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The Ultimate Beginner Dance Guide

Beginner Guides

The Ultimate Beginner Dance Guide

Charise Roberts
October 8, 2021
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Do you want to be a good dancer? Well, you've come to the right place.

STEEZY has organized this guide to being a good dancer into 16 steps:

  1. Get inspired
  2. Warm up and stretch
  3. Study music
  4. Learn basics and grooves
  5. Take dance classes
  6. Train technique and execution
  7. Learn to dance with feeling
  8. Explore through freestyle
  9. Create choreography
  10. Find what makes you unique
  11. Stay growth-minded
  12. Kill it on stage
  13. Become a leader
  14. Collaborate with others
  15. Share your work
  16. Take care of your body

Keep reading to see how you can become a good dancer – starting today.

P.S. Ready to start dancing now – like RIGHT NOW? Head on over to STEEZY Studio: the best place to take dance classes online.

We have a 10-day "Intro to Dance" program that's designed to get you moving and grooving, step-by-step, so you can get down in any social setting and lay the foundation for any other type of dancing you wanna do.

Click here to take the first four days for free!

How To Be A Good Dancer

1. Get inspired

Whether it's your first week or 10th year of dancing, the key to being a good dancer is wanting to be a good dancer. Remind yourself why you think dancing is fun or cool in the first place!

This "why" is gonna keep you going in the times you feel defeated or lazy.

Feed your inspiration by watching dance videos, talking to your dance friends, going to dance shows – whatever makes you feel that spark again.

2. Warm up and stretch

Before you start dancing, you need to make sure your body is ready for it! Because trying to dance when your body’s cold and stiff is no fun.

Pulling a muscle and sitting out is even less fun. And getting seriously injured is no fun at all.

Warming up and stretching before you dance will help you move with wider range of motion and more control, and help prevent injuries.

Follow these diagrams for an easy, quick daily stretch routine: Do These Stretches To Help You Dance Better (And Stay Injury-Free!)

And watch this video on how dancers should and shouldn't stretch:

3. Study music

Training your body is just one part of becoming a good dancer. Studying music will to give you a much, MUCH better understanding of how dance to it.

Dance is, after all, your body becoming a physical representation of the way that music sounds. Those dancers that you watch that somehow become the music?

They do this by first understanding the sounds mentally. Read this to study dance musicality: What Is Dance Musicality?

And watch this video to learn how to count like a dancer:

4. Learn basics and grooves

Narrow down the styles you want to learn, and focus on the foundational movements of that style. Something that all dance styles have in common is a groove.

You probably groove all the time already! Do you bob your head while listening to music in the car? Do you go to the club and sway side to side to the beat?

Those are all grooves! Of course, there are so many different grooves – some have official names and techniques that you can learn.

Bianca Vallar teaches tons of easy Hip-Hop-influenced grooves in her "Intro to Dance" program on STEEZY Studio.

Practicing grooves and getting comfortable with how your body moves will make you look better dancing in class, at a performance, anywhere.

Carlo Darang talks about grooving and loosening up:

5. Take dance classes

Taking classes at a studio is a great way to learn choreography, practice performing, and meet new dancer friends! Not sure how to find one?

Use this guide for How To Take a Dance Class.

And if you're not quite ready to head to an IRL dance studio, try taking online dance classes, right at home.

In this video, professional dancer Alexander Chung shows you how to do just that:

6. Train technique and execution

Techniques and foundation are the ABC's of all movements.

Drilling techniques will ingrain that movement into your muscle memory, so you can just do those without thinking.

For example, doing Popping exercises will train your control, power, and understanding of your muscle groups.

Learning House steps will make you more comfortable with your footwork.

Ballet can train, well, pretty much every part of your body.

Whatever the style, focus on the elementary techniques first using this easy-to-follow training method:

7. Learn to move with feeling

Executing movement the way you want has a lot of different parts.

There are the technical parts (which you'll master through learning the basics of a dance style and taking lots of classes) and the artistic parts (which you'll learn by connecting to the music and finding ways to convey the feeling of a sound).

While it's important to start your dance training by learning the more technical building blocks that you'll need to move your body in a way that looks cool, confident, and relaxed, the next phase of your training should be focused on becoming THAT dancer –

The person who walks onto the dance floor or stage and makes EVERYONE think: wow, they don't dance to the music. They become the music.

To do this, you'll need to learn all about texture, which is how dancers describe how sounds feel.

For example, the sound of a cymbal being struck might feel sharp and sudden.

Or the sound of a bass note might feel intense and deep, like a boom that reverberates through your chest.

So when you hear a cymbal you might dance sharp and fast.

When you hear a bass, you might use heavy, grounded movements.

Learn more about texture in this video!

8. Explore through freestyle dancing

Freestyling is a great way to practice your fundamentals, get in touch with the music, and to explore the ways your body wants to move.

Here's a more comprehensive guide on freestyling: How To Freestyle Dance

If you feel insecure about your freestyling, then watch this video:

9. Create choreography

Making choreography is a great way to challenge yourself as a dancer.

You'll be pushed to come up with creative new moves, freestyle, and pay attention to music in ways you never did before.

Never made a piece before? We got you: How To Choreograph A Dance In 6 Simple Steps

Watch this video when you get stuck:

10. Find what makes you unique

The most captivating dancers are the ones who have found their own voice and learned to use it.

Think about your music tastes, develop your natural groove, embrace those weird poses your body comes up with.

Your unique style won’t just make you a better dancer, it’ll make you the best dancer you can be.

11. Stay growth-minded

Don't pigeon-hole yourself into a "type" of dancer. Let yourself explore all different kinds of dance, let yourself fail, let yourself keep striving for growth.

Read tips on becoming growth-focused! 5 Ways Your MINDSET Is Holding You Back As A Dancer (And How To Change It!)

If you’re constantly growing, even in baby steps, you’ll soon be at a level you never thought possible.

So keep growing, keep changing, keep evolving – one day at a time.

Scared of judgement from others? Watch this video:

12. Kill it on stage

Dance is a performance art – so being a great dancer means that you know how to kill it on stage.

The next time you're at a show or competition, or filming a video, bring out your best performance.

Try these tips: 7 Easy Ways To Kill It On Stage

Make sure all eyes are on you.

Read: How To Dance Bigger, Stronger, And More Full Out

13. Become a leader

If you want a push yourself even further, then consider being a captain or director of your dance team.

Not only will being a leader teach you management and communication skills, it's an opportunity to give back to a team and community that gives you so many opportunities.

It all starts with the 'why.'

Write your team's mission statement the help of the pioneers: Dance Leadership Tools From Arnel Calvario And Anna Sarao

14. Collaborate with others

We’re blessed to be surrounded by talented, passionate, like-minded individuals in our community.

Share the love by collaborating with other dancers – this can mean working together to create a piece, host a workshop, whatever!

Tips on joint choreography creation! How To Collab With Someone To Make A Piece

15. Share your work

It's not about the video. But if you worked hard on a piece or enjoyed teaching a class, do share! Your work can inspire someone else, and push you to create better.

16. Take care of your body!

Though our bodies are the very tool we use for dance, many of us neglect it.

A healthy, nourished, hydrated body will perform much better than a weak, stiff, dehydrated one in any dance setting.

Be a good dancer by keeping your body in optimal, dance-ready condition.

Do these things to be in tip-top shape: How To Take Care Of Your Body As A Dancer

Being a good dancer is a journey that looks different for everyone. Take the tips you need in yours to make your growth more focused and efficient!

We hope this helped you understand how to be a good dancer.