Do you want to “slay,” “kill,” or “murder” any piece that’s thrown at you? To dance with… “SWAG”?
Or do you want to just feel comfortable with yourself when you dance?
The thing that makes or breaks a dancer’s performance is not cleanliness, nor facials, nor textures.
So try these 6 tips out to help you dance with more confidence!
Wanna Dance With More Confidence? Then…
1. Put in the work
The more you work on yourself as a dancer, the more your confidence will grow alongside your skills.
First, seeing your progress will make you more self-assured in yourself as a dancer.
The classes that would’ve intimidated you a year ago will feel like a fun challenge, instead.
The feedback loop of “results -> motivation -> work -> more results” will continue to elevate both your dance abilities and confidence.
Second, knowing that you worked hard is going to boost your confidence – even without the benchmarks of improvement.
The act of working hard is something to take pride in, in itself.
“Know yourself and you will win all battles.”
– Sun Tzu
Neither first place nor select groups are as important as your own view of yourself.
Be prepared. Trust yourself. It’ll leave very little room for external factors to shake your confidence.
When compliments and rewards come, say thank you and celebrate. If critiques come, say thank you and grow from them.
Speaking of, what is your view of yourself?
2. Strive to be “different, not better”
One of the most freeing realizations about art is that there is no “right” or “wrong.”
There are only interpretations and preferences.
Yes, there are technical criteria in dance, but when it comes to personal style.. You do you!
One way to be confident, especially when it comes to things like freestyling or choreographing, is to embrace your right to be different.
If anything, please feel encouraged to be original.
So many dancers stick to emulating their dance idols because they’re scared to develop their own or are just unaware that they can.
This not only comes at the sacrifice of their true style that was meant to shine, but it also makes their performance feel like a dance cover.
“Always be yourself and have faith in yourself. Do not go out and look for a successful personality and try to duplicate it.”
When you find your own true voice, you’ll wear it so comfortably that it’s impossible for it not to look good.
Your personal swag is like a suit tailored especially to your body. Except it’s your skin. WHOA.
“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.”
– Ralph Waldo Emerson
3. Keep you posture in mind
Want a simple trick to executing your own or anyone else’s choreography with confidence?
Here it is:
The right body posture.
Now, it’s not just about having your chest puffed and chin up.
It’s about deciding what kind of character that the piece is meant to portray.
Confidence looks different in different contexts.
Some pieces or styles (for example, waacking) call on you to stand tall with your shoulders back and focus up. Mmph, powerful and sexy.
But other pieces (for example, a smooth r&b piece) may look awkward with such an upright stance. Setting your focus at eye level or lower would look more inviting and conversational than projecting up would.
Finding the posture that fits the piece well is going to help you embody the mood of the piece, making your performance look more natural and confident.
Wanna get even more specific than posture?
4. Play a part
This might come as a surprise.. But…
You don’t have to actually be a confident person to dance confidently.
All of us have insecurities, in and outside of dance.
The great part of performing is that you can forget about those things for a second and be someone else.
Literally. You can play a different person.
When you perform a piece, listen to the song and let your mind design the entire story: character, intent, and setting.
“What is this person feeling? Their desire? Intention? What situation are they in??”
Specifying the role will make it easier to perform with the posture, facials, and mannerisms that this character has.
“When you believe in a thing, believe in it all the way, implicitly and unquestionable.”
– Walt Disney
5. Get immune to messing up
Mistakes are blessings in disguise.
They are “pause buttons” in life where you have to stop and ask, “Okay, what just happened? And how do I not do that again??”
If you approach challenges with this mindset, then you will have very little to fear.
In fact, being open to learning and growing is the ultimate recipe for success.
So the next time you brain fart during groups, don’t stress about it.
Use it as a catalyst to become better instead.
“Once we believe in ourselves, we can risk curiosity, wonder, spontaneous delight, or any experience that reveals the human spirit.”
– E.E. Cummings
Being confident doesn’t mean that you’re invincible.
It just means that you’re not going to let your fear of messing up hold you back.
Dancing BIG and “full out” is a surefire way to catch eyeballs…
But not all “full-outs” are created equal.
Looking confident has less to do with how much power you’re distributing to each move and more with how fully you are committing to it.
Instead of going HAM for every single move, take note of just how much you need to give and give that. All of that.
If a move calls for a straight arm, then extend it fully. Gotta get low? You better GRAND plié that sucker. Tryna jump? Get hella air!
If you have to slow down, then slow down. Commit to that slow down.
Simple things like a walk, a look, a freestyle – commit to those as much as you commit to the full-out power moves.
Clay gets into the topic of dance commitment in this “Dear STEEZY” below!
These 6 tips are just a start to being able to dance with more confidence.
But confidence is mostly a mental matter – it is about believing yourself.
And even if you don’t yet, know that we believe in you! And we want to see you killin’ it out there!