We’ve all been there: standing on the side of the party, watching the people on the dancefloor get down, wishing we could be one of them. However, what we’re here to tell you is this: you can be one of them. Like most skills, dancing can seem impossible from the outside but everyone and anyone can learn to dance if they work at it! You can have two left feet, you can have no rhythm, and as long as you’re dedicated you will learn to dance with time. To help you on your journey to learning to dance, we’ve included a few tips and tricks that helped us on our own journey.
Easier said than done. But really, confidence is a key part of learning anything new, especially dancing. There are very few people who are confident right off the bat, and if you’re not one of them (which is totally okay and normal) the best way to get there is to fake it ‘till you make it. The only way you can learn to do something comfortable is by practicing, and this is true of both confidence and dancing. Get out there and strut your stuff. Even if you feel awkward at first, the more you do it the better you’ll feel. Nobody will remember the mistakes you make if you have fun while making them.
An easy way to make yourself feel more confident on the dance floor is to smile. Smiling is scientifically proven to make you happier (and healthier). If you’re feeling scared or nervous while learning to dance, all you need to do is smile. Even if it’s a forced one, it’ll make you feel more confident. Best of all, smiling is contagious! When you smile, the people around you will smile too, making everyone feel more comfortable. Smiling will also protect you if you're afraid of being embarrassed - because if someone is having fun dancing, it doesn't matter what they look like!
This part comes with being confident and comfortable. Its harder to learn anything if you’re not loose. Tense muscles make it hard to dance. Your body language and posture not only affect how you feel, they also affect the way people around you feel. If you’re tensed up you won’t be as open to instruction or criticism, and chances are whoever is teaching you isn’t going to be open to teaching you either. Staying loose will make it easier for you to dance and learn the right way.
A few tips on how to stay loose are to always warm up, having you blood flowing and heart pumping will naturally make you feel better and make you move easier. A good warm up will be 10-15 minutes and should include some static and dynamic stretching, and some basic exercise movements to begin to engage your muscles. Take some deep breathes before you start, this will calm you mind and aid in your warm up. Practice the basics that you know already, this can be part of your warm up - or done after your warm up - this will get your body moving in the way it needs to and you will also be refining your dance vocabulary so that your movements will look more natural.
Remember It’s A Process
Like any new skill, learning to dance isn’t going to be easy at first. You’re going to make a lot of mistakes, but a good thing to remember is that everyone has been there. You are not the first person who’s made a mistake, and you’re not going to be the last. Making a mistake won't make other people look at you in a negative way - giving up after making a mistake will! As you get better, you’ll feel more comfortable, but even with time you’ll still experience frustration when you hit plateaus and experience learning curves. This is normal. Learning to dance is a long and should be a never-ending process, there will always be room for improvement. As long as you have fun, love what you’re doing, and remember to appreciate the music and the people around you - you're doing it right.
If you’re wondering if you can learn to dance, the answer is yes. You can learn to dance. Everyone and anyone can learn to dance. All you have to do is practice, have fun, and most of all: appreciate the music your dancing too. There will be moments when you’re learning to dance that you will feel frustrated and insecure, but these moments are the ones that will yield the most physical and mental growth when they are overcome!