How to dance freestyle
How To Freestyle Dance | STEEZY Blog
So we've talked about how to learn and execute choreography. Freestyling is another integral part of learning how to dance.
Freestyle dancing makes you more comfortable in your own body, gives you the opportunity to explore new ideas for movement, and lets you let go and have fun expressing yourself!
This guide will teach you how to freestyle dance, step-by-step.
(But remember, the important part is that you get up and do it yourself!)
What Is Freestyle Dancing?
Freestyle dancing is improvisation. It’s when you do moves on the spot that weren't choreographed ahead of time. You probably freestyle all the time already!
You don't have to be in a battle or cypher; full-out performing while you do Karaoke or dancing with a girl at the club (ayy) are versions of freestyling!
So don't take it so seriously, especially when you're just starting to learn how to freestyle.
It's about building an algorithm in your body that understands basics of movement, and combining that with your natural groove, style, and spontaneity in the moment.
That said, the first step of freestyle dancing is to...
1. Understand the music
When you freestyle, you're not following a set of moves that was made for that specific song. So, you gotta be able to catch onto the song quickly.
First, bob your head to the rhythm/tempo of the song. Get your body to find that groove, which will set a sort of pace for your freestyle.
Then, listen to the melody – this is the layer of the song that you “sing.” (*It doesn’t necessarily have to be lyrics).
The melody helps you with the mood of your freestyle. Dancing to this layer is a great way to switch up your freestyle from hitting the 1s and 2s in the song
Notice other patterns in the music that you can emphasize.
For example, is there a bass beat every even count? A snare at the end of every 8-count?
You can take mental note of these so you can later do something to “hit” that sound.
Basically, actively listen to the music, taking in each sound and the feeling.
Brush up on musicality here: How To Train Your Musicality As A Dancer
2. Train your fundamentals
Fundamental, or foundational styles, are the bread and butter of freestyle.
These dances emerged in clubs or other social settings where dancers used freestyle to express themselves.
(This is also why our first point about music is so important. The music that’s popular in an area or period of time influences how people think, feel, and dance.)
Over time, the techniques, grooves, and combos from these styles became the building blocks for a lot of the choreography we see today.
These styles include but are not limited to: Popping, Locking, Hip Hop (Party Dancin'), Breaking, House, Waacking, Krump, and more!
Those examples are Hip Hop, Street / Funk Styles, but "fundamentals" or "foundation" can also refer to any sort of building block for movement.
Studio styles like Ballet, Jazz, Tap, Contemporary, are also great dance styles that set the blueprint for your freestyle.
If you need a place to start, then take the Beginner Program on STEEZY Studio where Carlo Darang (Choreo Cookies, Building Block) teaches the very basics of movement (a great place to start for any style).
You can also learn Popping through Boogie Frantick's Beginner Popping Program,
Or House with Jojo Diggs in her Beginner House Program.
Here are some free drills that you can do – but remember, you have to first learn the technique in the class, so that you practice the right way!
3. Groove it out
Most dance styles have a foundational groove. It's key to have that when you're drilling techniques and moves.
But let's talk about "groove" in a different sense – Hip Hop grooves! SO much of the Urban Choreography we see and do today came from these base movements.
You can learn them in Bianca’s Grooves classes on STEEZY Studio. No choreography, just straight groovin'.
4. Play with dynamics and textures
Nothing’s wrong with doing a little 2-step, but if you want your freestyle to be more dynamic, then experiment with different variations of your movement.
Dynamics refer to how you do a move, not the move itself. For example, you can do the same arm wave in an infinite amount of different ways.
Fast and strong? Or initiate from the shoulder? Milk and then hit at the end?
At STEEZY, we call these the “fast and slows, highs and lows.”
Mixing up different speeds, levels of power, placements, and other factors can transform your dancing from flat to fascinating.
Get execution ideas: What Are Textures In Dancing?
5. Play with combinations of moves
We all have our “default” moves. It’s what our body naturally wants to do to certain sounds. Do you find yourself repeating certain movements?
But you can make that move look more complex and interesting by fusing it with other movements.
For example, you got your basic two-step – Right, tap. Left, tap.
Now… Add arms! Maybe... a head tilt! Try a lean into your step! Groundbreaking.
Now your basic two-step is a whole new move! Experiment with different body parts to add more flavor to your base moves.
You never know what unique pictures or grooves you’ll come up with!
6. Use concepts to come up with moves
When you freestyle, you might keep reverting to the same "default" moves your body is used to.
If you find yourself doing this, try telling a story or depicting a concept with your freestyle. It will force you to think outside your own box.
This video explains how you can use “concept-based freestyling” to create new pictures and shapes and pathways.
7. Practice wherever, whenever!
The best part of FREEstyling... is that it’s FREE. Get it?? Eh?? Ok seriously. You don’t have to pay for a class or go anywhere fancy.
You can freestyle in your garage, your room, your car…
Get a group of your friends together and session… hiT DA CLUB and let your freak flag fly.
So do it anytime, all the time! And watch yourself grow more comfortable and creative freestyle dancing.
If you need an extra dose of confidence to get you going, then just watch this video!
In Section 8, we'll talk about how to keep your body in tip-top shape for dancing.
How To Freestyle Dance For Beginners
The following freestyle dance moves will teach you how to freestyle dance to any popular song or beat. Free style dancing is very interpretative. However, it is a good idea to learn some fundamental steps to start with before you can really personalize it and add your styling to it. The most important thing is to keep a base timing and tempo.
1st Freestyle Dance Move: Simple moves for party dancing
in this video the dancer explains how to use a very simple move to freestyle dance at any party or club.
Want more? Get the full course:
7 Day Dance Floor Crash Course – For beginners
Learn how to dance easily with moves that you can use at clubs, parties and weddings. This course is perfect for absolute beginners who want to look “natural” on the dance floor. This video course has 7 modules with +3 hours of video instruction. Delivered through instant downloads.
Learn more & Buy it here (Click here)
2nd Freestyle Dance Move: Step touch variation
Step touch is one of the most iconic and simple dance moves out there. In this video Brian shows you how to do a variation of that same step that you can use when dancing freestyle.
Want more? Get the full 7-Day Dance Floor Crash Course:
Buy it here (Click here)
3rd Freestyling dance video lesson – Robot dance:
In this freestyle video lesson you will learn how to do cool robot moves – using popping and locking technique. The key is to do simple everyday things in a “robotic” way. Impress your friends with your new moves:
Want more? Get the full Course:
The Ultimate Popping Dance Course (Beginner to Advanced)
Learn how to dance popping and locking with step by step video lessons. You will learn hits/popping, waving, robotics, gliding, vibrating, slow motion effects and more. Become the freestyler you always wanted to be and impress your friends with your dance moves. Includes 3+ hours of video lessons. You can download it instantly or stream it online here.
Learn more & Buy it here (Click here)
How to freestyle dance tips:
1. Find the beat of the song first. Once you found the beat, just start nodding your head to it or stomp your foot to it. From there you can add moves.
2. Don’t be afraid to try new movements. You got try in order to learn! Try stomping to the beat, how about a wave on some part of music where it fits, it can be anything. Just give it a go.
3. Learn many different style of dancing – The more variety of dance steps you know, the more moves you will have for your free style. Learn how to dance hip hop and study some Tap dance steps to broaden your knowledge.
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More dance lessons?
Online dance classes
Hip Hop dance videos
How to breakdance lessons
Ballroom dance steps
How to dance in parties and clubs
Ballet dance dictionary
Country dance online
How to Freestyle: 7 Steps (with Pictures)
In this article:
Most people can dance or at least improvise at school parties. But being a dancer and doing your own moves is really a skill. Follow these simple tips to learn how to improvise in dance. nine0003
Create a comfortable environment at home. Stand in front of a full length mirror. It is important that you fully see your body. Then put on your most comfortable clothes (don't worry about what people will think if they see you) and just turn on the music. Select song:
- whichever you like
- easy to dance to
- just a popular song
- nine0012 2
Believe it or not, this is the hardest part of the dance. Just move to the music and don't worry that it will look very funny, because you are still learning. Make any movements with your body, as long as they are not coordinated. Just dance.
Listen to the song you are going to dance to. Try to understand it and remember when the tempo gets faster and slower and when the song ends. Listen to the song a few more times and go ahead - dance. nine0003
Connect several movements together. You can come up with three, four or even one movement that will be just yours. You should dance them to the beat of the music and still feel natural. For beginners, clapping should be present in your movements, this will help you feel the rhythm.
Make big transitions from one movement to another during the dance, because this is a free style. nine0026 It will be cool if you make fun things with your hands above your head while doing hip movements. Use different dance levels and make your dance interesting.
Look for inspiration. Watch various dance shows or just how the pros dance. Do not copy their dance moves, but you can use them for your own ideas, which in any case should please both you and others. nine0021
Have fun! Wherever you are, if you are going to dance, go back to step 2 and remember: you must look natural and move in time with the music. Feel the music. Establish contact with the audience. Be confident that you will succeed and just move.
- Don't start with kicks or somersaults right away. First, do a few general movements, and then move on to more complex ones. nine0030
- Sometimes it's easier to freestyle with a partner.
- Don't completely copy other people's movements, but just take note of how they dance.
- Don't make yourself an opponent, it's just freestyle.
- Before doing any serious moves or breaking dancing, stretch to avoid injury.
- If you are a beginner, do not perform too extreme movements. nine0030
About this article
In other languages
How to Freestyle - Wiki How English
Most people know how to dance or at least improvise at school parties. But being a dancer and doing your own moves is really a skill. Follow these simple tips to learn how to improvise in dance.
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teaching basic movements and features of dance
Hip-hop, like any other dance direction, is better to learn in a professional school. After all, only a qualified teacher will find an individual approach to a new student and teach the necessary movements. But if this is not possible, or if you want to come to class prepared, you can try to master the direction of hip-hop at home. How to dance the first movements, now we will tell.
Like any dance, hip-hop training includes getting acquainted not only with the basic movements of the style, but also with a certain philosophy. And in this direction it is special. Hip-hop came to us in the second half of the last century from the most disadvantaged areas of New York and Los Angeles. Tired of injustice, aggression and blood, teenagers, who mostly did not have the cleanest reputation, invented their own special way to resolve conflicts - with the help of dance battles and rap parties. Hip-hop is a free dance, a challenge to society and a protest against any inequality. That is why the main thing in this style is not at all the clarity of the learned movements, but the sense of rhythm, improvisation and expression of the individuality of the performer. nine0003
Getting Started: Preparation and Basic Movements
Before learning hip-hop for beginners, you should make sure that you feel comfortable practicing. According to experienced dancers, there are three things that will help you relax and start learning:
- Appropriate environment: flat floor, spacious room, full-length mirror.
- Loose clothing and comfortable shoes. Nothing should hinder movement.
- Hip-hop rhythmic music. nine0030
A little ritual will help you tune yourself into the wave of hip-hop: stand with your legs apart, put your hands down and close your eyes. Listen carefully to the sound of the music and try to learn to hear the beat. Rock to the beat. And now you have already mastered the first movement. Congratulations! It's time to move on to more complex elements.
The basic movements of hip-hop are swing and step. You are already familiar with the first one. Now try to put your right foot to the side and stretch your right hand up. Bend your right leg, transferring your body weight to it, and lower your arm to shoulder level. Turn the body to the left, bend the left leg, and put the right leg on the toe. Now lower your right knee, arch your back and reach your hands to the floor. When you manage to complete this combination, consider yourself a good start in hip-hop. nine0003
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Here are some more basic hip-hop moves for beginners:
- Starting position - standing, feet shoulder-width apart, and arms along the body. We squeeze the brushes into a fist and alternately bring forward one hand, then the other. Then we connect the legs bent at the knee: left hand - right leg, right leg - left hand.
- Starting position - standing. We jump in place and cross our legs, and bend our arms as if we were rowing.
- Starting position - standing, feet slightly wider than shoulders. We put the right leg a little back, bend the legs at the knees, which at the same time look straight. With the right hand we cover the face, with the left, folded into a fist, we put it in the region of the heart. Then at the same time we tilt our head to the right and unclench the left hand, and after that we turn the right knee and right hand to the right. nine0030
- Starting position - standing, feet firmly pressed to the floor, knees slightly bent. We put the spread fingers of the right hand on the chest, keep the elbow parallel to the floor. We bend in an arc, as if we received a blow right in the heart. Then we make two turns in different directions, straighten our back and return to the starting position. The hand at this time falls from the heart to the waist. At the end, we throw the pelvis forward again, round the back and tighten the buttocks.
You can achieve the first results quite quickly. But when you start to study closely how to dance hip hop, you will soon notice that there are no clear movements and rules in this direction. Having mastered a few basic elements, the dancers begin to improvise, create their own combinations and dance as creative fantasy suggests. nine0003
How to continue: choosing a style
If you have mastered the first movements of hip-hop from videos and photos on the Internet, it's time to choose the direction in which you will develop further. Hip-hop culture is a wide range of dance styles that differ from each other both in elements and in general mood. The main ones are:
- Breakdance is still popular basic style of hip-hop, on which the direction originated.
- Popping - rhythmic contraction of various muscle groups to the music so that it looks like jolts on the performer's body; nine0030
- Wave - smooth and plastic movements of the body, the most famous of which is the wave with the hands;
- Afro-jazz - shaking mainly the lower and most prominent part of the body in women;
- Crump - energetic shaking of various limbs to the music so that it seems as if someone has moved into the dancer;
- New Style, also known as freestyle, is an improvisational dance that combines not only hip-hop movements, but also elements borrowed from more than a dozen other dance styles. nine0030
- La Style - hip-hop, where the emphasis is on entertainment, so this style is used mainly in videos and when staging shows.
- Ragga jazz is a dance tuned to the music: the performer's legs work under the drums, and the hands become active during the recitative.
- Locking - an energetic dance with "locks" - freezing in different positions for a few seconds or periodically slowing down the movement.
- Power move - a spectacular style that includes complex acrobatic elements, handstands, various twists, and transitions. nine0030
- C-walk is a “language” dance with a criminal past that emphasizes intense and very dynamic footwork.
Female and male hip-hop
The next step in how to learn hip-hop without leaving home is to bring a little femininity or, conversely, brutality into your existing skills - depending on your gender accessories. The thing is that female and male hip-hop are somewhat different from each other, and, therefore, representatives of the beautiful and strong half are trained in this direction in different ways. nine0003
Hip-hop dancing for beginner girls is based on plasticity, flexibility and unobtrusive sexuality. Girls wear baggy sweatpants and hoodies on a par with men, perform sweeping movements, but their execution looks different: hips, legs and shoulders are more involved, the elements are a little smoother and sexier.
Male hip-hop, on the contrary, is more daring, energetic and sometimes even aggressive. The focus is on the work of the arms and body, acrobatic elements and movements that require strength and male endurance. nine0003
If you prefer to learn this difficult direction from videos, it is better to initially choose hip hop training, where the movements will be performed by a dancer of your gender. Together with the right technique, you will be able to capture the gender characteristics of the choreographic elements.
A few more secrets
Learning to dance hip-hop at home, without classes with a professional teacher, is not easy, but real. Especially if you add training with a few more components. Here, as in learning a foreign language, only complete immersion in the culture will help. So, here are some tips from “experienced” hiphopers who have mastered a lot not under the guidance of a qualified mentor, but at home by the mirror:
- Videos with basic exercises will help you master some movements, but for additional skills, it is better to turn to online courses. Hip-hop lessons for beginners are regularly held online, often live.
- Hiphop parties and get-togethers will help you melt into this culture and make new acquaintances. Yes, of course, everyone will laugh at your first dances, but no one drags you to the center of the circle. While you're learning, watch the pros dance, adopt a style, and memorize some moves to practice at home. nine0030
- Clear training regimen. Only with regular practice can you achieve results. In addition, our body is set to a certain schedule, and if you exercise at a certain time, it will prepare for stress. As experienced dancers note, the optimal duration of even home workouts is two hours. This is enough for warming up, and for the lesson itself, and for stretching after.
- Additional physical activities. If you are in the mood not just for basic hip-hop movements, but for serious hip-hop elements with tricks, strengthening the muscles of the whole body is indispensable. You will need strong arms, strong core muscles, and no extra weight. This can be achieved by exercising in the gym or additional weight training at home. nine0030
- Compliance with safety regulations. Be sure to dance in comfortable non-slip shoes and loose clothing. Do not start training without a proper warm-up, and when practicing acrobatic elements, lay something soft on the floor.
Video tutorials will be enough to learn how to dance hip-hop. But to become a real dancer, you need to study the subculture from the inside. It is believed that a hiphoper has achieved true mastery when he is in perfect control of his body, does not “slow down” on the dance floor, knows how to improvise and select universal movements for any music.