Learn to Dance 101 (No Experience Necessary!)
If you’re ready to learn to dance, we’re ready to show you how!
And, if you still have doubts whether you should take up dance, consider this: Frequent dancing reduced the risk of dementia by 76%. No other activity — physical or mental — scored that high.
So, put your shyness aside, get your dancing shoes, and let’s begin!
There are only 3 things you need to practice:
1. The Beat
Stand and count to eight. Do it again but this time, tap or stomp one foot each time you say a number. Do all that again but now also clap on 2, 4, 6, and 8. Repeat but double-clap on 2, 4, 6, and 8 this time.
Do you hear what’s happening? You’ve created a beat! Keep practicing this exercise until you feel your head, hips, and shoulders also moving to the beat.
When that’s happening, you’re ready to start moving.
2. The Side-Step
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Resume counting from 1 to 8 but this time, lift one foot and bring it inward to touch the side of the other on each count. In a mirror, it will look like your swaying or bopping from side-to-side.
Keep your arms loose and chin up. Continue until you’re comfortable with the movement.
3. The X-Move
The side-step is a basic yet versatile move. But you’ll end up looking like a robot if you do it in one place for too long. That’s where the X-move comes in.
Picture an X on the floor and stand in the center. Continue the 1 to 8 count in your head.
Keeping one foot at the center of the X and turn your body. Move the other foot so it taps at one X end point. Do the side-step tap away from the center. Return the outside foot to the center and turn your body so you can side-step to another end point.
You’re still doing the side-step but by turning your body, you’re moving to the beat.
Keep your knees and shoulders loose. Move your arms in different ways. Every two or four beats you can clap, roll your shoulders, or push your hand out as if you were stopping traffic. There are no rules. You’re simply moving your body to the beat.
Look! You’re dancing!
The pivoting side-step is all you need to join the dance floor fun at the next wedding reception you attend.
Learn to Dance: The Next Level
There’s no end to dance performances and tutorials on YouTube. The advantage of watching dance videos is the ability to pause and replay.
To learn to dance in a particular style, practice while you watch and stick with one video until you’re able to replicate what the person is doing. This helps build muscle memory!
Live performances are motivating as well as instructive. Witnessing first-hand how someone moves to music that you enjoy can inspire you to keep practicing.
Classes can be a great way to learn many kinds of dance and progress quickly. Besides getting feedback from the instructor, there is a sense of community as well.
Do a little research before signing up for classes. To prevent feeling intimidated, make sure you’re learning alongside other beginners.
The best way to learn to dance is to dance! In other words, practice.
If you’re dancing to music you enjoy, practicing can be fun. If you master the basics and become comfortable moving your body, practicing can be joyful.
Ready to get moving?
Refer to this guide whenever you need to.
The most important thing is that you decided to learn to dance, to begin with.
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