How To Be A Good Dancer

Beginner Guides

How To Be A Good Dancer

Charise Roberts
January 17, 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 17 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. Dance with control and textures
  8. Explore through freestyle
  9. Create choreography
  10. Find what makes you unique
  11. Stay growth-minded
  12. Join a dance team
  13. Kill it on stage
  14. Become a leader
  15. Collaborate with others
  16. Share your work
  17. Take care of your body

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

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 love dancing so much.

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.

Ideas on what you can do: 4 Simple Things Choreographers Can Do To Stay Inspired

Listen to these: 9 TED Talks That Will Inspire You As A Dancer

Sorah has some great advice, too: Sorah Yang's 9 Ways To Get Out Of A Dance Funk

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?

Here are some ways to get better musicality: How To Train Your Musicality As A Dancer

All those dance words that you kinda know (but not really)...

We define them here: Dance Terms Every Dancer Should Know

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 old school Hip Hop grooves in her Beginning Grooves classes on STEEZY Studio.

be a good dancer

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:

Carlo also teaches an entire Beginner Program for dancers with NO experience on STEEZY Studio! Click here to check it out.

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.

If you're still not sure what class to take, Bailey Sok has some advice:

Even if you're not a complete beginner, taking beginner classes are so valuable if you want to be a good dancer. Wondering what you can learn?

Why Every Dancer Should Take A Beginner Dance Class

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.

When you’re in a cypher or learning a popping piece, it will be second nature to execute it correctly.

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 moves first. Drill the crap out of them. Try out these free foundational drills on our YouTube channel!

If choreography is what move you're doing, then execution is how you're doing it. There are so many different ways to do the same move.

Starting from scratch?

Get an in-depth explanation: How To Execute Movement For Beginner Dancers

More tips here: Best Dance Advice From Your Favorite Choreographers

7. Dance with control and textures

Executing movement the way you want has a lot of different parts. There's control, textures and dynamics, cleanliness, and more.

Be more in tune with your body by reading: Want To Dance With More CONTROL? Read This.

Not sure what textures are? What Are Textures In Dancing?

Want cleaner lines and angles? Watch 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.

Unsure of how to start freestyling? Do these: 5 Dance Tips To Start Your Freestyle Foundation

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

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

Many people freestyle dance based on thoughts, feelings, or concepts.

By training in freestyle and improvisation, your mind is practicing turning your concept into movement. We talk about concept-based moves in 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

Get advice from choreographers: 15 Choreography Tips To Help You Make Your Best Pieces

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.

Know yourself, dance like yourself: How To Develop Your Unique Style As A Dancer

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.

See how our community keeps growing: The Evolution Of Our Global Dance Community

Scared of judgement from others? Watch this video:

12. Join a dance team

Being on a dance team surrounds you with dancers of different backgrounds, experience, styles, and wisdom that you can learn form.

You'll also train to dance cleaner, and get opportunities to perform. Wanna join a dance team?

Download our "Audition Prep Checklist" Worksheet – it has everything you need to make your DREAM dance team! (And yes, it's free!)

be a good dancer

13. 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

14. 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

What's it really like to be a leader? Some of our friends share: Leadership Tips From Directors In The Dance Community

15. 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!

Use these Tips To Cultivate Positive Dancer Relationships

Wanna give back? Read this: How To Positively Contribute To The Dance Community

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

16. 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.

Need a guide for filming and editing? Click: How To Make A Dope Dance Video

17. 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.