Tips for Dance Beginners

Tips for Dance Beginners

Ariel Hsieh

June 10th, 2021


Welcome dancers to the beginning of your dance journey! Every person has to take that first step, and every amazing dancer you have seen has started out exactly where you are now. You have decided to start dancing, and now you need to decide where to start!


Find music that you love!


The most magical moment at my first collegiate ballroom dance competition was when “Shape of You” by Ed Sheeran was played for a pre-bronze samba round. The face of every dancer on the floor lit up, and everyone danced with so much more enthusiasm! Music is an integral part of dance, and dancing to music that you love can completely change the power of your dance. I have a playlist of songs that I add to every single time I hear a song that makes me want to dance. Build a playlist of music that makes you want to dance and groove. You can find these songs as you are listening to the radio, or even as you’re shopping in the grocery store or mall, and use this playlist when you’re practicing!


Tune in to your body


We only have one body, but how often do you think about the way you walk, the way you climb out of bed, or write? We spend our lifetimes in this body, but we rarely think of how we move them. Put on some music, close your eyes, and just spend some time tuning into your body. Feel your feet gripping the floor. How does your body shift if you change your weight? Is there any part of the body that feels tight? How can you move to stretch that part out? How far can you stretch your arms and legs? Can you make yourself take up as much space as possible? How about shrinking to take up as little space as possible? Imagine a little ball of energy in your chest, and imagine moving it throughout your body, from the tips of your fingers and toes, to the top of your head. How does it feel to engage muscles, to open and close your hand? How does your balance shift when you roll your head? How many different facial expressions can you make? Build your kinetic awareness through exploration of everyday movement.


Warm up and stretch!


Dancing is a sport, and like any sport, you must warm-up and do stretches to prevent injuries from happening! If you don’t know how to start, you can find some amazing dance warm up and stretching videos on youtube. Routine stretching will also help improve your flexibility, help keep muscles flexible, strong, and healthy, and joints happy. Stretching is good after warming up, and after your dance session to increase flexibility and decrease muscle soreness after your workout.


Find some dance classes


Look around and find some dance classes around you! You can look into your local dance studio, or on social media like facebook for dance events and parties. If you are unable to attend live classes, we live in an age where anything can be learned on the internet! Look up beginner dance videos for your favorite style and start dancing. Look at some choreography tutorials for your favorite songs and make it your goal to learn the choreography! Starting out, you just want to learn to feel comfortable in moving your body, so what is most important is to play some music and get moving!


Everyone has their own dance journey.


Thomas Edison famously said, “Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration.” No matter who you are and what you do, there will always be people that are going to be better than you. You may think that you will never be able to dance as well as all the amazing dancers you see, but that does not matter! Perhaps it will take you days to perfect a dance move that someone else learns within a few hours, and there are people that will take weeks to do what you did in a few days. Everyone comes from a different background of movement, and everyone learns in different ways and at a different pace. Let the amazing dancers be the inspiration that you strive for, and know that hard work will always keep you moving forward. Dance knowing that you are doing the best that you can do, and reward yourself for the progress you make no matter how big or small.


Just dance!


There are so many different dance styles out there, from highly structured styles like ballet, to the free movement of modern dance. Perhaps there is one (or more) dance styles you are interested in learning, and definitely take classes to learn the specifics of those styles, but what is most important is to just dance! Any movement can be a dance, and you don’t have to always dance in the structured styles. Enjoy feeling your body travel through space and move in response to the music .Put on your music and just dance like nobody's watching!