New dancers, I feel you.

When you’re first getting into dancing, you feel like you entered a completely new world that has its own rituals, inside jokes, and protocol.

It’s like it’s your first day at a new school and you have no idea who the cool teachers are or what not to get from the cafeteria.

But don’t worry!

As you go through your dance journey, you’ll naturally pick up tons of know-how.

PLUS, here’s a quick crash course we made for you to accelerate that process:

The dance terminology that you should know before going to a class

Where each dance style comes from and what their basic moves are

Helpful dance tips that explain how to move the way you want

A complete 10-step guide for beginner dancers

Aside from all this technical, factual stuff, though, there are some things that you just have to talk about with someone who’s been there and done that. Things that choreographers don’t teach in class and your other dance friends may not know how to explain.

So we thought about all the things we wish we knew about dancing when we first started, and decided to share that with you.

Here are 5 things all new dancers should know.

 

1. Actually, dancing doesn’t feel natural

A lot of dancers, once they get the hang of dancing, give advice to “just do it naturally” or “it should feel natural.”

But this is misleading and discouraging, because dancing will not feel natural to most new dancers.

Walking feels natural. Brushing your teeth feels natural.

They only feel natural because they’re movements that we make every day.

Dance steps, moves, and grooves, however, are new patterns of movement that we don’t exercise every day.

Telling someone that it should “feel natural” only makes sense for someone who’s practiced that movement enough until it grew to feel natural to them.

So if you still feel stiff or awkward or uncomfortable, don’t worry, nothing is wrong with you. You just need practice.

 

2. Everyone you look up to started exactly where you are

On that note, all the people who are super dope and successful in the dance world… (you guessed it) practiced a lot.

It’s not magic or natural selection. They were all beginners once, too.

They were all in front of their mirrors for years, trying to figure out how to do that one thing with their feet or loosen up their arms so they *don’t look like robots. *Unless they were trying to do the robot.

It can feel so out of reach to be able to dance like the people you watch on YouTube or Instagram.

But it’s not – it’s just a matter of time, and how much discipline and motivation you have during that time.

So many people trained until they were dancing with their first inspirations.

Ysabelle Capitule trained under Tony Tzar for most of her childhood. And now she’s teaching alongside him and her other early idols at dance conventions.

But even if you’re not pursuing dance professionally, know that everyone who’s accomplished what you want to do – were once brand new dancers, too.

 

3. You’re not “too old,” and it’s not “too late”

First of all, you’re not alone in that feeling. I’ve gotten messages from 14 year olds asking if their time has passed (“is it even worth it to start now?”), since they see so many of their peers going viral on Instagram.

Thinking it’s “too late” isn’t just ridiculous for a teenager, it’s ridiculous for anyone, at any age.

Because the fact is that there is no singular “timeline” you have to follow.

You can start to do whatever you want, whenever you want to.

This is something we all know, logically, but we still have a hard time digging ourselves out of that mindset.

Read this for an extra shovel: Why it’s never too late to start dancing.

 

4. Give credit for everything

If you make chairs for a living, then you can sell that chair, get money for that chair, and now that person who purchased said chair clearly owns that chair. (Say “chair” one more time Jessie -_-)

But if you make music, or choreograph pieces, your “product” gets distributed all over the internet with no clear way to trace its source.

It’s important to note here, that the “product” of a CD isn’t the CD, it’s the music on it. The “product” of a concept video isn’t the video, it’s the choreography in it.

The “product” of books isn’t the physical book, but the words on its pages. The “product” of this blog is not the website domain, but all the information in it.

Plagiarism is a huge, huge offense in the writing and academic world, to the point that you can get sued or permanently expelled for taking someone else’s intellectual property without citing it properly.

In the same vein, err on the side of caution and always credit everybody involved in whatever you make.

DO tag the choreographer if you do a dance cover of their piece.

DON’T ever claim a piece as your own if it’s not.

DO post videos of your STEEZY Studio classes and tag us and the choreographer!

DON’T teach their choreography elsewhere and make money off it.

Basically, understand and empathize with the fact that the things people are make are valuable, and anyone watching an iteration of it should be able to know where it came from.

 

5. Your “style” will come. Just do what you like for now.

I always get questions from new dancers asking how to make your unique look or style of movement.

I wish there was a one-size-fits-all, foolproof formula for everyone to become their own Franklin Yu, but there isn’t.

There is just this cliche-sounding blanket advice that is actually the BEST way to dance (and live life).

Do the things you like. You’ll get better at them and like them even more. Then you’ll discover more things you like through that.

Over time, your best, favorite ways of moving will combine and become your personal style.

Then that’s gonna feel “natural” to you 😉

 

Hope this helped you new dancers feel a bit more welcome and ready to take on this journey!

Send this article to anyone you know who’s interested in dance and needs a helping hand.

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