wikiHow to Dance Like a Pro

Four Parts:Finding the Right GenrePracticing Your Moves on Your OwnChanging Your LifestyleAchieving Your Goals

Dancing is an art form and great exercise, as well. If you find yourself admiring the great dance moves of the people around you, you can learn to dance, too. You need to find the genre for you and decide what skill level you're hoping to achieve. Then you'll need to practice your moves to become better and take you're skills out in the world.

Part 1
Finding the Right Genre

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    Use videos and movies. By watching a variety of movies and dance videos, you can get an idea of what you like and what you want to learn. Next, you can move on to instructional videos to start learning dance moves.
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    Take an introductory class. Try a class that covers a variety of dances to see what you like. In addition, the instructor can provide you with instruction on proper safety techniques.
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    Observe professionals. Evidence shows that you can learn a great deal by watching other people. In fact, psychologically speaking, observing other people dancing lets your brain add to the mental maps that you're already making regarding dance move. Plus, you can see how certain moves are supposed to look when done properly.[1]
    • Take in a professional show to see professionals at work, or even visit a local college that offers dance. Often, the schools will have showcases that are open to the public.
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    Visit a variety of dance clubs. You'll be able to observe other dancers and even copy moves. Plus, if you try a variety of dance clubs, it will help you decide on the type of dance you'll love. Try everything from hip-hop clubs to ones that feature country music and two-stepping. Don't be afraid to jump in, and give the moves a try.
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    Decide on a genre to focus on. You don't have to stick with it forever. Just chose something you enjoy. You can try ballet, contemporary, jazz, ballroom, or even country dancing to begin your dance lessons.
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    Set goals for yourself. Do you want to dance professionally, or do you just want cool dance moves for Saturday night? Are you trying to learn to ballroom dance for your wedding? Decide on what skill level you want to achieve because that will determine your level of commitment. For instance, dancing professionally takes years of committed practice and classes, but you can probably learn to dance for your wedding in a month or two.[2]

Part 2
Practicing Your Moves on Your Own

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    Watch dance videos. Dance videos will help you learn certain moves, as well as help with your technique. Go for instructional videos rather than just trying to copy moves you like. Instructional videos will show you how to do it, rather than you guessing at how it's done.
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    Find a quiet place to dance where you won't disturb other people. You will need some space, as well as a smooth, solid floor. Remember, you will be making some noise, so you need a place where you won't bother people.
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    Consider what music you will use and how you will play it. The music should be appropriate to the genre, although most genres incorporate a wide range of music. Typically, though, you'd use something classical for ballet, while you can use a wide range of today's music for contemporary.
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    Practice everyday. Practicing helps solidify the skills in your brain, and your body will remember the moves you learn.[3]
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    Don't be afraid of failing. Kids seem to learn skills faster because they aren't as afraid of looking dumb. If you mess up or have trouble getting a move, don't take it as a sign that you should stop dancing. It just means that you need more practice. Get up and try again.[4]
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    Be careful. Don't try too much too soon, as you can injure yourself.
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    Pay attention to your clothing. When dancing, use clothes loose enough to move, but tight enough that you don't trip over yourself. Take off any jewelry so it doesn't go flying. Dance shoes are best for dancing, as they have smoother soles for turns. Also, tie up your hair so it doesn't get in the way.[5]
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    Try choreographing moves to your favorite song. Not only will it help you practice, it will also help you see how a choreographer thinks, which is beneficial if you get into professional dancing with choreographers.[6]
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    Use the internet for support. Sites like Giveit100 let you document your progress with any new skill through progress, giving you encouragement from a community. It also lets you see how you've progressed from your first day of dancing.[7]
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    Pay attention to what you're doing wrong, and try to correct it. Videos can help you here, as can practicing in front of a mirror to see how your dancing looks. If you're just practicing the move without seeing how it looks, you may not be doing it correctly.[8]

Part 3
Changing Your Lifestyle

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    Eat well. Dancers need to eat healthy foods to fuel their bodies.[9] If you're dancing a great deal, you need to enough calories to fuel that dancing. However, if you're only dancing a little bit, you may need to cut back on calories to get the body you want for dancing.
    • Be sure to include plenty of protein in your diet. In addition, feed your body fruits and vegetables so it has enough vitamins to be strong.
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    Incorporate other exercises. To dance well, you need to build up your muscles and stamina.
    • Activities like swimming, skiing, using an elliptical, and biking provide great overall workouts that will help you achieve a stronger body.[10]
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    Work on your flexibility. Dancers need to be as flexible as possible to perform the moves they do. Try activities like yoga and pilates to increase your flexibility. As an added bonus, these activities will increase your core strength, making you a better dancer.[11]
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    Learn balance. Balance is also important to dancing, as you need good balance when doing fast-paced moves to remain upright. Yoga and pilates can help with balance, as can programs like tai chi. Tai chi also helps reduce stress and increase flexibility.[12]

Part 4
Achieving Your Goals

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    Take classes. If you want to become a professional dancer, you will need proper training. You will need to take a variety of classes, beginning with beginner classes and moving up as your skill level increases. However, classes can be fun and helpful even if your goal is to two-step at a local dance club. For cheap classes, check with local dance studios, your city's parks and recreation programs, and even your local community college.
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    Major in dance. You can also major in dance at a university. However, these programs are very competitive, and most of them will be difficult to get into. Also, be aware that many dance programs require you to be a certain weight to be a part of the program.
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    Audition for community theater. If you've taken a few classes and want to just have fun as a dancer, try auditioning for community theater. In most community theater programs, you'll run into amateurs like yourself, so you'll be in good company.
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    Choreograph a dance for your wedding. Work with your future spouse to choreograph your dance for your wedding. It's one way to make that first dance truly special.
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    Take your moves to the dance club. Maybe you want to just impress your friends at the dance club. If that's true, try out your moves on a Saturday night.

Tips

  • Dancing is great exercise, which is why exercise programs like jazzercise and zumba were created. Because they're fun, they'll keep you working out longer if you are trying to get fit.[13]

Warnings

  • Do not attempt any hard tricks, flips, or jumps if you are just beginning. You can easily injure yourself if you don't know what you're doing.
  • If you experience moderate to severe pain while dancing, seek medical attention.

Article Info

Categories: Dancing