How to practice dancing by yourself
How To Practice Dancing Without a Dance Partner
Whether you are training for a DanceSport competition or wanting to learn how to salsa dance at the hottest new Latin nightclub or your wedding is just a few months away, you must practice dancing if you want to be a proficient dancer. But what if you and your dance partner’s schedule is overbooked and unable to practice dancing together? Popular to contrary belief, you can practice dancing without a dance partner. Read on to learn more.
You Are Your Own Best Critic
Using a Mirror
When you are dancing on your own, try practicing in front of a mirror. Look at the lines of your body while dancing. Does what you see make sense?
Take your dance analysis skills to different level and record yourself.
Whether it is football, basketball or even gymnastics, many coaches use the power of video to analyze their team’s performance.
- Watch the entire video from beginning to end.
- Don’t be afraid to laugh at yourself
- You may need to watch your dance routine several times
- Identify the steps in the dance that don’t appear right.
- Identify the areas that need improving and write it down.
- How long did your list of improvements get?
- What are your biggest weaknesses?
- Take one of those weaknesses and focus on that skill till you feel it is right
- Repeat filming and analyzing yourself
- With enough time and practice, your list of improvements will turn into a list of strengths
When you first start out your solo dances, it will be fun to watch and quite humorous.
Maybe you went too fast, too slow or zigged when you should have zagged.
Study The Music
Music brings out your true personality while dancing. The right music brings the excitement, joy, and passion to dancing. Take the time to truly understand the song you are dancing to. Every song has elements that makes it unique. By knowing more about the music and the song’s structure you’ll be able to which parts of the song should be danced in a specific way.
Watch Other People Dance
Watching other people dance is another great way to improve your dancing skills. When you are out for a night dancing, do you see anyone that seems to know what they are doing? Pay attention to their technical skills. Watch how they move their bodies, how they connect with their dance partner, and how their flow of steps move to the music.
If you don’t feel comfortable stalking other dancers and taking notes on their dance moves, go online. There are many resources such as YouTube and blogs where you can watch videos of other people dancing.
Move Your Body
How you move your feet is important while dancing but did you know how you move your body is just as important. There are arm movements, hip shakes, head positioning and much more. Within time, the body movements will appear more natural and less forced.
Though considered to be one of the hardest parts of learning to dance. Footwork can be very fun. Start with baby steps. Move side to side, back, forward. Feel the music, Be the music.
Commit to Memory
This is very important if you are going to have an audience such as your wedding or DanceSport competition. Memorize your dance moves. Take each part of the dance step by step and turn by turn. If you forget a step, don’t worry, just take a breath and do it all over again. Keep practicing till you have your dance completely memorized.
Much like a boxer uses shadow boxing to help train for a fight, a dancer should shadow dance to train for dancing. It might feel silly at first but it is a great way to improve your technical dance skills. While you are shadow dancing, take notice of your footwork, lead or follow techniques, body movements, and even your posture. Visualize your dance partner with you, feel the music and dance.
Do You Want To Know More Tips on How To Be a Better Dancer?
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No Partner Necessary
How To Practice Dancing | STEEZY Blog
In section 5, we talked about taking dance classes at studios.
But many of us don't live close to any dance studios, or are too busy, or on a tight budget...
Which is why, in this section, we'll talk about other ways to practice dancing that can better fit your lifestyle.
Use online dance tutorials
There are tons of dance tutorials available online.
DanceTutorialsLIVE offers how-to videos in everything from Twerking to the Dougie.
Matt Steffanina teaches choreography on his YouTube channel.
And you can learn from Korea’s choreographers through 1MILLION Dance Tutorial.
And of course, STEEZY Studio has over 600 online classes where you can learn advanced Urban Choreography pieces, grooves, beginner choreography, and more.
Curious to see how it works? This’ll tell you everything: How To Use STEEZY Studio
For different styles –
B-Boy and B-Girl Dojo provides an interactive, immersive Breakin’ program that teaches moves, techniques, battle skills, and more.
VincaniTV also has great tutorials on Breakin' and Hip Hop styles, as does Darren Wong!
You can find YouTube tutorials on basic House steps by Jardy Santiago, too!
How to practice dancing at home
1. Practice a piece you've already learned
A class ends in an hour or two, but you can keep learning from it even after it's over.
Re-teach yourself the piece, drilling specific parts that were difficult the first time.
Get more ideas on how to do this! How You Should Practice After Learning A Piece
2. Drill fundamental exercises and grooves
Hip Hop, Urban Choreo, Popping, Locking, Waacking, House, etc., – whatever style you want to get better in, the key to improvement is all the same – repetition.
We have an entire playlist of FREE drills in House and Popping on our YouTube channel!
Check 'em out:
3. Stretch and strength train your body
Your body is your most important tool! Stretching and strength training your body will keep it healthy, strong, and flexible.
Try these: 7 Stretches To Help You Dance Better (And Stay Injury-Free!)
1. Find dance studios that offer classes later in the evening
Many studios do offer classes that start later, around 9 or 9:30 pm.
If you live in Los Angeles, then this list of The Top 8 Dance Studios In Los Angeles is a great guide.
This means you might even be able to go home after work and nap before class!
2. Create your own dance passion project
Taking class is fun, of course, but if you want to set a more personal standard for “accomplishment,” come up with a passion project!
For example: make a concept video! Or choreograph a piece!
These goals will challenge you to be artistic in more ways than just dance – and you're not relying on anyone else's time to make it happen.
Use this guide on How To Set And Achieve Your Dance Goals
1. Learn pieces from friends
Cost: $0 (as long as you have good friends)
Master classes from super famous/dope dancers are awesome, but learning your friends' pieces can be a great experience for both the teacher and student.
Ask your friend to teach you a piece, or teach them one of yours. It'll help you both learn to teach and learn to learn.
2. Go to open sessions
Cost: $0-10 (depending on the studio)
Some studios also host "open sessions," usually in the last block in their schedule for the night.
It's a great bang for your buck, and a totally new experience than a choreography class that'll stretch your comfort zone.
3. Collaborate to make a piece
Cost: $0 (or your friendship)
Choreographing is a great way to push yourself as a dancer. And collaborating to make choreography with another person is a whole different challenge.
Ask your friend's who's down to collab, pick a song, and start creating!
Use these tips: How To Collab With Someone To Make A Piece
4. FREEstyle somewhere! A bar, club, your kitchen, bathroom...
Cost: $10-20 (depends on the club)
Many styles of dance started in clubs. So get back to the roots of dance!
For example, House!
Go to a bar or club in your area that plays music that you love. The only money you need to spend is on the admission, if there is a cover cost at all.
For all of these things: Take unlimited classes on STEEZY Studio
- It's FREE for a week! Then, subscribe for $19.99/month or $99.99/year
- You can take it anywhere, anytime you want, at your own pace
- Choose from over 800+ classes in different styles and levels
- Learn from the world's best choreographers and teachers!
STEEZY Studio is the easiest way to learn online. It's convenient, affordable, and it WORKS.
Sign up now and start learning!
We'll get into freestyling in the next section! Keep it up! Click here to start section 7.
I want to dance. 10 misconceptions about dancing
The desire to learn how to dance is natural and natural in the modern world. You can list the reasons, starting with obvious and popular pragmatic desires, for example, to start moving or losing weight, ending with unconscious and even existential ones.
This is due to the fact that dances are at the subtle intersection of the inner and outer worlds, physical and spiritual. Above this, music becomes a driver that cannot leave anyone indifferent.
In dancing, there is magic inside a person, which is not always noticeable when viewed from the side. At the initial stage, it is the external picture that attracts to dances, and sometimes repels, as it seems too frivolous and superficial.
But there are even stronger obstacles that stop many people from starting dancing. These illusions and delusions roam the minds of the majority, and are often afraid to ask about them directly, or they ask the question about it so often that they are no longer ready to hear an honest direct answer. I will try to do it in this article.
There are many examples of contemporary dance instructors sharing their thoughts about not expecting to be in the dance industry. Once upon a time there was a man and was engaged in adult, serious business. Sometimes even very serious. A person could have children and even grandchildren. I saw dances only on stage or on TV. For reasons unknown to himself, he ended up in dances. At first, everything seemed like entertainment and a useful pastime. But time has passed, and a person catches himself thinking that he thinks about dancing not just every day, but really all the time. A couple of years pass, and he already becomes a teacher or organizer of some event.
A similar path can start at 15 or 55 years old. The only difference will be in the self-perception of the starting stage, that it’s too late to dance. In fact, for each age there is its own dance direction, which can reveal it to the greatest extent at this stage. Hip-hop or breaking is closer to children and teenagers, and Argentine tango is closer to adults. It's never too late to start dancing. You need to make the right choice of dance style based on several parameters: age, gender, music, goal. There is a dance direction for any arrangement.
Misconception 2: Men don't dance
Our culture has a number of restrictions related to dancing. Most of these causes are psychological and lie outside the realm of rational reasoning.
First, in our culture, in principle, dancing for pleasure or self-expression appeared relatively recently. 20-30 years ago dance clubs were only for children. To start dancing even in adolescence was considered exotic.
Secondly, the aesthetics of the body in our country for men is not in the focus of attention. In general, this can be attributed to the fact that Russian men try hard not to draw attention to their appearance and clothing. Men in our country use other tools for this.
Third, dancing is associated with entertainment and alcohol. If a man feels serious and respectable, then he either does not have time or desire for this.
Nowadays the general cultural background has changed and the result is that men are learning to dance. It becomes as much a sign of masculinity as clothing, hair or beard.
Unfortunately, many misconceptions remain even among those who have already started dancing. Dance teachers do not always pay attention to this, as it seems to them that this is a matter of course.
Fallacy 3: special training is needed
For an outside observer, there is always a cognitive dissonance about what dance is. What he sees on the big stage in the form of a show with sweeping movements and splits is obviously dancing. Breakers doing unimaginable elements in the air and on their hands, competing with each other, also seem to be dancing. Pensioners in the park waltz. Dancing again, but for some reason everyone is so different. How to understand that this is a dance, and what physical criteria should be in the body.
In fact, any self-expression through the body to music can be attributed to dance. There are a number of reservations, but they are not essential. For self-expression, a person uses the set of plastics that he has. Subtlety and technique do not depend on extreme ways of self-expression, and it often happens that splits and somersaults interfere with a meaningful dance. The development of plasticity and the expansion of the body's capabilities are part of the preparation of the dancer, but not an end in itself.
Fallacy 4: You must learn to dance in pairs
In couple dancing, the final learning outcome is that the couple dances at a party. It would seem that you should always train together to get the desired result. This is not true. Let's take an example from boxing. An indicator of a boxer's skill is a fight with an opponent, but this does not mean that he constantly has to fight. Also, the ability to dance is built on the possession of one's own body and the ability to interact.
The skill of the teacher is the correct selection of methods so that the student masters the skill. Based on the skill, you can engage in creativity and self-expression in dance. Not everyone knows, but it is no coincidence that almost all social dance dancers have a serious dance background, which is based on the development of individual techniques.
The same can be attributed to the interaction in a pair. The ability to separate in oneself the one who leads and the one who follows the lead is impossible within the framework of studying the sequence of movements in pairs. For this, there are special exercises that make the skill more versatile. For this, the presence of a permanent couple is not necessary, as well as the regular presence of a partner in general.
IMPORTANT! You can’t experiment at a party, and everything should be in its place there: men dance with women.
Getting rid of illusions is a complex internal process. If you leave them to yourself, you can even get the opposite result.
Fallacy 5: plastique and stretching are mandatory attributes of dance
Much depends on the genre of dance that you want to master. In previous articles, I have already mentioned that different dance styles are suitable for different ages. It is appropriate to dance hip-hop in adolescence or youth, Argentine tango is a more adult dance, it is important to enter classical choreography at a young age.
The degree of necessary plasticity and sensitivity to the dance direction also correlates. For example, breaking requires great physical effort and dexterity. Elements are built on acrobatics and high speed of execution. Who are they more suitable for? Obviously young people.
There is a lot of interaction in salsa. It is necessary to feel the partner subtly, to be able to show a variety of figures and elements. Twine or acrobatics are completely inappropriate here. However, a variety of ways to show oneself are required. Accordingly, the dance is youthful, but not at all childish.
The older the dance, the less stretching or acrobatics is required. The main emphasis is on the quality of technology, the variety of ideas and the ability to show plasticity.
Misconception 6: Mirrors are necessary for learning
There is a set of instruments that dancers use to learn how to dance. The fact is that the dancer needs to receive feedback on how his movements look from the side. It is impossible to dance and see yourself from the side at the same time. The most common tool is a mirror. But not the only one.
Like any auxiliary tool, mirrors have positive and negative effects. The positive is that they can receive feedback in real time and technically it is not very difficult. The downside can be dependence on mirrors. A situation where a dancer cannot capture the feeling of dancing, such as on stage or at a party. For these purposes, you can use, among other things, video filming or proper preparation.
In many countries in Latin America, dance classrooms are not equipped with mirrors. Classes are held in bars or large halls. The dancers initially form the skill of focusing on the inner sensation, and not the habit of looking for their reflection in the mirror with their eyes.
Misconception 7: there is a lot of obsceneness in dancing
A common question from novice dancers who are taking their first steps in more contact couple dances is “in order to dance cool, there must be passion inside the couple?”. I immediately answer that no, not necessarily. Kizomba, bachata and Argentine tango attract many with their close contact. Like any other contact in our everyday life, in dances, contact can be different. We hug friends, parents, children. These hugs can wear many different shades. Sexual overtones are one of many.
The culture of dance also includes the boundaries of what is acceptable. A compliment from a well-mannered person is different from a statement about female sexuality by a gopnik. Usually, those who study at a dance school already have an idea of what boundaries should not be crossed. A good dance from a technical point of view will never look vulgar or vulgar.
Dancers always have a choice about the boundaries of contact. Most prefer to leave a good impression of themselves, as word spreads just as fast in the dance world.
Misconception 8: the best dancers are the bearers of culture
Even the very question of the origin of this or that dance can be paradoxical and ambiguous, especially when it comes to its development and performance.
For example, the Viennese waltz did not originate in Vienna, but in Germany. Salsa has its main roots in the USA, not in Cuba. The famous Greek folk dance sirtaki was invented for the film Zorba the Greek and appeared only in 1964.
The same can be attributed to the development of modern dance styles. Korea is known for its world-leading break dancers. People go to Turkey for Argentine tango, Spain is strong with excellent salsa and bachata dancers, in Egypt, Russians are considered the best belly-dance performers.
A good dance is based on quality training and diligence. Skin color, place of birth and age are secondary. Exotic appearance, unfortunately, is often a reason to be more superficial about one's own professional development. This becomes the reason for the low level of teaching among the bearers of culture. I am sure that few readers of this post will be ready to conduct a master class in Russian folk dance outside of Russia.
The mastery of mastering and teaching a particular style does not depend on the dancer's homeland. And "they absorbed the dance with their mother's milk" is nothing more than a common misconception.
Misconception 9: You have to know a lot of moves to learn how to dance
Focusing on learning a lot of moves often detracts from the essence of dance. Of course, the sequence of figures is important. Especially at the start. Over time, the dancer should have an understanding of how movements can be generated independently. Accordingly, instead of memorizing millions of figures, you can understand how to create them.
From every system of improvisation that a dancer can use as an instrument, dozens, hundreds or thousands of variations are derived. This frees the head from trying to reproduce the exact sequence and definitely adds freedom in the performance of the dance.
The huge theme of musicality can be attributed to the same question. Not every pre-conceived or learned sequence will fit specific music. The dance should give freedom, and not drive the dancer into the shell of the ropes.
Misconception 10: dancing is homosexual
The unusually high attention to the body and flair from stories about professional ballet led to the spread of this myth, among other things. Unfortunately, such an idea still exists in the minds of our fellow citizens.
The dance industry is now very broad and is represented by many dance styles. Some of them can even be called homophobic. Dances reflect the general attitude to the world and it is different depending on the life position and worldview of a person.
In many dances there is contact between the dancers. In Russia, dance contact between men has always been perceived very intensely. In most other countries it is different. An example of the fact that this tension is associated only with the dance theme and does not apply to other areas is, for example, wrestling. When practicing techniques, men are in much closer contact with each other. Sometimes lying on the floor and holding each other tightly. The historical roots of Greco-Roman wrestling are also ambiguous from a sexual point of view. But in our country, unlike dance, they are perceived as acceptable and brutal.
Dance, like the culture of speech, makes a modern person more successful and self-confident. The ability to control one's body, tune in to another person and the ability to be aesthetic in the plasticity of movement is valuable in the modern world. If we add here the pleasure of the process and the availability of dance as such, then the possibilities of this activity can hardly be overestimated.
It's sad when interested people are stopped by prejudices and myths that have nothing to do with dancing. Freedom in body movements begins with freedom of thought and willingness to change.
I hope that this review will help to take a different look at the dance culture for those who still have doubts about whether to start dancing.
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Author: Pavel Sobiray
psychologist, teacher of salsa and tango
Author: Pavel Sobiray
psychologist, teacher of salsa and tango
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 viewing of the video is to form an understanding of HOW the dancers make this or that impression on the partner or the viewer. Technology is at the heart of everything. Understanding how the pros do it is a big step forward.
It is important to distinguish between a show and a disco dance, a choreographed performance from an improvisation, a stylized dance from an authentic one, etc. Ask for recommendations, and dance instructors will always upload 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 party goers 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 need 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 slip away 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 partner dance shows that as soon as everyone pairs up in 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 applicable only 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 big 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 trick, 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 contradictory 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.