Do you want to know how to become a better dancer?
While there is no single, magical way to become a better dancer overnight, there are a number of tips, tricks, and training strategies you can practice to grow.
We organized our guide into 3 parts – on bettering your mind, body, and relationship with the dance community.
Keep reading to see how you can push yourself to become a better dancer – starting today.
How To Become A Better Dancer: Cultivate Your Mind
You get what you focus on – so focus on what you want.
Your mindset when approaching something usually becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.
If you’re genuinely excited about dance, then dive into it with an open mind and be ready to tackle any challenges that come your way – there’s nothing that can stop ya.
Then, getting better will be a natural side effect of doing something that makes you happy!
Practice these easy peasy things: 4 Simple Things Choreographers Can Do To Stay Inspired
Listen to these inspirational speakers: 9 TED Talks That Will Inspire You As A Dancer
Freestyling, as the name suggests, is the free-est, purest form of dance.
You’re not bound to any blueprint of choreography – it’s about your mind and body reacting to the music.
Many people freestyle based on thoughts, feelings, or concepts.
By training in freestyle and improvisation, your mind is practicing the translation from concept to movement.
Freestyling also makes you become a better dancer by helping you be comfortable moving in your own skin.
Unsure of how to start? Do these: 5 Dance Tips To Begin Your Freestyle Foundation
Follow this comprehensive guide: How To Freestyle Dance
There is a huge spotlight on cool, eye-catching choreography in the urban dance world, but great choreography and the process of its creation come from practice.
Take the arsenal of moves you learn from classes, freestyle sessions, and your imagination to make a piece of your own.
It doesn’t matter if you share it or not.
The act of compiling and designing your movements into choreography is a great challenge for any dancer to develop mentally and physically.
Never made a piece before? We got you: How To Choreograph Your First Piece In 6 Simple Steps
Advice for starting: Dear STEEZY, When Do You Begin When Choreographing A Piece?
Watch this video when you get stuck: How To Never Get Choreo Block | Dancer Rants #1
Develop your unique style
The most captivating dancers are the ones who have found their own voice and learned to use it unapologetically.
Stay true to yourself as an artist by developing your self-awareness as a person first.
Figure out what moves you, what inspires you, what you love about dance, and what you’re dancing for.
Think about your music tastes, develop your natural groove, embrace those weird poses your body comes up with.
Your unique style won’t just make you a better dancer, it’ll make you the best dancer you can be.
Know yourself in order to dance like yourself: How To Develop Your Unique Style As A Dancer
Let your true colors shine! Learn: 9 Ways To Stand Out In Dance Class
Insecurity is natural. But don’t let it hinder you! 6 Facts That Will Help You Get Over Your Dance Shy-ness
Wherever you’re going, at whatever pace, don’t stop.
Every one of us has extraordinary, limitless potential – and realizing it takes patient, consistent effort.
If you’re constantly growing, you’ll soon be at a level you never thought possible.
So keep growing, keep changing, keep evolving – one day at a time.
See how our community keeps growing: The Evolution Of Our Global Dance Community
Read tips on becoming growth-focused! 5 Ways Your MINDSET Is Holding You Back As A Dancer (And How To Change It!)
How To Become A Better Dancer: Training Your Body
Eat right, sleep enough
Though our bodies are the very tool we use for dance, many of us neglect it.
Seeing great pieces and knowing how to do it is one thing, but actually executing it means your body has to keep up with your mind.
A healthy, nourished, hydrated body will perform much better than a weak or ill one in any type of dance setting.
Become a better dancer by keeping your body in optimal, dance-ready condition.
Do these things to be in tip-top shape: How To Take Care Of Your Body As A Dancer
Stretch it out
Flexibility is key to bigger, more powerful movements.
Trying to dance when your body’s cold and stiff is no fun.
Pulling a muscle and sitting out is even less fun.
Getting seriously injured is no fun at all.
Make sure you do a quick warm-up before dancing, and cool down with a nice stretch.
Your range of motion will become much larger, and movements will feel more comfortable.
Plus, you’re doing your best to safeguard against potential injuries.
Watch our funny, educational video on: Stretching For Dancers – Dancers In Real Life
Follow these diagrams for an easy, quick daily stretch routine: 7 Stretches To Help You Dance Better (And Stay Injury-Free!)
Train your strength and speed
Execution is basically how you combine your strength and speed in a move.
There are so many different combinations of effects that can be born from one body part or one move – it’s about experimenting with those and seeing what fits best with the music.
Choreographers often use contrasts in strength and speed in their pieces to create an unexpected “moment.”
And those moments make a piece dynamic and fun to watch!
Play with variations in strength and speed while freestyling. Or switch up the “texture” of a move in a piece you’re learning.
You’ll train your body to execute differently and explore new pathways and textures.
Be more in tune with your body by reading: Want To Dance With More CONTROL? Read This.
Get advice from Carlo Darang: How To Execute Choreography Better By Utilizing Your Whole Body With Carlo Darang (Of Choreo Cookies)
And more advice from Paul Ross: How To Dance Quickly To Slow Songs With Paul Ross (Of Choreo Cookies)
Groove for days
If you really don’t know where to start dancing, start with grooves!
When you’re at a club or hear your favorite throwback jam on the radio, how do you react?
How does your body naturally move to the rhythm?
That’s your groove. Of course, there are so many different grooves – some with official names, some without, some that your body does that no one else can emulate exactly.
Practicing grooves and getting comfortable with how your body moves will make you look better dancing in class, at a performance, or at the club 😉
We recommend taking beginning classes or attending open house sessions to practice grooving!
Wondering what you can learn from going back to the basics? Read: Why Every Dancer Should Take A Beginner Dance Class
Scott Forsyth breaks down how to make easy moves look hard and hard moves look easy: How To Kill A New School Groove Like Scott Forsyth (Of Brotherhood)
Drill and practice techniques
Drilling techniques will ingrain that feeling into your muscle memory, so you can reflexively call on those movements when you dance.
These are the ABCs of dance and choreography.
For example, popping exercises will train your technique and understanding of your muscle groups, so that when you’re in a cypher or learning a popping piece, it will be second nature to execute it correctly.
Practice makes perfect. Do these 5 Simple Daily Practices To Improve Your Dancing Ability
Popping drills will help with body awareness and control. Do these 7 Exercises To Boost Your Popping Fundamentals From Charles Nguyen (Of Poreotics)
How To Become A Better Dancer: Get Involved In The Community
Train by taking class
Taking classes at a studio is the most effective way to learn choreography, practice performing, and meet new dancer friends.
Take dance classes that are a bit uncomfortable to expand past your comfort zone.
Jessie is YOU. Watch how she learns to learn: How To Get The Most Out Of Dance Class (Video)
Taking your first few dance classes will be a breeze with: The Ultimate Guide To Taking Class For Beginner Dancers
Join a team
Being on a dance team can make you a better dancer because you’re surrounded by dancers of different backgrounds, experience, styles, and wisdom.
Plus, being a part of a team while working toward a collective purpose.
A team trains you to be clean, provides opportunities for your choreography to be shared or performed, people to collaborate and grow with – the possibilities are endless!
So take advantage of being on a team. Learn everything your directors have to teach. Attend every rehearsal, training session, show, and competition.
Download our “Audition Prep Checklist” Worksheet – it has everything you need to make your DREAM dance team! (And yes, it’s free.)
Become a leader
Not only is being a leader is a lot about giving back, but it also teaches you a lot about yourself as a dancer and as a person.
If you want a push as a dancer that’s not necessarily restricted to a physical skillset, then try taking on more duties on your team or at your studio.
You’ll start to create more opportunities both for yourself artistically and within the community.
Get tips on How To Lead Your Dance Team More Effectively
Write your team’s mission statement with the help of Anna and Arnel: Dance Leadership Tools From Anna Sarao And Arnel Calvario
Learn from and grow with others
This can be anything from sessioning with friends, meeting people at competitions, or collaborating with a teammate for a piece.
One of the most powerful ways to grow is by being around others who want to grow.
Luckily, dancers have so many chances to do so –we’re surrounded by talented, passionate, like-minded individuals everywhere.
Dance is a social activity, after all! No better way to celebrate its beauty than with the company of others 🙂
Use these Tips To Cultivate Positive Dancer Relationships
Wanna give back? Read this: How To Positively Contribute To The Dance Community
Share Your Work
A lot of dancers aim to teach classes one day, which is a great goal to have – but before starting to teach your pieces, make sure that you have a good handle on both
2. The actual teaching process.
It does take time and practice to hone your skills as an instructor, so practice first with small workshops or just gathering your friends together and teaching them a piece!
Get teaching opportunities: 3 Concepts To Help You Become A Better Choreographer
Another way to put your work “out there” is through videos. Filming choreography and producing a video of it challenges you as a choreographer, dancer, editor, and all-around artist.
Need a guide for filming and editing? Click: How To Make Amazing Dance Videos
Becoming a better dancer is a journey that looks different for everyone.
Take the tips you need in yours to make your growth more focused and efficient!
We hope this helped you understand how to become a better dancer!
If you feel you need to take more choreography classes, STEEZY Studio is a great way to train.
You can learn from the world’s most sought-after choreographers who teach each move clearly and thoroughly.
Click to get a free week now!
This post was originally published on July 11, 2016.