Cool, so you got a handle on the music. Let’s see how you can dance to it.
1. Get Well-Versed In A “Fundamental Style”
Fundamental, or foundational styles, are the bread and butter of freestyle.
These dances emerged in clubs and other social settings where dancers used freestyle to express themselves. (This is also why our first point about music is so important. The music that’s popular in an area or period greatly influences how people think, feel, and dance.)
Over time, the techniques, grooves, and combos from these styles became the building blocks for a lot of the choreography we see today.
These styles include but are not limited to: Popping, Locking, Breaking, House, Waacking, Krump, and more!
The vocabulary of moves from any of these styles give a blueprint for freestyle dance. Yes, freestyle allows you to embrace your own style, sure, but it helps to start on solid ..foundation 😉
Watch videos and take classes to see which styles you feel most drawn to and just focus on ONE or two of those.
It’d be REALLY overwhelming and not as efficient to start to train in house, lock, waack, and break all at once.
So once you zero in one one or two styles, practice those techniques repeatedly. Think of it as conditioning, similar to how ballet dancers tendu or plie repeatedly to ingrain that into their bodies.
Drill hits, waves, loose legs, glides – whatever it is that you want in your arsenal of dance moves. They will be the skeleton for your freestyle!
Keep in mind that you are free to expand your movements however you wish. That’s the best part of freestyling – that it’s a mode of self-expression. These drills will just help you to have a good base to build off of.
Nothing’s wrong with just vibing to a song, but if you want your freestyle to look more compelling or impressive, then try adding dynamics.
Dynamics refer to how you do a move, not the move itself. For example, you can do the same arm wave in an infinite amount of different ways. Fast and strong? Or initiate from the shoulder? Milk and then hit at the end?
We like to call these the “fast and slows, highs and lows.”
Playing with different speeds, levels of power, placements, and other factors can transform your dancing from flat to fascinating.
4. Play With Combinations Of Moves
We all have our “default” moves. It’s what our body naturally wants to do to certain sounds.
Do you find yourself repeating certain movements? That’s fine! But you can make that move look more complex and interesting by fusing it with other movements.
For example, you got your basic two-step. Right, tap. Left, tap.
Now… Add arms! Maybe a.. Head tilt! Try a lean into your step!
Groundbreaking. Now your basic two-step is a whole new move!
Experiment with different body parts to add more flavor to your base moves. You never know what unique pictures or grooves you’ll come up with!
5. Use Concept-Based Freestyling
It’s common to get stuck or lost in a freestyle if you’re just basing your dancing off of a set of moves.
Try telling a story or depicting a concept with your freestyle.
This video explains how you can use “concept-based freestyling” to level up your freestyle dance game.
6. Practice Wherever, Whenever!
The best part of freestyling is that it’s FREE. Get it?? Eh??
No, but literally.
You don’t have to pay for a class or go anywhere fancy. You can freestyle in your garage, your room, your car… You can get a group of your friends together and session… You can hiT DA CLUB and let your freak flag fly.
How and when you practice freestyling is virtually 100% up to you.
So do it anytime, all the time! And watch yourself grow more comfortable and creative freestyle dancing.