How to not dance stiff
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 Not Be a Stiff Dancer
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By: Judy Fisk Updated September 15, 2017
Whether you are a student of dance or someone who enjoys informal social dancing, you may worry that your movements are too stiff and awkward. Ironically, feeling anxious about how you appear on the dance floor, in the studio or onstage can actually cause your joints and muscles to tighten up. You can take concrete steps to build your confidence and to loosen up physically. As a result, you will feel – and appear -- more relaxed when you move and you will get far more pleasure from dancing.
Take dance classes to increase your physical self-awareness and to build confidence in your movement ability. Expose yourself to a variety of dance styles and, in the process, increase your flexibility and muscle tone and improve your posture, balance and coordination. Gain greater awareness of how your body is organized and become more in tune with how it moves.
Warm up and stretch your muscles thoroughly before dancing. If you spend many hours every day working at a desk or computer, you may suffer from shoulder stiffness and tight muscles and joints. Counteract that stiffness by walking in place for five to 10 minutes and then engaging in basic stretches to loosen up your muscles before executing more rigorous dance moves. Warmer muscles will respond more readily to conscious efforts to relax them.
Relax at the joints, particularly in your fingers, elbows and shoulders. Note if you hold your your chin and neck too rigidly and consciously shed any tension you experience from the shoulders upward. For social dancing, bend slightly at the knees and ankles to give yourself greater range of motion in the hips.
Breathe deeply five to 10 times to shed the tension of your day before heading out to the dance floor, studio or stage. With every outward breath, think of letting the air flow through to your extremities and consciously soften your muscles and joints.
Know your choreography. If you are performing on stage and are concerned about appearing stiff, review the moves you will be performing until you know them exceptionally well. Adequate preparation will help you stay calm when you head into the studio to rehearse or when you step onstage. Review choreography in your head whenever you have a quiet moment, such as when you are lying in bed at night or during your commute to work or school.
Enroll yourself in a yoga class and attend faithfully. Learn the basic poses and breathing techniques and tackle the stress and anxiety that may be causing your muscles and joints to tighten up. Yoga technique can help you consciously "soften" the areas that are tense and stiff and add fluidity to your dance movements.
- Lehigh University: Stretching – An Introduction
- Mayo Clinic: Yoga -- Tap Into the Many Health Benefits
Judy Fisk has been writing professionally since 2011, specializing in fitness, recreation, culture and the arts. A certified fitness instructor with decades of dance training, she has taught older adults, teens and kids. She has written educational and fundraising material for several non-profit organizations and her work has appeared in numerous major online publications. Fisk holds a Bachelor of Arts in public and international affairs from Princeton University.
Related Articles90,000 12 life hacks, to quickly learn how to dance from Mamita Dance
Author: Pavel Gather
Psychologist, Lecturer Salsa and Tango
Author: Pavel Pavel
Psychologist, Lecturer Salsa
on At the start, you always want to get a quick result. When it doesn't happen, the hypothesis arises that everything takes time. After a conditionally acceptable time, humility comes to mastering pair dances, which, perhaps, is not given, and I will just do what I learned somehow.
This is the most common story of those who believe that the mere act of attending a pair dance class is enough to learn how to dance.
Absolutely not. If you want to really dance well, you have to make an effort outside of the dance class. A good teacher will definitely be needed, but the initiative should be on your side.
1. Listen to music
The most common and accessible advice that is given already in the first lessons. And it definitely works. Music creates a certain atmosphere of the dance and intuitively you want to move to it. It doesn't matter where you listen to music - in the car, on headphones while walking or doing household chores.
An addition that will help you dance better is your active participation in the music. Sing along, dance or simply beat musical accents with any free parts of the body. In the subway, for example, it is enough to tap out bright moments with your fingers, in the car to sing along with sounds, and at home you can jump for pleasure.
2. Watch videos of good dancers
It's complicated, but also obvious. It’s more difficult, because without recommendations from more experienced dancers, unfortunately, it’s not so easy to find a good quality video on the net (I mean not the resolution quality, but the content itself).
Meaningful video viewing is about building an understanding of HOW dancers make a particular impression on a partner or viewer. Technology is at the heart of everything. Understanding how the pros do it is a big step forward.
It is important to distinguish a show from a disco dance, a staged performance from an improvisation, a stylized dance from an authentic one, etc. Ask for recommendations and dance teachers will always throw off a couple of videos of worthy landmarks.
Tango Z. Showreel.
Online modern tango courses
Tango nuevo is the most advanced version of tango. We can quickly learn to dance from zero to a steep level.
3. Dance in salsatecas/milongas/discotheques
A very delicate moment when it is worth coming to the first party. From a technical point of view, most students in 1-3 months have a sufficient set of figures and techniques to come and dance calmly. Psychologically, the same moment can be stretched out for an indefinite time. After all, it is imperative to “not lose face”, “learn more figures” and be sure what to do in case “there is an unfamiliar movement”.
In fact, the partygoers don't really care (except for a small layer of non-professional teachers who want to help inexperienced dancers by treating them as customers in the future). It is important to come and try dancing after a month of classes. You can only with friends or guys from your group. This will be enough to feel the adrenaline and inspiration from the dance.
4. Dance with partners or partners not of your level
The conventional wisdom that you need to practice in groups of your level does not withstand the test of experience. Perhaps now your eyes widened in surprise, and you want to meaningfully read the phrase again. Yes, you saw everything correctly: when you dance with a partner of your level, you don’t grow anywhere.
It's important to understand that not only does it work one way and you have to dance with cooler dancers, but it works even more effectively the other way. It is no coincidence that teaching pair dances dramatically raises the level of the teacher himself. You have an endless stream of very beginner dancers.
How it works. A more experienced partner needs to be "stretched". It's easy and obvious. With beginners, you need to take more initiative on yourself, see the general pattern of the dance more widely, turn on and insure more, try to be an example and be more careful. The quality of interaction begins to grow significantly. And wonderful partners too.
Dancing with partners of your level doesn't make you grow. Dance with both beginners and more advanced dancers
Dominican Bachata Women's Style Online Course
Want to learn how to hypnotize those around you with the most appetizing part of your body? On the course we will tell you all the secrets.
5. Learn to dance for a partner and for a partner
Turks and Argentines are one of the best partners in the world. In Russia, partners are highly valued. Why? The answer is simple. In Argentina and Turkey, it is not questionable for men to ask another man to lead in one piece or another and give feedback on the quality of the lead. For them, it will be a great shame to hear moralizing from a partner, or even more so to be known in the community as an insecure partner.
In Russia, due to the constant, often far-fetched, opinion that there are more women in pair dances, partners calmly get up and study their partner's part. Such partners then grow into very cool dancers and teachers. In no case do this at parties, only in class. Here we are talking only about the learning strategy. At parties, be yourself.
6. Do not memorize the links
Always try to look deeper and understand the through principle and idea of movement. Understanding what and how is done will make it possible to independently generate any sequences and chips.
Human memory is limited and there will always be a moment when something will escape and your repertoire will be limited by the size of RAM.
In Argentine tango, for example, there are seven levels of movement construction that, when mastered, will allow you to make millions of combinations. And how many dance sequences can you really remember? In rueda, more than 150 figures dance in a rare circle. It's hard to keep more in mind.
7. Develop your body
Many years of experience in teaching couple dance shows that as soon as everyone pairs up in a class, any progress in individual style ends. But it is the individual style that distinguishes everyone at the disco: partners change, and style is always with you.
The body as the main instrument of dance must be very plastic, responsive and emotional. Surprisingly, not all pair dance schools have a general physical warm-up. It is vital to tune the body and understand how it works.
You can always train extra and concentrate more on the basic steps, as their true value is as body work. The sequence of steps is, in fact, the simplest thing that can be in pair dancing. The quality of individual performance determines the craftsmanship.
8. Try on the images of inspiring dancers
A psychological life hack for those who have already mastered the steps, but still feel that there is not enough brightness and drive. Most are terribly afraid of being someone else's "clone". Here the action is the same as under the influence of hypnosis - the more you resist, the more you plunge into an altered state of consciousness.
With a high degree of probability, you are already dancing like someone else's "clone". A meaningful fitting of someone else's image is that you mentally take the image of the one who inspires you (inspiration is critical in this case) and "put on" yourself. Then you start dancing and trying to feel in general how it is to be able, for example, to be the best partner or the sexiest partner in a disco. This is much more difficult than it seems. But it works extremely efficiently.
9. Dance to offbeat music
Habitual rhythms keep you tight. Tango salon or speedy timba leave little room for experimentation and fantasy. Pattern dancing is always noticeable and is reserved for beginners.
The truly new is born outside of the usual. Look for places to experiment. If there is no place, organize self-training. The main thing is not to get carried away, because music determines the style. We bring something new to pair dances, rather than trying to change them.
Search, improvise, don’t be afraid to go beyond, develop in different directions, be inspired by music atypical for the style
10. Try your hand at basic dance directions
dances exist according to their own non-choreographic laws.
This is the deepest delusion, which has turned into a ceiling for the qualitative development of partner dances. After all, all professional dancers, for example, in salsa or bachata, build their ideas on the basic choreographic principles.
Do not think that choreography is only applicable on stage. Any meaningful movement of the body can be choreographic. In general, try classical or modern choreography. Basically, hip-hop can work too.
11. Look for battle sensations
Pair dances return us to an active position of manifestation of our body. As in the days of our ancient ancestors, we impress the members of the opposite sex by how dexterous, hardy, sexy, etc. we are. Modern laws of the jungle in the entourage of large cities.
If you look around the dance floor, it becomes clear that the majority are clearly herbivores (not in the sense of vegetarians, but in relation to those around them). I am sure that predators are always more interesting in terms of the attractiveness of the image - try to find a counterbalance among herbivores, for example, a cat woman or a lion man.
The conversation is about an internal position, not about aggressiveness. Lability and lack of control are inherent in adolescents, and not in adult self-sufficient people.
Accordingly, even a training or friendly battle gives, on the one hand, practical skills - to make a bright sequence of movements, bring an idea to a climax, show a spectacular feature, on the other hand, develops the psychological basis of the dance - self-confidence, resistance to extraneous attention, self-control and self-control in complex elements.
12. Communicate with professionals
The environment shapes the internal position. Basically, real passionaries of the dance community are ready to openly talk, discuss and support the development of dance in every possible way. Universal principles and the ideas they articulate have a much longer and more practical perspective than meets the eye.
Accept that, for example, behind the words "listen to your partner" is not only a beautiful metaphor, but also a practical skill to literally listen to your partner. At the same time, always treat every thought, even the most respected teacher, as a private opinion.
Your skill will lie in finding the scope of the idea even in conflicting opinions. Most often, the contradiction is speculative and the truth lies in the angle of perception or situationality.
Your dancing growth will stop sooner or later. This can happen at the level of three basic steps or years of experience in teaching and show performances. Regardless of your level, the suggested 12 life hacks can get you off the ground and greatly accelerate your dance growth. There is no way here without your motivation and activity. Take your dance development into your own hands. 9Ol000 Dangerous sexuality
Salsa: destroyers of stereotypes
Couple dancing as a source of strength.
Self-destruction of the couple dance community
The Salsa series as a mirror of the community
Mamita Fridays: salsa, bachata
Destroying the myths about leading pair dances
Does dancing make us better?
The seven deadly sins of teachers
Why we will never dance bachata like the Dominicans
Dispute over musicality
Selection of dances according to alcohol preferences
Where to find inspiration for dancing?
Terrible tango nuevo
Distribution of roles in a salsa party
Argentinean tango through the eyes of a salsa dancer
Is there a predisposition to dancing?
Which is more effective: individual or group lessons?
Sexual overtones in pair dances
How to learn to hear the rhythm in music | All articles | Planet of Talents
I am sure that all people love to dance. However, many believe that they do not have an ear for music or a sense of rhythm, not enough plasticity or coordination to dance, call themselves a “tree” and sit quietly in the corner at a disco. And yet, only a small proportion of them are right (and even then not in the part about the “tree”). Often the problem lies precisely in the ability to feel the music, in particular, the rhythm. But the problem is solved! For most people, the sense of rhythm is dormant. And only a very small percentage suffers from “rhythmic deafness”.
In my dance teaching practice, sometimes I come across people who can't hear the rhythm. For a group of fifteen people, there are on average 1-2 people. Agree, not such a big percentage for non-professionals. But this is where I ran into trouble. How to explain to a middle-aged person without a musical education what a strong and weak beat is, why sometimes we perform movements on “three”, and sometimes on “eight”, and how to count a piece in general? . . I think all teachers face this problem, It doesn't matter if they work with young children, youth or adults.
First you need to figure out if the student actually hears the music. First, you can clap a short, simple rhythm and ask him to repeat it. If the student reproduced it in full, then all is not lost! Secondly, you can turn on the music and step along with it, setting the pace. Then you need to pause, talk about something so that he is distracted, and turn on the same music again and ask him to walk to it in the same rhythm without you. There may be several options:
- the student walked to the beat, because he remembered the rhythm when you walked to the music together. And it's not a bad choice! Perhaps he needs to pay a little more attention than the others, stand next to him and show the movements individually, in the end his memory and great desire will bear fruit.
- the student walked in his rhythm, not hearing the music. Here the matter is more complicated. With such people, you need to deal with individually or gather them in one group and make a lesson in musicality for them. One or two lessons may be enough.
In such lessons, you need to explain what a strong beat is in music, how a melody is broken down into measures. Of course, you need to be patient, and most importantly, read music theory if you are not strong in it. In fact, it is not so scary, because the rhythmic pattern in the music school is studied in the lower grades. On the other hand, it is not necessary to overload the brain of students with this theory. Just think of a few metaphors. Rhythm can be compared with the beating of our heart, with clocks, with steps. Everything has its own rhythm - the moon and the sun, the surf, the seasons, a poem, the noise of a train, and even the sounds of a cricket. For such activities, you need simple, understandable music with a clear rhythm, for example, a march or, oddly enough, club music, with a characteristic “tuna-tuna”. The duration of notes can be compared with seconds, minutes, hours.
By the way, using the example of a march, you can easily learn to hear a strong beat. I would suggest using this particular march http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VGfGxqHPF0s
In it, you can clearly hear how all the instruments of the orchestra play on a strong beat. I think that your students of any age will walk this melody with pleasure, and most importantly, to the beat!
A good helper in mastering the rhythm will be a metronome. Moreover, now everyone can install it on their smartphone or tablet and train at any time! By the way, the metronome is successfully used in the treatment of stuttering, and this says a lot.
In fact, I believe that anyone can learn to hear music and dance to it. All it takes is motivation. He works wonders even with the most seemingly hopeless students.
If the desire to learn to dance is great, follow a few simple but effective tips: