How to Become a Better Dancer

As many of you may or may not know, dancing is a huge part of my life.  Over the years, I have grown a lot in terms of performance and picking up moves.  This involved watching over cringe dance routines where I look stiffer than a stick, my form was non-existent, and had two left feet. Nevertheless, in my experience, I found out ways to improve my dancing skills so I am a lot more confident in my routines.

Muscle memory.  To become a better dancer, you have to memorise routines.  It is blatantly obvious when someone is thinking about their next move during the performance.  Continuous practice will improve muscle memory and therefore make the piece flow and appear effortless. The best routines seem natural.  This can only be achieved with practice which, although a predictable tip, will forever remain the most important.  It is crucial that you ensure you rehearse the moves with the correct form and posture because it is very difficult to unlearn formations!  I still pull out moves from old routines subconsciously when learning a new one.  

Lessons.  Try to attend some form of dance class at least once a week to refine your motor memory.  This will build a relationship between you and your body.  It is important to be aware of where and what every part of your body is doing whilst you dance.  It is common to have a dangling stray arm or a leg that is sticking out when it shouldn't or if our focus is elsewhere.  Lessons will increase your consciousness and thus, slowly raise your subconscious awareness as a result.  If you cannot afford to attend lessons, which can be very pricey, Youtube has a plethora of dance routines that you can learn!  On top of that, you can slow down the video to help self-teach dance routines that you particularly like.  

Strength.  Building strength will provide better control when dancing.  The moves will look slick and more powerful.  This can be done through practicing slower movements, routines which require increased concentration, and strength-training exercises.  You don't even have to invest in weights! Just follow body-weight circuits that are readily available on Youtube, practice yoga, or do HIIT regimes such as Kayla Itsines or Insanity.  

Learn different styles.  This may appear counter-intuitive but every dance form holds elements of other styles.  There is no one dance that will only utilise a specific set of moves.  Hence, it is extremely useful to practice other styles.  For example, many street/hip hop dancers will occasionally learn ballet in order to strengthen their agility, flexibility, and control.  

Stretch.  Similar to the first tip, stretching to enhance flexibility will improve your moves and emphasise on that 'flowy and effortless' vibe we want to portray.  I recommend the Blogilates 'do the splits in a month' schedule.  Furthermore, the Insanity workouts not only helps build strength and cardiorespiratory fitness, but each workout involves around 10-13 minutes worth of stretching which will considerably improve ones flexibility.  Thus, your routine is going to look more polished.  

Watch yourself.  I hate doing this too.  Whenever I re-watch a performance or me simply grooving in my bedroom, I cringe.  Whether it be my crazy facial expressions or mistakes I make, there is always something worth criticising.  Unfortunately, the prime method of boosting your dancing skills is by reflection.  Try to dance in front of a mirror or record yourself on a phone or laptop before a performance for your own self-development.  More often than not, we are convinced the moves are being done correctly unless we see it for ourselves. Form is everything in dance so it is vital to watch yourself to tweak the routine.  

Those are my top tips!  I hope this helped anyone out and be sure to check out my instagram @misstrendable (alongside my main account which is @misschandhini) because I plan to post mini dance videos on there to share some of my choreography.  

Happy dancing! 

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