Footwork is ESSENTIAL when you dance!
If you’re not moving your feet, then you’re not utilizing your whole body to create a complete movement!
Keone, Bam, and Lyle can show you just how effective footwork can be – ON ITS OWN:
So how do we train our feet and legs to take our freestyle and choreography to the next level?
Or even just to move ‘em naturally so we don’t look so stiff?!
We’ve got 7 training tips that you should start doing today to take you from footwork.. to foot-werrrrk.
1. Know where your weight is
Let’s start with the basics – stabilizing your balance.
To do this, feel how your weight is distributed through each move.
For example, if you have to lift your left foot up, then most of your weight should be on your right foot.
Maintain a sturdy base the next time you dance and you’ll notice how much more controlled your bottom half is!
Play around with different positions, whether it’s on one foot or both, so you get comfortable with where your weight is and how to shift between them.
See Related Article: Want To Dance With More Control? Read THIS.
2. Stay on the balls of your feet
When we asked Carlo Darang for tips for his fast-moving pieces, here’s what he had to share.
“Always try to be light-footed and ready to move from one part of the floor to another!
If you dance on your toes and heels and not set everything your entire foot, then it’s kind of like jump-roping – you’ll be ready to jump from one place to another.
This skill is like a triple-threat for basketball players, or even your ready stance for football players… for us dancers, it’s the same thing, same idea – be in a position where it’s easy for you to go anywhere.”
So when you’re dancing, don’t always be flat footed! Being on the balls of your feet will help you spring and rebound off the floor much more easily.
Watch him in action in his
STEEZY Studio class!
Thanks for the tips, Carlo!
See Related Article: How To Execute Choreography Better By Utilizing Your Body With Carlo Darang
3. Take it high and low
Footwork doesn’t just involve your FEET.
You can utilize your LEGS to can take your body to different levels and make your changes look more drastic.
Bend your knees to dip it low (cue Christina Milian~) and releve to reach up high.
The more burn you feel in your thighs and calves, the more dynamic your dancing is. Just kidding.
But do incorporate high and low levels to jazz up your dancing!
4. Don’t be afraid of the floor
I’m one of those people that groan when the choreographer says “there’s a little bit of floorwork..”
But once I do it, I realize how awesome it is.
For starters, it trains your athleticism by taking your body out of its comfort zone of being upright.
Second, it makes the piece look so much more dynamic because that whole level change to get to the floor is a chance to do something cool.
And lastly, working with the floor opens up a whole new door for creative choreography concepts!
You can use your hands to trace things on the floor, lay down flat and do some synchronized-swimming-esque leg movements, swivel around on your knees.
It’s like having a dance partner to work off of – except your partner is flat and unmoving.
For inspiration, check out how Chris Martin plays with the floor in his
STEEZY Studio piece:
Using your legs means that you can MOOOOVE.
Like literally. Move across the floor.
Get out of your box and use steps to travel! It’ll add another dimension to your dancing and bring the audience along with you for the ride.
When you’re choreographing, try challenging yourself for a segment to come up with a way to dance from point A to point B maybe 10 feet away.
When you freestyle and feel yourself repeating the same steps you can utilize those same steps but change them in direction to travel!
6. Drill steps
Drill steps that you find in footwork-heavy styles like House and B-boying.
A big key here is repetition.
If you do the loose leg or 6-step a zillion times, then your feet are going to become conditioned to move in those combinations without you even trying.
This will also allow you to be more creative with variations of those steps!
So when you encounter a tricky step or piece of footwork, don’t just get through it but master it so you’ll be ready for next time.
7. Polish your turns
A sloppy turn can totally ruin the flow of a piece. You don’t want to clumsily jump out of a turn!
Here are some tips to make your turns clean:
Engage your core muscles
Imagine a line from the ceiling to your head, to your toes, to the floor. You want to stay in that alignment as you visualize your turn
Plie for leverage
TURN UP your piece or freestyle with some clean ass turns!
Same as any other step, turns just take a lot of repetition to master.
See Related Article: The Class You Need To Unlock Your Dancer Potential
Ready to get those feet moving? Comment below with something that helps you with your footwork!
Ray Basa, Julian Sena, Carlo Darang, or Paul Ross’ classes on STEEZY Studio to train for quicker, more dynamic footwork.
Happy (feet) learning!