These are the practical methods that overcome the dancers’ common weaknesses. It will be effective if you incorporate it after figuring out at this moment what is required the most in your skillset.
The practices are universally applicable to any type of physical exercises. You can also enjoy the long-lasting health impacts.
Practice to understand body anatomy
The most fundamental skills for dancers are a muscular strength, flexibility, musicality, and isolation. But that itself is not sufficient. You have to stitch them together to make it into a nice coherent flow. Otherwise, it will look like random movements.
A good way to understand how our body movement turns into a dance a movement is to analyze poses of other dancers. At home, freeze the dance video of your favorite dancer at the favorite moment, and try imitating that pose. You can take advantage of slow playback and counting along the music to capture the posing moment better.
Copying the every detail of the body perfectly is unexpectedly difficult. It ranges from the toes to head. Doing so helps you see how people are using their bodies to make it look cool, and learn yourself how to do it.
Every dancing has poses. That is the universal truth across all genres. Understanding how one pose transforms into another will help you understand the whole flow of dancing.
Practice to sharpen the movement
There is a concept called sharpness in dancing. It makes use of different speeds and sudden stops. In order to wipe off your amateur look, you want to master good reflexes.
Making poses in conjunction with the music is the best way to train this. In the 8 count song, make a pose at every 4th one, and stop for the next 4 counts. Then make a pose again at the 8th beat. Repeat that process.
1, 2, 3, Pose, 5, 6, 7, Pose, 1, 2, 3, Pose, 5, 6, 7, Pose
(For more on musicality, see “Musicality is trainable: dance beginner’s ultimate guideline”).
The key is to freeze as quickly and completely as possible. In the beginning, you will wobble a little, but as your body learns which muscle is required to make a full stop, the control will become easier.
If you want to adventure, please increase the stop frequencies. For example, you can pose at 2 and 4. In the meantime, keep your focus on full stop always. It will defeat the purpose of this practice if you end up bouncing all over.
A good side benefit of this practice is it trains a great deal of your creativity. You will realize quickly how repetitive your posing is. Try, but it is understandable you end up repeating your poses. There is no need to stress yourself over this in this exercise. This concern leads to my next point.
Practice to increase your repertoire
Even if your muscle has a perfect capability, your actual dancing quickly becomes boring with a repetitive movement. It happens often in self-taught or club dancer. They have great musicality and groove in them, but the move feels simplistic. You should increase your repertoires of movements.
The best way to achieve is through YouTube. Pick your favorite dance videos, focus on the subset of performance, and repeat it over and over. It is better to absorb a small section at a time like 8 counts.
You will learn a combination of choreography and techniques you have not thought of before. Even if you want to focus only on your favorite dancer or team, try filtering videos at various time periods. Dance style tends to evolve over time. This way, you will be able to pick up different moves.
Taking a dance class is also effective. You can learn new steps directly from the instructor. One thing to be cautious is if you have been learning from one teacher, the variety of steps taught will be limited. It is recommended to take different drop-in classes from several dancers.
Let’s memorize many patterns, and turn them into your own dance by absorbing various combinations of movements from many people.
Practice the balance of your body
Dancing is similar to a song. If it is a fast tempo, a mistake will be covered up and go unnoticed. But if the tempo is slow, your weak points become visible. The audience will clearly see the offset of your body balance.
Having that in mind, you should practice with very slow music to train your balance. Your body will be tuned gradually, and be able to make a stable movement.
It takes advantage of your inner muscle such as the tip of your toes. This is the parts you would never train in a regular gym. Enhance your balance skill and master the body control.
Practice to pull out your full power anywhere
The direction of your practice is towards the mirror. So you can usually dance while confirming yourself with your own eyes.
However, life does not unfold always that way. Going up to the stage, the scenery completely shifts. There is no such thing as mirrors, except 100s of eyes glaring at you. You will be anxious and the movements tend to become small.
You can execute the steps perfectly at usual practice. You should be able to do it on the stage as well.
First, you want to test out what changes in your dancing with videos. Shoot 2 types of videos: one with a mirror and one without. Look carefully at both. Is your face looking downwards? Are you moving faster than the beats? Etc. This difference is what you need to work on.
Let’s practice bringing out your best quality dance regardless of your surrounding environment.
Practice to move in relaxation
In dance session, the more strained your muscle and body are, the faster you become exhausted. You will also lose your sharpness quickly.
Relaxation lying on your bed is easy, but relaxing in combination with bursts of sudden movements is difficult. One part of the muscle is functioning at full power and needs to quickly goes off readying for the next move.
The mechanism comes down to how much muscle memory is in effect with the movement. When you learn a new move, it puts excess stress on your muscle because your brain is constantly sending a signal to move even in the area power is unnecessary. So it is important to let the move sink into only the relevant muscle.
The recommended practice method is to repeat one type of move or step for the entire duration of the song without dropping the quality. At the end, the movement will come to you like it is your first nature. And at that point, your brain learns how to slack off the unnecessary parts and use it more efficiently thanks to the newly acquired muscle memory.