You know those dancers that look almost superhuman because their control is so insane?
Well, they’re not superhuman. They’re HUMAN!!! Just like you 🙂
Which meannnnns that YOU can achieve that level of control, too!
That is… with the right tools and PLENTY of practice.
You see, “control” in dancing means your mental control and motor control are in harmony.
If you want this understanding of your body and how to control it, then keep reading!
1. Be Aware Of Your Stopping Points
Being clean doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re 100% controlled, but control and cleanliness do go hand in hand.
See Related Article: How To Be A Cleaner Dancer
Let’s say you have a coloring book. The outlines are the “stopping points,” AKA where your movements should end.
Knowing exactly where those outlines are ensures that your movements aren’t extending beyond it (coloring outside the lines), or cutting it short (leaving an awkward gap).
Hitting these pictures precisely makes you clean because you’re understanding WHERE to move your body.
That’s the first step of control!
The next is knowing HOW you’re moving WITHIN those lines.
So once you figure out where your stopping points are…
2. Know Your Pathway Between The Points
The actual movement between point A and point B is where your control really comes in.
First, set the pathway.
Liiiike, is it a straight line? Is your hand going from your right shoulder to your knee or your chest to your stomach??
This is the question that I personally ask most often in class, because it’s easy to see pictures that the choreographer is hitting, but harder to catch the movement in between.
Once you know what that pathway is, you can refine the way you move through that pathway if you…
3. Choose Which Muscles To Use And When
Imagine your body as a marionette. Each body part is controlled by a specific string.
When you dance, these strings are invisible controls that exist in your brain.
Get used to what it feels like to move certain body parts.
Try moving into any position as slowly as you possibly can. Put yourself in awkward positions. Be able to hold whatever position by getting your body used to it. And let your mind soak up exactly what all these feel like.
See Related Article: How To Dance Better By Understanding Body Awareness
4. Play With Power
Being able to control your power means that you’re not over- or under- exerting energy.
Going back to the coloring book metaphor – this is how hard you’re pressing down on the paper with your crayon. You don’t want to bleed through the sheet (overexert), nor do you want it to be too light (under exert).
You want to match the right level of power according to the music.
To practice controlling your power, start with a limp body. Loosen your muscles to 0%.
Then, slowly start to flex until you reach the most tense you can be. You can try this by isolating certain body parts, or tensing your entire body up.
Experiment with how much energy you’re exerting. Go from 0-100%, then back down, or just halfway to 50%.
Start to use that power to move. Initiate at 75%, then milk down to 0%. Start softly at 10%, then tense up to 100%.
Play with those levels however you want – the key is keeping your mind focused on how it feels.
As you become more fluent with your power levels, even the most simple movements in choreography will start to look more polished and refined as you will be able to really show the musicality.
See Related Article: How To Dance Bigger, Stronger, And More “Full Out”
5. Increase Your Flexibility
If you increase your range of motion, then you’ll have the agility to move how you want without so much physical strain.
If you can do the splits, kicking high is not so much of a physical challenge. You won’t be shaking or straining. You have more control over how high or low you want that kick to go.
Stretch regularly and warm your muscles up before dancing in order to become more flexible!
See Related Video: Stretching For Dancers
6. Be Stable On Your Feet
Can you imagine sitting on a chair… with TOOTHPICKS for legs?! You’d probably feel really unsafe, right?
This is like your body when you dance.
If your bottom half is weak and wobbly, then nothing above that can look controlled.
It starts with keeping your balance. To do this, know how your weight should be distributed in each move.
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 you feel!
Control is something that is trainable. We hope these tips will help your body to create the movements that your mind wants!
We can’t wait to watch you become a body… Controlla~
What do you do to train your control? Comment below and share with us!
Popping drills are perfect if you want your dancing to be more controlled.
Take Boogie Frantick’s classes on waving and hitting, or learn Kid Boogie’s popping choreo!
Sign up now to start fo’ free!