How to dance without looking stupid
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’??!?!
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!
How to Dance At A Basic "Good Enough" Level
- Chris MacLeod, MSW
It's hard to avoid dancing entirely in social situations, especially when you're younger. Arguably, everyone should at least become passable at it. It's not as hard to pick up the basics as you may think, and it's smoother sailing once you can join some friends who want to dance and hold your own.
You don't have to reach a particularly high standard
You just need to be good enough that you can get on the dance floor, blend in with everyone else, not look like an idiot, and not feel overly uncomfortable while you're there. (Lots of people are at least somewhat awkward about dancing. That's why they have to down a few drinks and wait for the dance floor to get busy before they step out on it.)
You don't have to look like someone out of a music video. You've just got to be decent enough to get by. Being better than the minimum never hurts of course, but just knowing the basics will put you way ahead of all the non-dancers out there.
If you're straight, try not to worry too much about what the opposite sex thinks. They don't have ultra-picky standards
Straight people don't purely dance to impress the opposite sex, but it is often something they think about.
Generalization time. Women and men have different ideas of what a good dancer is. Guys often see dancing as a skill to show off. Being better than other dudes on the dance floor is important to them. Their typical image of a "good dancer" is a gymnastic break dancer doing a bunch of flips, or a guy doing a fancy, fluid Popping & Locking routine. A woman's concept of a good dancer is a closer to a passably moving guy who looks comfortable, confident, and like he's having fun.
When a woman wants to dance with you, all she really wants is that...
- You are there with her
- You are dancing with her
- You are not dancing horribly
- You are not being too forward and creepy
This totally sounds like a simplistic stereotype, but most of the time when you're dancing with a guy he's not making a detailed critique of your style. He's probably just thinking, "Yay! I'm dancing with a woman!" Or if he's watching you dance from farther away, he's likely thinking, "She seems like someone I might want to talk to. I wonder if she'd shoot me down though..." Even if he seems like the most genuinely suave, confident guy ever, he's probably still thinking like that on some level. He's probably fifty times more worried about how his dancing looks to you than the other way around. Even he's an amazing dancer and you're not, he likely isn't holding it against you.
(That was from my observations as a straight guy. I'm not gay so I won't try to write from their perspective, but I can't imagine their standards for dance partners are radically different.)
Try not to worry too much about what strangers think
Easier said than done, but don't use up too much mental energy fretting about how random bystanders are judging you. Occasionally people will snicker and point to people who are dancing because they're really just too nervous to do it themselves. Random dudes sucking on their beer aren't your audience. Also, like the point above mentioned, your average dancer is more preoccupied with how they look than anything.
If there's one thing to keep in mind it's to be toned-down and low key
Don't be a spaz and try to pull off some fancy moves unless you 100% know you'll look good doing them. It's better to reel yourself in. Over reaching and flailing around is worse than blending in and being a bit boring and unoriginal. Don't feel you have to pull off tons of new moves every second and put on a show for everyone either. It's okay to dance in a simple, repetitive way and just enjoy your friends' company.
Acquire a basic, reliable dancing 'core'
You know when you're watching a movie or TV show and there's a scene set in a dance club, how the extras in the background will often to be dancing in a kind of simple, nondescript way? That's the 'core' I'm talking about. If you know how to do that, then in a lot of situations that's actually all you need. However, if you want, you can later choose to build off your base and make your style more fancy.
To get that core stand in front of a mirror with some not-too-fast music on, or just read along and imagine you're doing the following:
- To dance you've got to move your body in time to the beat of the music. The most basic newbie mistake you can make is to move out of sync with the beat. Don't know the beat I'm referring to? Put on a song and listen for the underlying, repeating thump-thump-thump pattern. Every style of music has a different speed. It doesn't take much practice to learn how to hear it.
- Okay, you're just standing there in front of the mirror with some song playing. Now try moving your arms back and forth to the beat slightly, while keeping your legs ramrod straight. You'll notice that looks totally off. So the next most basic thing you've got to do is bounce up and down on your knees. So keep everything else still, and just move your knees up and down to the music.
- That still looks weird, since you're just going up and down like a piston. So rotate your torso a bit in time with your knee movements, a little like you're skiing. Keep your torso fairly loose and relaxed.
- That's looking better, but your arms are still stiffly hanging at your side. So try relaxing them a bit and let them swing up and down with your knee bends and torso rotations.
Once you're standing in one spot, bouncing on your knees, turning your torso a bit, and moving your arms somewhat, that's about the absolute bare minimum you can do to be considered dancing. Like I said, sometimes that's all you need. If you didn't know how to dance at all, and stopped right here, that's a lot better than nothing.
However, while still staying in the realm of dancing in a super generic 'core' way, you can do little things to spice up the bare minimum:
- Don't just limply swing your arms, get your shoulders into it.
- Take steps side to side, or back and forth.
- Mix up your arm movements.
- Nod your head.
- Do little pivots or twists on one foot, or both feet.
- Don't just slightly rotate your torso, move it back and forth, or from one side to the other.
- Pick up one foot ever so slightly, then the other, to kind of march in place. Don't overdo the movement and look like a robot, just move your feet a tad.
- Mix up the possible arm, torso, and leg variations. Find a combination that looks good and do it for a while, then switch to another one. Don't change things up to the point where you're doing something new every half a second. That looks too scattered.
At this point you're hardly going to win a dance competition, but you're at the level of those movie extras, and 75% of the people you'll see out at a bar. At this point you really could develop no further in your dancing ability and be able to get by on a dance floor for the rest of your life.
The thing with this basic core is that it's pretty adaptable to the standard kinds of music you'll come across. If you're dancing to Hip Hop, just make all your movements a little more Hip Hop-ish. If you're dancing to retro 80's Pop, just make all your moves a little more cheesy and energetic.
Add some more fancy moves and sequences onto your core if you want to
If you dance in a basic way you'll get by, but you won't stand out a ton. If you want to look a little slicker you can start adding in some canned movements, or sequences of moves. There's more of a Risk/Reward thing going on at this stage. You've got to work at it more as well. Dancing generically is safer and easier. If you try to pull off some awesome routine and bungle the execution you'll look clueless or goofy. You need to practice to make sure you look good. Some places to learn new moves are:
- By watching strangers dancing at a club and stealing ideas from them.
- By watching your friends dance.
- By watching movies or music videos.
- Through online video tutorials.
- Through dancing-oriented video games.
- By experimenting and trying to come up with some moves of your own.
- By taking an actual class.
The best way to learn is to just practice
If you get into the habit of dancing around at home in the spare moments you're listening to music it won't be long before you start to get the hang of things. After that the more time you put in, the more you'll refine your style.
Get in front of a mirror, put some good music on, and start dancing to it in the basic way I mentioned above. Remember, if your instinct is to jump around a lot or be a bit spazzy, consciously tone yourself down. Try to get comfortable with the typical, boring way of dancing first. A lot of the time on actual dance floors you won't have that much room anyway, so if you only practice moves that requires a lot of space you'll be put in an awkward spot when you end up somewhere more packed.
One way to deliberately practice is to try working on one aspect of dancing at a time, then putting the pieces together. This may not look good in the moment, but it'll let you concentrate on and isolate certain aspects of how you move. So you might keep everything else fairly still, and only try out different arm movements, or ways of moving your torso. Or you could try different ways of stepping back and forth, or moving only one leg at a time.
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Practice different dancing scenarios
Aside from figuring out how to move your body, there are different situations you'll find yourself dancing under:
Dancing on a dance floor where you have a lot of room
This is the easiest as you have all the space you need, and you can do somewhat more showy stuff if you feel like it. Sometimes the ocean of space can feel like too much to work with or make you feel exposed and self-conscious though.
Dancing on a crowded dance floor
Here your movements are really restricted. When you're practicing make sure to keep your feet rooted to the ground and don't swing your arms out too much. Try to make your movements look good anyway.
Dancing close and face to face with someone else
The issue here is knocking knees and not being able to extend your arms too far in front of you. Try dancing really close to a wall to get an idea of what it's like. Or you can try dancing really close to a full length mirror. It's totally goofy looking, but it's still a good way to get used to the feeling of being near someone.
Dancing with a partner
Here I'm referring to partner dancing in an informal, improvised way, not doing a specific dance like the Tango. Of course this is something that you can't practice on your own super effectively. Still, you could put your hands out in front of you like you're holding someone's waist or shoulders and practice moving within that restriction. I don't blame you if you don't want to do this. It's definitely a bit silly. Still, if the idea of dancing with someone makes you uncomfortable, practicing like this can take the edge off.
More practical advice would be to take a salsa, swing, or ballroom dancing class, asking your friends to teach you to dance, or practicing with your partner, if you're seeing someone. If it doesn't make you anxious, you could even try going to a club and trying to dance with someone you meet there.
Non-verbal communication is important as well
Body language plays a role in dancing too. It would look strange if someone was dancing to a 70's funk song with the mannerisms and facial expressions of someone listening to 90's Gangsta Rap. You don't want to be too exaggerated or hammy with your body language, but it is something to subtly bring into the equation. The other basic thing about body language is that sometimes the difference between someone who looks good and so-so on the dance floor is their non-verbals. If someone looks uncomfortable and bored, they may come across as dancing poorly. The same movements with some energy and confidence can look fine.
Dancing is a physical activity
Simple tip here. The better shape you're in, the easier dancing will be. You'll be able to do more, have more energy, and keep at it for longer. Basic things like aerobic fitness, flexibility, and some endurance in your legs and torso help.
Dancing to an unfamiliar style
For the poppy dance music you most typically hear in bars and clubs you can usually get away with dancing in the generic style I outlined earlier. Though if you've ever been to a club that caters to a different scene you'll know other genres of music have their own types of dancing.
If you're in one of these places, it's not the end of the world if you go ahead and dance the usual generic way, and just try to make your movements conform somewhat to that subculture's style. You won't fit in perfectly, but no one is going to run you out of the joint. However, if you're interested in dancing to that type of music more in the future, it's obvious that you'd want to try to learn its more specialized moves.
A semi-warning about dance classes
Without a doubt you'll learn a lot if you a take a class, but sometimes people get a shock when they then go to a club and have to dance spontaneously. They can't just start swing dancing or bust out a 14-step choreographed Hip Hop routine. There are people who have taken years of dance classes, but they're inhibited when it comes to dancing at clubs. They feel lost, put on the spot, and like they're expected to perform.
Dancing badly on purpose
I think there's a good time and a bad time to dance in a poor or silly way as a joke. The bad time to do it is when you're not comfortable or experienced with dancing, and you dance like goofball to avoid having to do it for real. People tend to see through this, and any humor that comes out of it only has a shelf life of a minute or so.
The good time to do it is when you're with some friends, you all know how to dance properly, and you just throw in the occasional campy movement or routine as a way to joke around and have more fun. It comes off well in this situation because everyone realizes you're doing it because you choose to, not because you're trying to hide how ill at ease you feel.
Drinking to loosen yourself up
Lots of people need to get some alcohol in them before they feel confident enough to hit the dance floor. In a perfect world everyone would feel comfortable dancing stone cold sober, but realistically some of us need a little extra help. Within reason I think this is fine.
When alcohol tends to be helpful is when someone knows how to dance half-decently, but are just a smidgen reserved - most people basically. When drinking tends to backfire is when someone doesn't really know how to dance, and never tries unless they're totally hammered. The results can be pretty sloppy. Things can also get embarrassing if someone is just learning how to dance and is inclined to be spazzy. The alcohol tends to bring those tendencies to the surface.
This is a trite thing to say, but despite everything you've just read, you should just enjoy yourself and not over analyze things. Have fun and don't worry about what other people think of you. Blah Blah Blah. The end.
How not to look stupid on the dance floor?
How not to look stupid on the dance floor?
1. The dance floor is a “stage” with special rules. The main rule is "Do not disturb others" : do not push, do not whip everyone with your hands, do not stomp with your heels, do not stick cigarettes, do not pour drinks, do not be pushy. To make it pleasant to be around you and look safe for others, you should adapt the dance to the conditions of a limited space. Amplitude swings, kicks, elbows, jumps, splits and randats are not suitable for the dance floor. You must be able to move compactly and in a variety of ways.
2. The only dance suitable for the dance floor is improvisation where you move spontaneously in real time. Movements arise as a consequence of the reaction to the sound, and not the repetition of memorized "expressions". Have you ever interacted with a robot at a technology expo? Remember your emotions when you ask him a question and wait for an involved reaction, and he monotonously answers you with a formulaic answer, often unrelated to the question. People dancing bundles evoke similar emotions.
3. Dancing on the dance floor is a form of communication, not a performance . The movements create the background, but are not the goal. "Dance for relaxation" means that you dance while relaxing, chatting with friends. When you dance a bunch, you completely deprive yourself of the opportunity not only to communicate with friends, but also to perceive others, enjoy the party, listen to music. All attention is directed to remembering and reproducing the sequence of movements. Movements must be performed automatically at the level of motor memory in order to engage in improvisation, creativity and communicate freely.
4. In order to win people over properly, you need to move in a relaxed and natural way, for this movement should be simple and comfortable. Movements should convey the mood of the music, they reveal your state and perception of the sound. From the point of view of style, the movements should correspond to the music that sounds, so a bunch invented for music of a different style will not look harmonious.
5. Move according to your style . No matter how beautifully the choreographer dances, but if you have different types and you don’t feel the same as him, his movements will look sticky on you. It is important that the movements you are taught be flexible in style, i.e. so that they can be given different properties and manner. Only under these conditions will your knowledge be applied in practice and merge with your personal style and charisma. All movements in our program are freely adaptable to any style of music and suit people of different types and builds. They can be danced both at a disco in a stiletto skirt, and at a social reception in an evening dress.
6. Move in a balanced way whole body, including all muscle groups; this will allow you to dance for a long time and not get tired, due to the fact that the load will be evenly distributed throughout the body. This will allow you not to overwork, not sweat like a horse and stretch the pleasure of dancing for the whole party.
7. You need to be able to move in a wide range of moods : from light unobtrusive dance to active and incendiary at peak moments. To do this, you need to be able to do the same movements, do it differently in terms of presentation, style and activity.
8. Your dance should reveal your strengths, not your weaknesses . Dance is a weapon, but it should not be directed against you. If your muscles are atrophied, then your every movement will scream about it. With good physical shape, even the simplest movements will delight with their beauty. The main objective of our program is to restore atrophied muscles, and teach you how to do simple things, but beautifully.
9. You must have a good rhythm, basic movement and coordination . Without these skills, dancing will not work. Plastic is loyal: it cannot be done wrong, you can always refer to your taste. With rhythm, everything is much tougher: if you do not get into the rhythm, it is immediately noticeable, and smearing past the rhythm is not forgivable.
10. Now the most important thing: in order to dance well, it is enough to master only a few movements of high quality . No one will count how many movements you know, but everyone will see whether these movements are beautiful or not. What matters is not what you dance, but how you do it! The overall impression of the dance will be determined not by the quantity, but by the quality of the movements. The good news is that it only takes a few sessions to master a few movements.
How not to look stupid on a first date
Remember that awkward moment in Pretty Woman when Julia Roberts' character was served escargot and, while trying to butcher it, hit the waiter with a sink? Yes, Edward Lewis (Richard Gere) then got nervous, catching the surprised looks of business partners.
Modern etiquette is changing, turning some rules into archaisms, but still, you should not relax. On a first date, it's definitely appropriate to be a real lady.
1. Try not to use sexual provocation in your image. Yes, yes, if it's banal, then there must be a mystery in a woman. Of course, in a dress that is too revealing, you will interest him, but this may alert you: many men do not like it when they are shown excessive accessibility. One of my acquaintances somehow almost ran away from a date because of prying eyes at the overly revealing neckline of his companion.
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2. It all starts with eye contact. You should not stare long and hard, as this will give the impression that you want to find out something. Staring eyes are a sign of arrogance and bad manners. If the man caught your careless look, smile slightly. Naturally, when you are sitting opposite each other in a restaurant, while talking, you need to look the person in the eye.
3. Do not touch it. Yes, literally. Closing the distance and touching should be appropriate for the appropriate level of relationship. According to etiquette, you can not touch the partner's face and hair: this can only cause irritation. And in general, let the first take the initiative of touching.
But if a man invites, then you cannot refuse him. Keep in mind that other gentlemen may also notice this and, for fear of being rejected, will not dare to approach you. If you still refused one man, then this evening you can’t dance with anyone. By the way, once it-girl of the old days, Marie de Lampshade refused the Duke of La Rochefoucauld and went to dance with Cardinal Mazarin - for such a violation of etiquette, no one ever invited her to dance again.
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5 Sometimes chewing is better than talking. It is especially not worth talking about your personal failures and broadcasting about the dramas of the past with masochistic manners. A simple rule works great: would you like to hear a similar story from others? One gets the impression that there is nothing to boast of, except for their misfortunes. And in general, do not get carried away talking about yourself, be brief and omit the details. It is known that one should not start talking about religion and politics with men. And one more thing: do not talk about your plans to have a family, children and a kitchen with a large island. It seemed obvious to me until one friend gave out: “But he will think that I am family, and not some girl from the club!”
6. The easier it is with you, the better. Do not try to complain about feeling unwell and having a headache. And if you're invited to a restaurant, don't comment on the bad food, poor service, or how terrible the waiters are. In general, do not make yourself a fifa. If they brought you a bottle of water, uncorked it, but didn’t pour it into a glass, you shouldn’t shout in front of a man you barely know: “Waiter, you forgot to pour me water. ” In the end, your companion should do it, and you also have hands.
7. Even if the person deserves to be reprimanded, don't do it. Yes, his “kisya, bring us another bottle” sounds terrible, but you must admit: dissimilarity with you is not a flaw in your companion. Decide after the meeting whether you will have another one. In the meantime, remember that only a fool can be invincible in a dispute.
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8. If a man invited you to dinner, he has the right to order without consulting you. According to the rules of etiquette, the guest unconditionally and gratefully accepts the treats chosen by the host. It is unlikely that you will meet this now, but the possibility exists. The man should be the first to place an order, and you, as a guest, order yourself approximately the same quantity and the same cost. However, if you immediately did not like the companion, you can order a dozen oysters and lobster soup in return for his arugula salad.
9. It turns out that the mouth is blotted with a napkin every time before taking a sip from the glass – there should be no traces of fat and lipstick on the dishes. Of course, you also don’t need to blow your nose in a napkin (we are still not in Germany). A paper napkin, after you have eaten, is thrown into a plate, and a linen one is placed next to it. Well, you probably already know that raising a napkin or cutlery from the floor is bad manners. And in general, to help the waiter is to humiliate yourself and interfere with him at the same time.
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10. Toasts are made only with champagne . Even if you do not like him, just sip the drink after the spoken words. And by the way, they only clink glasses of wine and champagne. We can say that clinking glasses of vodka is now the same bad manners as asking for a lemon with cognac.