How to Be a Dancer

Dancing is a sport, and it's an activity. It takes more than a pretty face - it takes a lot of practice and hard work. But if you have the right amount of talent, confidence, and patience, you can accomplish anything. It doesn't matter who you are, and what kind of background you have. If it calls for you, answer back. Dancing is passionate thing; it can help you relax and become one with your true self. You may not be perfect at it, but you need to love it. If you do, you will be good at it, in your heart. See Step 1 below to get started.


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    Make sure that this is what you really want to do. It takes a lot of passion and dedication to dance, whether you dance just as a hobby, or if you want to someday be a professional. If you do want to do it for a living, you may have to cut out other sports and after school activities to put in the necessary hours of practice. Remember that dance in itself is a sport and it takes a lot of endurance to dance every day.
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    Decide what kind of dancing you would enjoy doing. Whether it be ballet, disco, tap, jazz, swing, lyrical, contemporary, acro, hip hop, break-dance, pointe, modern, or belly dancing - anything you want - just be sure to choose one that suits your style.
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    Seek guidance. Watch music videos and watch people's moves, buy dancing lessons on a video, read dancing instructions in books and on the internet, watch YouTube tutorials, find a tutor, get tips from friends/professionals, etc. Dancing is hard, but with hard, dedicated work, you will excel in many ways.
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    Experiment. Stand in front of a full-length mirror, turn up the tunes, and move your body! Or you could use a rented out dance studio. Practice different moves on different parts of the body. Be sure that each move transitions nicely into the next. Also make sure you're stretched and do not have cold muscles. Cold muscles can lead to pulling muscles.
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    Find a dance school. Dance schools can range from a local youth centre to a more intense independent school. If you are planning on dancing throughout high school and college into professional dance you will want to pick a more intense school. Talk to other dancers in your area as well as the teachers of each school to pick the best one for you.
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    Sign up for as many dance classes as possible. Remember that it is important to have a base in ballet as well as to branch out into other classes. You do not have to take every class offered, and you can always sign up for more classes. Talk to your dance teacher and ask her to recommend classes and to evaluate your level. The more you practice, the better you will get. If you cannot afford to sign up for lessons, you can always find some nice DVDs at Target or other stores that will teach you good dance technique. However, if you plan to become a professional dancer, it is necessary to take lessons from a reputable school.
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    Stretch. It is very important in the world of dance, the more you stretch, the more you will improve your flexibility. You will stretch every day in class, but you may want to add stretching when you wake up or before you go to sleep to improve flexibility, but make sure you are warm enough so you don't hurt yourself. If you have the space, you may want to put a barre somewhere in your home, preferably in a room with wood floors. Even if you do not have the perfect flooring, you will be able to stretch more if you have one.
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    Practice. Now that you have your dancing style, lessons, and have chosen the moves that look best on your body, you need to put that knowledge into action! The best way to do this is freestyle dancing in the privacy in your bedroom, and then when you're at an average dancing level, attend school dances to enjoy yourself!
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    Be healthy both mentally and physically. Dance is a very demanding sport. It is essential to eat a healthy, balanced diet and keep hydrated. If you feel that you are overdoing it, talk to your dance teacher and ask if it is possible to drop a class.
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    Sign up for a dancing competition. Now that you have learned and put your new skills in front of your peers, it's time to step it up a notch! Whether you come first or last, you'll always be a winner for putting in the time and effort to accomplish your dreams!
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    Balance your schedule. You can dance for up to four hours a day, but remember to schedule your time. Make sure you are able to do your homework every night. Schedule in friend time for those close to you who do not take dance classes with you. Dance can take over your life, but remember that you need to be a rounded person. If you are not planning to become a professional, and just dance for fun, it is not necessary to put as much time into dance.
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    Speak up! If you don't understand a dance, ask for help, you're not going to learn it by standing in the corner watching! Always talk to your dance teachers if you are having a problem and they will help sorts things out.
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    Know that it is going to be hard. Learn to distinguish between "good" and "bad" pain. Dancing isn't an easy thing to do, but it doesn't have to be painful all the time. It's supposed to be fun! If it gets to the point where you're not having fun at all, stop. It's not worth it if you're not enjoying yourself, or if you wish you were pursuing something else.
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    Never just dance the steps. Get into the song, and put feeling into it. If it's an upbeat, happy dance smile, make big, sharp movements, and smile! If it's a sad or emotional dance, make each move slower and use your facial expression to guide your body. That makes every performance a lot better.
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    Keep your confidence. Know that you can do it for sure! Imagine yourself as a brilliant dancer!
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    Be passionate. The best dancers in the world are not only great dancers because they are good at dancing. They are so passionate that they decided to work hard, dedicate themselves, and go through much pain so they could be the best dancer they could be. If you know this is what you want to do, put all your heart into it.
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    Finally, and most importantly, never let go of your dreams. If you have always wanted to dance hip hop, but you're the least cool person you know, go for it. For all you know, it could change your life!


  • Dance is competitive. Appreciate the amazing dancer you are and don't compare yourself to others.
  • Listen to your favorite song, so that when you hear it, you will dance and get your groove on.
  • The dance class is not mandatory. You can become a great dancer without any professional lessons!
  • Dance with your own style. Don't copy another dancer's, use their style to build your own. Be unique.
  • Don't become intimidated by older, higher level dancers. It will distract you from achieving your goal if you are so worried about what they think of you!
  • If you are still at school, you should have a dance department-or dance may go into drama, try to ask for advice and join your schools dance club first as it will probably be free. But once you've settled in join other clubs and schools.
  • Get to know the people in the classes that you take, it makes dancing and partnering less weird, and when you're at competitions and recitals it's a lot more fun if you have friends there to support you and hang out with between dances.
  • If you don't feel comfortable in the outfit you're given, ask the director if you can get a new one. If the costume is inappropriate, there is no need for you to wear it, but if it's just not your style, or is ugly, you should just stick it out.
  • Always appreciate instructor's thoughts on your dancing. Everything they say just makes you better.
  • Pay attention to your own body, dance is incredibly challenging but it shouldn't injure you.
  • Watch clips on dancing or how to dance. Copy what the people are trying to show you and then when you are good at that try dancing on your own without any tutorials.
  • When practicing, clear the area so that you won't trip or step on something.
  • Join clubs or organizations at school which will help you to be more efficient in dancing.
  • Don't be afraid to be big when the music calls for it. If you're onstage you'll look much better if you exaggerate your movements than if you hardly move.
  • Find a good teacher, this could be the difference between fun and injury.
  • If your class teacher sees a future for you in dancing, they will be able to get you into competitions or performances. That will be sure to get you noticed by directors, etc.
  • Enter competitions so that people will be able to see what you are capable of doing! Practice, practice practice!
  • Be confident. It may take a while to learn a step. Just don't give up because if you keep practicing, you will get it!
  • Always remember, when you feel like something is not going smoothly ask for help from a teacher or more experienced dancer. They won't mind and would probably love to help you, they don't bite. While some might be stuck up, most are nice and patient.
  • Sometimes you might want to give up, but just ask for help! You will excel!
  • Dance like you've never danced before! Well, unless you're dancing to a choreographed routine.
  • Practice hard and don't be shy to dance in front of anyone.
  • Listen to your dance teacher to stay on task. If you don't keep your eyes and ears on the teacher, then you can lose your dream of dancing. Remember, work hard, play hard.
  • Show off your moves to a friend or family member, as this may help you feel more confident.


  • Being a dancer, and the pressure of everything can typically cause problems in the short and long term. Some examples are blisters, sore feet, broken/sprained bones, eating disorders etc. Never give up!
  • Do not work too much, which might leave a negative effect on your health. It is better to enhance the time to exercise, slowly and gradually.
  • If you have a tight schedule, you may get behind in other things like school, or other daytime activities. Keep that in mind before signing up for classes.

Things You'll Need

  • Music
  • A dance class
  • Dance clothes
  • Dance Shoes (Required for what particular dance you do)
  • Video camera (optional)
  • personal stuff (for hygiene)

Article Info

Categories: Beginning Dance