel like second nature.

You’ll be tearin’ it up on the dance floor in no time.

What are some things that helped you overcome looking awkward when you dance? Comment below and leave a tip!

Classes on STEEZY Studio help you loosen up to move more comfortably.

Take our beginner program to learn the essential grooves to start with!

Is Your Dancing Too Tense? 3 Ways To Loosen Up

When a dancer’s body has excess tension, their movement can lose its luster and flow. “What we see when we watch a spectacular performer is the precise application of effort,” says Peggy Gould, an associate professor at Sarah Lawrence College who teaches dance conditioning and kinesiology. “Not too much, not too little, but just the right amount.”

Yet even a dancer in top condition with strong technique can’t disguise the tension that builds up from overworking and imbalances. The solution does not lie simply in trying to “relax,” but in getting a better idea of where where the tension comes from.

Why We Need Some Tension

Tension refers to the action of muscles contracting. Dancing would be impossible without a certain amount of it. “We would be a puddle on the floor,” says Tom Welch, a professor of dance kinesiology at Florida State University. Gould defines it further. “Tension is muscle work that does not produce motion, but rather helps to maintain a stable or static situation. There is no change in muscle length, no change in relationship between the bones the muscle attaches to, no joint motion, no movement.

Excess tension, which can make you look stiff, derives from the relationship between muscles and bones. “When we don’t make good use of our bony support structures, it’s often our muscles that wind up playing key roles in holding us up against gravity,” Gould says. “Treating a muscle like a bone generally leads to that muscle behaving more like bone, becoming stiffer and more resistant.”

Here’s the good news: There are numerous ways to relieve excess tension.

Work you do outside of technique class can help balance your body and build strength to help you dance with less tension. Photo via Unsplash

Start by Building Strong, Long Muscles

For Welch, the way you prepare your body for the job of dance can help release excess tension. “Muscles have to be strong and long,” he says. He teaches a special Pilates class devoted to reducing tension. “It’s a two-stage process involving activation and strengthening, then releasing and stretching,” he says.

Rub and Roll It Out

Jennifer Williams, of Chaddick Dance Company in Austin, Texas, has struggled with excess tension all her dancing life due to structural imbalances from scoliosis. “I’m a firm believer in rolling out muscles, whether it’s a tennis ball or a foam roller,” says Williams. These provide feedback to the neuromuscular system—a dancer can sense her body against it, and become more aware of where she is holding extra tension. Massage can also play a vital role in releasing tightness. “I see a massage therapist every other week,” Williams says. Heat and proper stretching can also help muscles relax.

Understand The Root of the Problem

Somatics training can help dancers get to the bottom of the tension cycle. “We must understand the origins of a tension pattern in order to let go of it,” says Gould. “I encourage students to think of this work as refinement in order to advance their technical capabilities.

Many somatic systems aim at freer movement. Methods like Feldenkrais, Alexander Technique and Ideokinesis allow students to slow down, make small changes and dis­cover the differences in their posture without from the demands of dancing. Feldenkrais focuses on skeletal balance; Alexander, on the position of the skull; Ideokinesis enlists visualization and imagery to foster physical change.

The ease, length, balance and efficiency that these systems help dancers develop all lead to a reduction of unnecessary tension. Welch finds a multifaceted approach works best, one where a dancer can spend time exploring tension in a separate class. Then it can be useful to have the concepts reinforced in dance class through the verbal cues explored in somatic classes.

Vladimir choreographer Alyona Pona about techniques of liberation through dance

These days break into the life of every girl, girl, woman from time to time. They are not connected with the numbers of the calendar and lunar cycles, the attitude is to blame. You wake up in the morning and suddenly you understand: this day was created for you to illuminate it with your light. Every woman wants to be a princess, even if by nature she is more like a dragon or a mouse-louse, nondescript and modest. These seemingly non-feminine characters envy fairy-tale beauties, their inner strength and, of course, fairy-tale charms. What for? A drop of magic elixir, or rather, efforts, will destroy the evil spell, the choreographer Alyona Pona is sure. For several years, the girl has been teaching the residents of Vladimir to liberate themselves in her dance studio.

“Why would a girl be liberated? To feel confident, free, light, airy. Release the inner clamps. The liberated young lady catches admiring glances of men. Isn't it wonderful? I judge from personal experience, people say: “Alena, you are so cool and self-confident! You walk as if fluttering!“. Even girls give compliments, and this is a special thrill.

Alena calls emancipation an acquired skill only in part, because nature has awarded every woman with special charm, beauty and grace. The choreographer turns to history and recalls the Egyptian and Greek pantheon - beautiful goddesses on whom people prayed and to whom they made sacrifices.

“But we live in a cruel time: since the days of the Soviet Union, female sexuality has been considered bad manners. This is passed down from generation to generation. “You shouldn’t behave like that, otherwise they will take you for a woman of easy virtue!” Therefore, now emancipation is an acquired skill, while not requiring reading textbooks. Everything is based on practice.

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There are many ways, Alena says, all of them are not only interesting, but also simple. The first stage of transformation is based on the physics of the body. Sensual dance directions, such as high heels, strip plastic, exotic pole dance, can liberate a girl. There is passion in every movement.

“Feminine dancing contributes to the manifestation of our nature and sexuality. However, there are other directions that can add masculinity, for example, hip-hop.

In fact, physical liberation is connected with moral and, first of all, we think with our heads. We analyze whether we want to change, and then we resort to practice. But, no matter how strange it may sound, for physical liberation, you need to “turn off” the brain.

This is not about mindless disconnection from reality, but about specific practices. First, it is important to identify the internal clamps and work on them purposefully. Secondly, engage in self-discipline and exercise.

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“A woman can do this at any time and in any place. For example, let's talk about a beautiful, sexy hip walk. Try practicing it in the office in front of your boss and you'll likely get promoted right away. Walk down the street with your chin proudly raised - men and even women will turn around at you! Some will admire, while others will envy the unshakable self-confidence.

In the classroom, Alena teaches girls to feel their body and spiritual needs, to understand and accept themselves. Some exercises, the choreographer says, blow up the mind - it will not work to talk about them, understanding of what is happening comes only in the process. “We need bodies, we need people,” sounds intriguing.

“At the courses, the girls gave out such things that I could not hold back my tears. They danced their experiences; let go of negative emotions by dancing. But there is also a positive! We can feel like playful girls and also dance, which makes us stronger. More liberated."

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The speed of the appearance of the first results depends on the efforts of the student, Alena shares her observations. If a girl, girl or woman is ready, then from the first lesson she will feel an inner breakdown. Work on oneself, the choreographer teaches the wards, is never easy.

“It can be intimidating, like any new undertaking. You need to ask yourself the question: “First of all, am I interested or scared?”. Naturally, the girls choose the first answer, and we begin to practice. There have never been any failures. For several years I taught emancipation courses, every month I gained a flow, and, you know, each case was unique. Some come with the idea that nothing will work out because there is no motivation. But when there is an incentive, a person works both in training and at home.

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Face-to-face classes are not enough, and you need to do your homework, there is no way without it. The dancer cites as an example the master classes of top choreographers, which, despite the experience, may not even be given to her the first time. To take yourself to the next level, you need to be interested and move at your own pace, putting aside fears. Difficulties make us stronger. How can one become an independent lady without them? Previously, Alena was also an "insecure mouse", like many of her wards, but she was able to overcome herself.

“I took it upon myself and started working. It was very difficult - this is work on your body, self-awareness, as well as the outside world. You have to do everything and everywhere. When I felt like a mouse, I decided to start with dancing and my body. The first parameter also concerns body, hair, and skin care. For example, I don't do manicures. It's natural and I feel free.

Then I began to work on my appearance, the stylists helped me understand how I want to look. It also gives you confidence! You can sit in a simple sweater, but it is perfect in style and color - you are high, you are liberated. The third stage concerns relations with society. At first we think: “How will they look at us? What will they say?“ But if you recycle yourself and your body, it becomes spitting. We are already beautiful, light and free girls who shine. I used to doubt myself, but as soon as I got down to business, the situation changed. Everything is fine!"

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about the benefits and complexity of dancing —

April 19, 2021, 05:33

Photo: Anastasia Torbina/Bel.Ru

Everyone knows the saying that movement is life. And this means that dancing can be safely called life.



Personal experience

I have been dancing since the second grade. Mom always wanted me to have perfect posture and a sense of rhythm. The first one didn't work, but the second one does. Thanks to dancing, I became not only more sensitive, but also open, free, liberated.

I have six years of variety dancing and three years of ballroom dancing behind me. And not the kind that everyone thinks of when they hear the words "ballroom dancing". I did not learn cha-cha-cha, tango and others, I danced polonaise, waltz, various polkas and other types of dances that used to be danced at balls. So I danced at real cadet balls. All the girls had fluffy white dresses, high hairstyles, gloves. The guys were in uniforms.

Yes, it was a wonderful and magical time. Then I graduated from school, my young man graduated from the Shakhty Cossack Cadet Corps and that's it, the balls came to an end.

Photo: Anastasia Torbina/Bel.Ru

For several years I missed dancing. I wanted movement, energy, drive, but something always prevented me from going to some circle. It seemed that I was already too old to do something like that . .. This went on until December last year, when my friend dragged me into a dance studio. There was a group that included girls of different ages. After the first session, I was overwhelmed with energy and positivity. I wanted more and more, although the physical preparation left much to be desired.

Since then I have been attending classes twice a week. Dancing helps to leave all the fuss outside the hall, discard all negativity and give yourself completely to your favorite business. When someone asks me what is the most difficult thing in dancing, I always remember the classics. My teacher, Olga Vasilievna Stroiteleva, strictly watched how we pulled our socks and held our backs. And I had no choice: I had to do everything, although I always wanted to do something more energetic, and not try to stretch my leg harder.

Folk dancing is not easy either. The difficult element has always been the overtas. This is a movement where the dancer needs to keep balance, spin around his axis, while doing a wide leg swing at the same time. After such training, I didn’t feel like eating for a long time, because everything around was floating and spinning.

In the fourth year of study, we had an open lesson, which was attended by all parents. And one of the elements of the exam was this hated obertas. And how proud I was of myself when I was able to do it and not fall.

Expert opinion

I asked my coaches and professional athletes how they came to dance, what is the most difficult thing for them and what to do if you are a "log" and want to dance.

Elizaveta Grigorieva

Photo: Anastasia Torbina/Bel.Ru

Elizaveta Grigorieva, was engaged in ballroom dancing, Shakhty

I got into dancing thanks to my parents. They put me in this industry because I was too energetic a child. Fortunately for them, I was so tired after training that I was calm at home and went to bed on time. But, despite her age (5 years), she chose the type of sports activity herself, since from the age of three she attended ballroom dancing competitions in the city of Shakhty with her family and they could not take me home from there.

I always told my parents that I also want to be like those people on the floor. And in general, there were dancers in our family, as well as many acquaintances who danced, so we already had experience in this business and family love for this sport.

Dances are all different in rhythm, body movement, emotions, body positioning and so on, so I will say this: the most difficult dance is the one that is danced last in the round at competitions, that is, it is either a fast foxtrot or a jive. But in any case, all dances are beautiful and easy for those who have love for them in their hearts.

If you are a log, what should you do? The answer is simple - dance. With my own eyes I saw how a wonderful dancer was made from a "log" and the ear was "set". I myself danced the Latin American program quite woodenly until I was trained in training, so the point is the desire of the dancer, and a competent and good coach will correct all the shortcomings.

Oleg Bogucharsky

Photo: Anastasia Torbina/Bel. Ru

Oleg Bogucharsky, professional dancer, Krasnodar

My parents were dance teachers. My grandmother also taught. And it so happened that I also started dancing from an early age. That being said, it's family. Now I am very glad that it goes from generation to generation. I can't imagine what I would do without dancing.

It is difficult to judge which dance or movement is difficult. For everyone everything is individual. There are two factors involved: physical and psychological. For me, if you take the first factor, it is more difficult to dance folk dances. There must be good preparation, you must be strong. And if the psychological one is a classic, it is necessary to fully feel your hero in it, to give all of yourself to history.

I think hard training is important in not being a log. Everything always comes with time. Man is a creature that can learn and get used to everything, there would be a desire. If you want to become plastic and graceful, then discard all uncertainty and go to a dance class.

Karina Aksenenko

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Karina Aksenenko, 7 years old coach, Shakhty

It seems that she came to dance by accident, but if you think about it, she always danced. A friend brought me to the dance studio. As a result, she left a month later, and I still dance. As I say: "If you fell in love with dancing once, it's forever."

When you first start, all styles are difficult. But for me, styles that use acrobatics, elements of stretching, flexing, that is, elements that sometimes go beyond dance, are especially difficult. For example, breakdance, vogue.

I always say that absolutely everyone can dance, it's just that different people need different amounts of time and effort for this. Between do/not do, try/not try, I always choose the answer without the “not” particle. If you want something, be sure to dare, life is one. Dancing is a very whimsical hobby/profession that requires a lot of effort and time.

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