When I was young, attempting to dance made me feel like a straight up loser.
Each time I tried, the little confidence I had would simply evaporate, leaving my awkward alter-ego, Blunder Woman™, to execute the moves.
It wasn’t until I started considering dance as an opportunity to experience joy, not just a test of my skills, that I finally started looking forward to dancing as an act of self-care.
Here are the 7 things I learned that reframed my relationship with dance, and made me realize that EVERYONE should incorporate it in their self-care routine.
1. There’s no such thing as a bad dancer
I thought I was a bad dancer because every time someone tried to teach me moves, I fumbled over my feet, got off-beat, and became too embarrassed to keep going.
If this sounds like you, using dance as a fun activity isn’t out of the question – you probably just need to work on your rhythm.
Without rhythm, learning a dance move will be too complex and frustrating, so start small in order to work your way to a joyful dance experience.
For one week, put on music every day, and simply clap your hands, snap your fingers, and tap your foot to the beat.
Be sure to choose songs where the beats are super clear, so you know when you’re getting it right. (Rap/Hip Hop songs where there’s a clap or snap sound on the beats are great for this!)
After the first week of nothing but clapping and snapping, level up to doing a 2 step to the same songs you used on week one.
After you build up your rhythm skills, try actual dance moves again and you’ll pick things up exponentially faster than ever before!
Once that barrier of entry is gone, I promise you’ll feel excited to keep dancing.
2. Every body is a dance body
In reality, you can do most things that you set your mind to, but dance is a particularly special sport because you don’t have to dedicate your whole life to it or be insanely athletic to join in.
No matter your age, height, size, range of mobility – you can dance and have an amazing time.
So, take dancing as an opportunity to perform self-love.
Watch yourself dance, or get totally lost in the experience, and remember at the end of your session:
My body can be a vessel for art, beauty, and happiness – just as it is.
3. Dance does not have to be a “performative act”
You might think about dancing as something you do at school events, parties, weddings, etc.
But even if you’re not interested in dancing in front of others, you can just dance for yourself!
Try dancing alone to your favorite songs once a week, and you’ll find yourself looking forward to that personal time you’ve carved out to get down.
OR, if you want to try dancing alone, but want a more structured practice session, just take a dance class online.
STEEZY Studio has easy-to-follow classes that you can enjoy in the privacy of your own home, so you can learn new things with none of the pressure of an in-person class.
4. Dance doesn't have to be about choreography
Most people think of dance classes in a very specific format – go in, warm up, learn some sort of routine, perform it in front of each other, go home.
But there’s a wide range of classes you can take, and learning choreography isn’t a must.
If you only want to dance for the sake of feeling confident and having fun, you can focus simply on building your basic skills, and then go freestyle!
Not sure where to start?
Try looking into different dance styles and see what attracts you. That will inform the types of basic skills you want to learn in order to build up your freestyle abilities!
For example, if you want to learn how to dance swaggy & cool, read this article to start learning Hip Hop basics.
Once you master the vibe of a style you like, you can easily enjoy freestyling alone or with others – no fancy choreo required.
5. You can use dance to celebrate all your emotions.
Even though I was once terrified of dancing, in present times, dance is one of the first things I turn to when I’m unhappy.
I pretend I’m in my own music video, and I start having a conversation that I know I need to have, using my body.
We tend to think that the “celebration” of something should always be a happy thing, but the healthiest, happiest people celebrate all that they feel.
They honor their anger. Their sadness. Their fears.
Next time you experience a negative emotion, try dancing your way through it, and acknowledge how you feel at the end of your session.
Did your emotions flip from negative to positive by the end? Did the endorphins you released leave you feeling happier? Did it feel therapeutic, like writing in a journal or winning an imaginary argument in the shower?
You’ll probably be surprised by just how good it feels to express everything through movement.
6. You’ll improve your balance, coordination, and stamina
Dance is a great way to show your body some love, as you’ll be building up your endurance throughout your high-energy sessions, and improving your balance and coordination by challenging your body in new ways.
Taking care of your body today is like writing a love letter to future-you.
So even if you’re not trying to level up, you’ll feel better about your body (as you get fit) and feel better about yourself (as a person who takes care of themselves).
Pay close attention to those little health improvements that come as you start dancing, and the pride that comes with them – it will give you a boost of joy!
7. Dancing will make you more confident, outside of dance
When you start dancing, you’ll learn how to be more vulnerable in front of others and yourself.
As you challenge yourself to do things that are outside of your comfort zone and succeed, your brain logs it and says, “Ok, that wasn’t so bad. Maybe the next thing I do outside of my comfort zone won’t be so bad either!”
The confidence you build through dance may bleed into your public speaking skills, your ability to be yourself around new people, or your likeliness to try new things in general.
And a confident, self-assured person is a happy person!
We hope you keep all of these assertions in mind as you start your dance-filled self-care journey.
And if you want a fool-proof way to get happily grooving, head on over to STEEZY Studio!
STEEZY Studio has 1000+ online dance classes for beginners and beyond, so you can learn step-by-step from the world’s best teachers.
Thanks so much for reading!
With Love, Charise (STEEZY's Lead Copywriter)