Do you want to dance with more control?
"Control" in dancing means your body is doing what your mind wants it to do.
If you want to dance with more control, then keep reading!
If you want to dance with more control, then you have to understand where your movements stop. Let’s say you have a coloring book.
The outlines are the “stopping points,” AKA where your movements should end.
Knowing exactly where those outlines are ensures that your movements aren’t extending beyond it (coloring outside the lines), or cutting it short (leaving an awkward gap).
Hitting these pictures precisely makes you clean because you’re understanding WHERE to move your body. That’s the first step of control!
So once you figure out where your stopping points are...
The actual movement between point A and point B is where your control really comes in. First, set the pathway. Like, is it a straight line?
Is your hand going from your right shoulder to your knee or your chest to your stomach??
This is the question that I ask most often in class because it’s easy to see pictures that the choreographer is hitting, but harder to catch the movement in between.
Once you know what that pathway is, you can refine the way you move through that pathway if you...
Imagine your body as a marionette. Each body part is controlled by a specific string. When you dance, these strings are invisible controls that exist in your brain.
Get used to what it feels like to move certain body parts. Try moving into any position as slowly as you possibly can. Put yourself in awkward positions.
Be able to hold whatever position by getting your body used to it. And let your mind memorize exactly what it feels like.
Read this article for more tips! How To Dance Better By Understanding Body Awareness
Being able to dance with more control also includes your power. Make sure that you’re not over- or under- exerting energy.
Going back to the coloring book metaphor – this is how hard you’re pressing down on the paper with your crayon.
You don’t want to bleed through the sheet (overexert), nor do you want it to be too light (under exert). You want to match the right level of power according to the music.
As you become more fluent with your power levels, even the most simple movements in choreography will start to look more polished and refined.
Ultimately, this is how you showcase the musicality.
Learn how to manage your power here! How To Dance Bigger, Stronger, And More “Full Out”
If you increase your range of motion, then you’ll have the agility to move how you want without so much physical strain.
Before you start dancing, do a light/stretch warm up!
If you're not sure how to do that, follow this: Quick Warm Up / Stretch Routine
For example:If you can do the splits, kicking high is not so much of a physical challenge. You won’t be shaking or straining.
You have more control over how high or low you want that kick to go. Stretch regularly and warm your muscles up before dancing in order to become more flexible!
This video will show you how to (and not to stretch)!
Can you imagine sitting on a chair… with TOOTHPICKS for legs?! You’d probably feel really unsafe, right?
This is like your body when you dance. If your bottom half is weak and wobbly, then nothing above that can look controlled. It starts with keeping your balance.
To do this, know how your weight should be distributed in each move.
Read more about weight distribution here: Why Staying Light On Your Feet Is Actually Bad Advice
For example, if you have to lift your left foot up, then most of your weight should be on your right foot.
Maintain a sturdy base the next time you dance and you’ll notice how much more controlled you feel!
Control is something that is trainable. We hope these tips will help your body to create the movements that your mind wants!
What do you do to dance with more control? Comment below and share with us!
Control comes in many forms. Here are some of our favorite "controlled" dancers that you can train with at home!