How to get better at freestyling dance
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.
5 Tips To Start Your Freestyle Dance Foundation
Freestyle dance, or dance improvisation, is the when you spontaneously make movement with your body. This means you're not following choreography; just moving. Since freestyle dancing is about your own original voice, there is no wrong way to do it. However, there are tips and tricks you can use in order to become more comfortable with freestyle dancing.
Freestyling is a skill that can be cultivated through diligence and practice. Here's a list of 5 things you can do today to begin building your freestyle dance foundation!Freestyle dance tip #1: Just move!
You might be thinking “I clicked on this blog to learn how to freestyle and you’re telling me to just move!?” Yes. JUST MOVE.
Freestyling is exercising your own voice. Your bodies' natural way of moving is what makes your dancing unique. This plays a huge part in learning How To Develop Your Unique Style As A Dancer.
So, start by putting on one of your favorite songs and just start dancing. Don't think you have to do a full-on "freestyle" – you're not in a battle! You're just dancing! Play close attention to the nuances of the music and how it makes you feel. Let your body react to the sounds. Think of your body as an instrument; use it to create the physical representations of the things you hear. DON’T worry about how you look or if you’re being repetitive. Also, don't use a mirror. That'll just make you feel self-conscious.
With freestyle dancing, it's important for the movement to feel good, first. If what you're doing feels good to you, then you can always polish up how it looks afterwards. But focusing on the way you look first won't create an organic, comfortable style that's "you." Read more on Why It's More Important For Dance To FEEL Good, Than Look Good.
Getting comfortable with your body and increasing your movement vocabulary takes time and practice. Your ear for music will develop and your vocabulary will expand. But none of this will start to happen unless you move! So start moving now.Freestyle dance tip #2: Train in 1 or 2 styles
Fundamental, or foundational styles, are the bread and butter of freestyle. These dances emerged in clubs and 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 time period greatly influences how people think, feel, and dance!) These styles include but are not limited to: Popping, Locking, Breaking, House, Waacking, Krump, and more!
Learn more about some of these dance styles: What Is Popping?What Is The Difference Between Waacking And Voguing? The vocabulary of moves from any of these styles give a blueprint for freestyle dance. All the exploration you do can be "polished" up by building some technical foundation.
Think of Freestyle Dance Tip #1 as the color in a coloring book. Training in foundation gives the outlines that make the shapes easier to see. Yet, as ambitious as you are, it’d be REALLY overwhelming and not as efficient to start to learn House, Ballet, Locking, and Breaking all at once! Learn about different dance styles by watching videos and exploring their history. See which one(s) you gravitate towards the most. Focus on one or two of those, and practice those techniques repeatedly.
Think of it as conditioning, similar to how ballet dancers tendu or plie repeatedly to ingrain that into their bodies.Hits, waves, loose legs, glides – practice whatever it is that you want in your toolkit of dance moves. These moves will serve as the skeleton for your freestyle!Using them, you can continue to explore your movements even more freely.Freestyle dance tip #3:
Stimulate your creativity
“Creativity is not created, it is there for us to find – it is an act of discovery!” More tips to Overcome Your Dance Fears And Live A Creative Life We live in a world in which our creativity is often stifled. We’re conditioned to think a certain way, learn a certain, act a certain way, etc. Through that, our originality can be lost.
In order to break free of this mold, we must actively stimulate our creativity. Visit an art show, go to a museum, watch cartoons, study body language.Immerse yourself in all things creative, even if it's just in taking a walk and observing the environment around you. It’ll provide you with the inspiration needed to fuel your creative spirit. Then, take that with you into the lab.
Move like water; imitate the movements of a wild animal, mimic that person you saw on the street who walks a little funny. Channel the personas of some of your favorite movers, dancers or not! (My personal favorites are Aang the Airbender and Bruce Lee!) Clay talks more about the process of taking concepts and turning them into dance moves:Freestyle dance tip #4:Take a lot of dance classes
Taking dance classes will expand your movement vocabulary for freestyle dance, while also challenging you to retain choreography, and adapt to a different mover’s style. Furthermore, you’ll have access to mirrors and an audience. Use this as an opportunity to get accustomed to dancing in front of a mirror and with others around you. Pay attention to the choreographer and other movers in the class.
How do they execute their movement? Ask questions, engage in conversation. Take mental notes, and take it back to your freestyle dance.Be sure to take classes in a variety of styles, too. Taking dance classes will give you much more material to work with. Don't have any access to a dance studio? No worries. Here's How To Learn Dance With No Dance Classes In Your AreaFreestyle dance tip #5: Session and go to jams
Now the real fun begins! Set up a session with some friends or go to a freestyle dance jam.
Not quite sure what to expect? Here's What You Should Know Before Going To A Freestyle Jam
While it can feel scary to be put on the spot, discomfort comes with growth. If you comfortable dancing alone, but feel nervous in front of others... The answer is simple: practice freestyle dancing with others! Not to mention, sessioning with friends is a great way of practicing your material and exchanging concepts. Want more tips on overcoming your freestyle dance fears? Clay's got you:
A great base to build on is Popping fundamentals. Take Boogie Frantick's beginner Popping program on STEEZY Studio!
There you have it! Your 5-step guide to start learning how to freestyle dance. Continue practicing these things and you’ll be well on your way to confidently holding your own in a circle or at a session. There should be no embarrassment, no fear, no holding back – just fun. So go ahead, freestyle dance, explore yourself, and share your unique style with the world!
Got any more freestyle dance tips? Share them in the comment box below!
11 tips for productive workouts
11 effective tips to make your workouts more interesting and productive.
1. Before training, be sure to watch a video dedicated to your dance style. Analyze it. While watching, look at possible movements, elements that you would like to practice or try in training. Pay attention to the manner of the dancer. Having tuned in to it (manner), it will be easier for you to make the movement correctly. Already during training, dancing, figuratively remember what you saw. This will make it even easier for you to achieve your goal.
2. At the beginning of your workout, start with the simplest movements. This way you hone your technique, make your style cleaner, more professional. In addition, you can warm up and prepare for more complex movements. We also note that even simple movements, performed with style, feeling and well-designed, can be really cool.
3. As you practice the movements, think about what you are doing . Do not mindlessly repeat the movements of the coach. Try to think with your head. During the dance, mentally pronounce the order of movements and if you or the coach notice any problem or mistake, remember about it and be ready to correct it at the right moment. For example, "You need to swing your arms wider, you need to swing your arms wider ..." Unconscious repetition of the movement will slow down your progress and vice versa, conscious, will allow you to quickly understand, get used to and move on to the next one.
4. While dancing, look at yourself in the mirror with your peripheral vision . This will allow you to see yourself from the side and objectively evaluate how you move. The bottom line is that when you look at yourself in the mirror out of the corner of your eye, the effect of a third person is created. You look at yourself from the outside, not thinking that it is you. In this way, you abstract from the subjective perception of your dance and this allows you to see the movement exactly as it looks in reality.
5. Look straight ahead, do not lower your head. Get used to looking ahead. If you move at the mirror, then look into it. If on the stage, then on the audience. Eye contact is essential.
6. Videotape your dance. Watching your video and analyzing it, you can track your mistakes. In addition, as you develop as a dancer, you can track the change in the level of dance, which will be a clear confirmation that you are on the right track.
7. Pump up the movement. Starting to learn a new movement, it is necessary to do it slowly and repeat it many times. It's called pumping. Thus, you better remember the movement and will always do it qualitatively.
8. Dance the movement. After pumping, the movement must be danced. This means that it no longer needs to be performed monotonously, namely to dance. Since you move to the music at a party, disco. Try to relax and listen to music. When dancing, you can not do the movement absolutely accurately. The most important thing is to get into the rhythm and feel it. “In my practice, there were cases when I didn’t know exactly how the movement was done, but tried to dance it. At the same time, I mentally kept in my head the image of the movement itself, how it would look. And for its correct execution, I entered into its rhythm and tried , tried, tried. And only after that I disassembled it by elements, which helped me make it the most correct and pump it over."
9. More freestyle. Freestyle is a free dance performance. That is what defines you as a dancer. Freestyle will help you start moving to the music and form your own unique style. Keep track of those elements that you especially succeeded or liked during the freestyle. Later, you can put them in your piggy bank. Your dance base will be formed from them. And it will be exactly yours, because it was born during your freestyle. So, what advice - finish your workout with freestyle and try to put in there what you have gained during the lesson.
10. Always watch more and more videos. Nothing that you watched the same video many times. It is deposited in the memory and on the subconscious. And someday it will jump out in your dance during freestyle or when creating a new movement.
11. Study history. How can you do something without knowing the basics. The study of history and the foundations of culture will allow you to do everything right and create something new on the basis of the old. But it will be yours!
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What is different:: freestyle and choreography — ikirov.ru
Clear scheme or free improvisation? Choreographer's advice or your own emotions? Freestyle or choreography? Both have their place in modern dances. Each dancer makes his own choice, to be led or to go "free swimming" on the dance floor
Freestyle (English) - “free style”. The term "freestyle" is used in many areas of art and sports, but everywhere it means one thing - improvisation, freedom from well-established boundaries.
Freestyle is the name given to skiing, parachuting, skateboarding, ball juggling and even dancing with a dog to music. In music, the term "freestyle" means improvisation in rap, a direction in electromusic. Well, and, of course, in freestyle dancing, it occupies a very important place.
This dance technique gets the crowd going. Using standard techniques, combining them, showing artistry and interacting with the audience, the dancer becomes the center, the “battery” that charges everyone on the dance floor.
However, improvisation is not a style of dance, but a fluency in some style. In order to arbitrarily combine movements, mix movements of different styles, without thinking, but following only the impulses of your body, motor memory, you need to master the style to perfection, loosen up and move away from the framework.
Improvisation is the basis of such dance styles as go-go and hip-hop. The main thing in the technique of free dance is to keep the attention of the audience. The whole arsenal of dancers is used: body control, plasticity, knowledge of dance movements, the ability to interact with the audience. A set of once learned movements is combined into a single whole, forming an improvisational dance.
Choreography (other Greek “chorea” - dance, round dance, and “grafo” - I write) is the art of composing a dance. As you might guess, dances began to be composed in antiquity, but the term itself came into use a little later.
The term "choreography" was first used around 1700 in its literal meaning - a shorthand record of dance steps. Later, the meaning of the term changed a little, became wider. Now the word “choreography” began to be understood as the idea of the dance director, the program, or, even, even more broadly, the art of dance in general.
The first dance notation (recording of dance steps) appeared in the 1700s, after the introduction of the concept of stage plans. Since the 19th century, conventional schematic figures have been used to record the dance, denoting different positions.
In the common European understanding, choreography is considered as a combination of two areas - the art of ballet and the art of dance.
Ballet is the highest "theatrical" form of choreographic art, in which the concept rises to the level of a musical stage performance. Dance is a form of choreographic art in which the means of creating an artistic image are the movements and positions of the human body.
Choreography also occupies an important position in modern dances. It is necessary for staging theatrical dance performances, mass performances. The choreography of modern dances is an attempt to achieve maximum clarity and coherence of the dancers' actions, without neglecting the brilliance of vision.
So, despite the constant emergence of new styles, modern dances also rely on classical systems, which are fundamental for staging performances. But individualists are also given a chance to express themselves. Although, probably, it is free dance that is the most ancient form of dance, which arose long before the appearance of various systems.
It doesn't matter what dance "position" you take. The main thing is sincere enjoyment of dance and movement.
Education classical, folk, modern, historical dance
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