How to find your dance style
How To Find Your Unique Dance Style
Some dancers just have it -- a unique style that's all their own. If you are wondering how you can go about finding your style, here are some tips to help you.
Master the fundamentals.
You can't develop your own style if you don't have the fundamentals down first. That means mastering the technical skills you need for whatever genre of dance you're pursuing. Without a solid foundation, you're not going to be able to execute movements in a way that's authentic and compelling -- both of which are a must if you want to develop your own style.
Think about your favorite music.
Sure, you want to develop your own dance style. But you're not going to get very far without the right music. In fact, the music that you tend to gravitate towards can serve as a source of inspiration when you're struggling to find your style. For instance, would you rather be in a ballet costume dancing to classical music? Or in hip hop dance apparel, moving to the beat of an edgier soundtrack? There's no right or wrong answer here. It all depends on what you like most and what resonates best with you.
Free your mind.
If there's another dancer you really admire, it's easy to copy or mimic them when you're dancing. But you're not going to develop your own style with this approach. It's ok for beginner dancers. However, for those who want to move on and develop more, you have to forget about all the moves and routines you've seen in the past. Think instead just about the music and how your body responds to it. So go ahead and dance from your heart with emotion. You might be surprised at what comes out of you.
Expose yourself to many different styles.
If you're working to develop your own style, then expose yourself to as many different dance genres and instructors as possible, including varying methods and ideas. Even if you're focused on one particular category of dance, you never know where inspiration might come. In the end, you'll have a much more diverse and comprehensive dance background from which to pull from when you're working on your own style.
In addition, by working with different instructors, you can gain a more realistic and accurate sense of your strengths and weaknesses, which can help you during the development process. Beyond dance class, you can also gain inspiration for your style from a variety of different sources, from books and movies to nature, fashion and art.
Practice alone...a lot.
It's tough to work on your style when you're in the studio with 10 other dancers. It's distracting and hard to focus on creating something unique and all your own. That's why you should practice by yourself as much as possible outside of dance class. Whether you're at home, taking a walk in the park, or in the studio by yourself, put on your dance apparel and strive to get in some practice time by yourself each week. You'll be less self-conscious and better able to concentrate more as you work.
Just be sure to take notes as you go so you don't forget different moves or steps you come up with. You should also consider video-ing yourself dancing so you can critique yourself afterward. When you're watching the footage, don't be too hard on yourself. Instead, look for moments that look uniquely like you and steps you'd like to repeat. Also, identify what you like and don't like, and then use that as insight for your next practice session.
You're passionate about dance and desperately want to develop your own style. But give it time. These things don't happen overnight, or over the course of a few weeks. A personal style is created over a lot of time, with plenty of practice and hard work. Keep in mind too that it's also something that evolves constantly. So be open to change during the development process. You might have one idea for a direction to go in, but eventually realize that you want to take a completely different course. Change is ok; so embrace it. It's all part of the journey.
Don't compare yourself.
Dancers tend to be guilty of comparing themselves to others -- their bodies, their steps, their progress and more. But this is a pointless exercise. It's one thing to admire another dancer's ability and use it as a tool for motivation. However, if you're constantly looking at and measuring yourself against other dancers -- and the unique personal styles they've developed -- it's eventually going to lead to feelings of bitterness and resentment; either toward them or yourself. So don't go down that path at all. Just because another dancer has a personal style down pat doesn't mean you need to do the same in a matter of weeks. Focus on yourself and doing what's right for you.
Confidence is key.
When it comes to two dancers performing, whether in the studio or on the stage, a big differentiator that can make one stand out over another is confidence. If you believe in yourself -- and feel good about the dance style you're developing -- then let it shine through. Your fellow dancers and instructors will certainly take notice.
Wear dance apparel that makes you feel good.
Once you're ready to start putting your personal style out there and showcasing it to fellow dancers and instructors, make sure you're in comfortable dance apparel. The last thing you want is for your leotard to be too tight or ill-fitting, or your dance shoes to be uncomfortable -- impacting your overall performance. You're going to be nervous anyway about opening yourself up to others in such a personal way; so just make sure you're comfortable in your clothes when you do it.
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What’s Your Dance Style? | Globe Dancer
Salsa, Hip-Hop, Bellydance or Bollywood?
There are so many dance styles, take this quiz to find yours!
When it comes to movement and physicality, your strength is in your:
A: Legs – they take you anywhere you need to go.
B: Spatial awareness and coordination – your Lefts and Rights are sorted out and you can’t remember anytime you walked into an obstacle.
C: Core and abs – you have good balance, posture and a stomach we envy. Lucky you.
D: None in particular, but you’ve got a great smile!
Music that rocks your soul?
A: Anything with a catchy rhythm.
B: Classic tunes that you and your friends all know, including those cheesy love songs.
C: A tune just outside the mainstream with an underground flavour.
D: Musicals and Showtunes – admit it, you are also singing along!
Wedding ceremonies are lovely, but we all look forward to the party afterwards. When the DJ spins the tunes, you:
A: Start tapping your feet, and if you really get into it, you create a percussion orchestra with the dinnerware.
B: Hit the dance floor with that cute cousin of the groom you’ve been chatting to all night.
C: Are the first one out and the last one standing; no matter the music, you’ll still be busting a move when everyone is tired out.
D: Are the one who will dance on the floor in the round, and we count on you to lead Michael Jackson’s ‘Thriller’ routine.
Which of these dance movies do you like best?
B: Dirty Dancing
C: Planet B-Boy
D: West Side Story
It’s Friday night at the end of a long week. What do you most want to do?
A: Whatever the night inspires, you go with flow.
B: Be out with a hot date.
C: Try something different, or explore a new night spot you’ve only heard rumours of.
D: Take on the town with your posse!
Describe your favourite outfit.
A: It always starts with a killer pair of shoes, everything else follows.
B: Something sexy and soft to the touch.
C: A funky get-up that makes others remark: “Only you can pull that off!”
D: Something sharp and stylish – you always impress.
If you answered mostly A’s: You’ve got a knack for rhythm that keeps your feet tapping. You go with the flow and are comfortable improvising with any situation. Tap Dancing will let you play your feet like percussion and Irish Stepdance and Scottish Highland Dance will keep your legs busy. Flamenco lets you clap and stomp out your emotions while West African Dance calls upon your whole body to answer the beats. Or, let your midsection work the rhythm in Tribal Bellydance or Hula.
If you answered mostly B’s: You’re a social butterfly with sensitivity that makes people feel comfortable around you, and you’ve always got a date for the weekend. Combined with your natural ability for coordination, anyone would be lucky to have you as their dance partner in Salsa, Tango, Swing or Ballroom. Line and Square Dancing also provide interaction with others while you move to the beat – that is after all, why you enjoy the YMCA and Macarena, right?
If you answered mostly C’s: You have an ear to the ground for trends, and you’re not shy about experimenting with new things. Moving your body feels good, and your stamina ensures you’ll be dancing well into the night. Contemporary Dance, Hip Hop, House, Reggae Dancehall and Breakdancing will give you an outlet for expression and hot moves for the dance clubs.
If you answered mostly D’s: A smile goes a long way, and you have fun entertaining others. Your confidence inspires your friends and your audience, who are hanging onto your every move. In your mind, most of life’s occurrences can be depicted in song and dance numbers. Dance styles such as Jazz, Broadway Jazz, Burlesque and Bollywood bring you into the limelight where you belong!
How to find your image in dance
Every dancer dreams of being special, different from everyone else. Someone tries to take over the appearance, wearing dazzling dresses with a huge amount of Swarovski stones, doing incredible hair and daring makeup. And someone catches with talent, and someone with a non-standard attitude to dance.
But a dancer who has his own image or style is immediately visible. He stands out among everyone, his performance captivates the viewer, because it is special, unlike the rest. Everything seems to be easy for him, and incredible energy comes from him.
To conquer the viewer you need:
- Character that you are not afraid to show;
- Energetic message, from which the viewer himself is charged and begins to experience emotions;
-Emotional openness, showing you are real and sincere;
- The ability to dissolve in music and express it with your body;
- Craftsmanship and self-confidence.
How to find your image in dance?
Your dance is an expression of yourself! If you find what exactly defines your personality, then your development will rapidly accelerate.
Improvise and create images that suit your character and appearance, because you need to look organic and attractive. Here we are talking about the general perception of you, your role. Perhaps you are romantic and gentle, or you are daring, sexy, bitchy, or maybe light and playful, feminine - your movements and dance presentation should correspond to this image.
Find your strongest qualities, distinctive features and develop them! Bring your skills to a high level and turn it into a highlight. Perhaps you are a master of turning, or graceful work with your hands, or maybe you have very technical legs with a high instep ... If you cannot understand what exactly is your uniqueness, then ask your coach or people watching you in training or tournaments what you most catch their eye and remember them.
Take video of yourself, as the inner sensations may not agree with the impressions of what you see. Often we are upset that we were unfairly judged, because according to internal sensations everything was perfect. But when we watch a video with our dance, a view from the outside shows many of those sides that we have not worked out and undisclosed. This is a great way to introspect and understand whether we are moving in the right direction.
Train mindfully, all the while paying attention to what comes easily and naturally. Memorize exactly your techniques and manners in the process of training, use them in performances. Your own unique movements will become your calling card and will distinguish you from other dancers. Experiment, look for something that suits your feelings and desires.
Watch your favorite dancers, see what techniques they use to express themselves, convey emotions and character, and then try to present it in your own way. Such an observation is like a hint for you, how else you can perform your dance or make a certain figure, only, of course, adjusting everything to yourself.
Perform more often! With competitive practice, you will quickly find your image, your “face”, understand what exactly the audience likes about you, and also become more free to behave on the court, begin to interact with the audience, learn to adapt to the situations and atmosphere of each tournament.
Just don't try to please everyone. The audience feels fake when you specifically try to please them. Be yourself and know that your trump card is your personality!
Hakobyan Nune, Champion of Armenia in Latin American dances. Finalist and winner of international tournaments in sports ballroom dancing.
How to find your style and why Kaliningraders don't conquer "Dancing on TNT": confession of a professional
32-year-old Sergey Bobrov has been dancing for sixteen years and now runs one of the studios. The Kaliningrader told "Klops" why dancers do not have an average salary and when the city was covered by a musical fever.
The result does not fall from heaven
Any person can learn to dance, it is in our nature: to move beautifully, to fascinate, to reveal our personality. It all depends on the mood and desire: do it with pleasure, do not torture yourself, and everything will go like clockwork.
Some choreographers specifically select age groups - it turns out to be a masterpiece. We have a group of mothers who have been practicing and performing at concerts with children for three years. They dance hip-hop, jazz-funk.
It's like in the fashion industry: informal models are more popular and successful today. But let's be frank: there are many times fewer such names than "ideal and canonical" ones.
There is, of course, a predisposition to dancing, and the opposite cases, when you have to work very hard to at least get something done. We do not reward a person with some kind of cliché: well done or mediocre. Everyone learns in their own way.
We have a girl in our strong squad. She has less data "in the body" than her classmates. For the first couple of years, parents and some colleagues doubted: maybe she doesn’t need it? Now she has almost caught up with her group, she has a twist. All famous dancers are hard workers.
Everything is ahead in Kaliningrad
In terms of contemporary dance, which I do the most, Kaliningrad has a very good level. Proximity to Europe has an effect - many specialists come from abroad with fresh information - as well as certain local trends and tendencies. But Moscow and St. Petersburg are still ahead in terms of technical readiness.
Over the past five years, the period of dance stagnation has ended. Russia is highly valued on the world stage, we have top teams. There are also studios in Kaliningrad that are developing rapidly. I'm sure we'll make more announcements.
Photo: Sergey Bobrov
Contemporary grandmother taught modern
My native style is hip-hop. After five years of training, I discovered modern, or, as it is now called, contemporary dance. We have a good specialist in the city and just a wonderful person, Natalya Vasilievna Agulnik, I call her with great respect the grandmother of modernity. She has become a mentor to many dancers, myself included.
Agulnik is one of those Russian dancers who have been developing modern since the days of the Soviet Union. Then in the West everything was already there, but we didn’t. I studied with her in classes, and worked in my teams at the same time.
At one time, my soul was devoted to the contemporary, although I really like to look at hip-hopers, especially when they do it professionally and cool.
At the beginning of the 00s there was a "dance boom". The theme was accelerated thanks to such films as "Step Forward". Hip-hop was at its peak. Almost the entire city was covered by a musical fever. But over time, street dancing began to be forgotten. And seven years ago, "Dancing on TNT" came to replace it. They opened many different directions - in this regard, the television project fulfilled its educational mission by more than one hundred percent.
Photo: Sergey Bobrov
It is much more interesting for me to teach than to dance on stage myself. My creative ambitions are not related to media popularity - I want to make numbers that are interesting to the audience and fellow experts.
Why don't other Kaliningraders go to the show? There are few dancers who would be at such a level. There are successful examples when performers go abroad to study or work. They have their own priority. We must immediately figure out for ourselves what the prospects are. If you want to be noticed by eminent choreographers, then please.
Heading for America and Europe
In Russia there are very interesting, in some places original companies, choreographers and modern dance theaters, but still we are moving after America and Europe. This is due to historical factors: when variety dances, ballet and populists performed in the Soviet Union, everything developed in the West already from the 30s. Of course, now this gap is smaller, but we are only catching up.
In the most pompous theaters in Europe and America, dancers who master not only classical but also modern dance techniques are valued. There, the audience is sophisticated, although at first there was a lot of rejection - people did not understand what it was and why such strange dances were needed. It is much easier to do something original in Europe and not be afraid of being judged than in Russia.
Sergey dances in the contemporary style. Sergey Bobrov
Look at your energy
Children. For them, the style of dance is chosen, as a rule, by parents. If they roughly understand that the child has a lot of energy and needs to be channeled somewhere, then styles like hip-hop or breakdancing will do. It doesn’t matter what gender you are, girls also go to the break - then no one becomes boys.
When a child who is worn like an electric broom is sent to a contemporary dance with its plastic training, gymnastics and calm dynamics of classes, it is difficult. And it’s easier for adults: just watch a video on YouTube to come to your own style. I watched two or three videos, and already there is an idea where they dance contempo, and where they dance vogue or social dances.
Attention to detail
Before going to any dance class, study its uniform or ask the instructor. Ballroom dancing has special shoes and a dress code. These things must be treated with respect. You won't come to the theater in torn jeans, will you?
Modern trends are a little simpler: if you need a leotard of a certain style and size for a ballet, then freedom of self-expression and comfort are valued in the same hip-hop. It makes dancing easier and cooler. In street dances, sports comfortable shoes are needed, in contempo they dance in socks - you need grip on the floor. In capoeira - generally barefoot.
Kaliningrad is rocking break
Recently, it is break dancing that has been on a good wave - many schools have opened in Kaliningrad. Again, contemporary is still a popular trend.
I see that interest in ballet has increased, there is a lot of information on the Internet and on classical dances. Jazz funk and vogue, let's say, are not so popular. Many local groups have paid attention to their halls: dancers appreciate aesthetics. To those who have better premises, they go more actively.
For dancers, professional sores appearing after the age of thirty are a common occurrence. This is due to the fact that, due to their youth, many do not know their body, they do not quite know the technique. Each injury with age will remind of itself.
But there are plenty of positive examples when people dance until old age and feel good. There are no ideally healthy people in this area, but there are a lot of techniques that allow you not to accidentally overstrain.