What You Need to Know to Start Dancing
- The age equation is a myth! You can begin dancing at any age you want as long as you have the right tools to start. Plus, learning to dance is beneficial for your mind and body. So, no matter what age you are, you’ll still feel the benefits of a healthy dose of movement each day.
- Like anything that’s new, there will be mistakes made – and that’s okay! It’s actually how we learn. In order to find your balance, you have to explore falling and wobbling.
- Starting small is the best way to begin. Working on training your mind and your muscles before jumping into tricks is the safest way to start. Think about it – in order to nail your turn, you’ll have to start with learning how to spot!
- It’s not as difficult to start as you think! From dancing in front of your mirror to stalking your favorite choreographers on social media, there are small ways you can start to learn and pick up movement every day. Once you figure out what you want to learn, you can create your own schedule and keep track of your progress in no time.
- Most importantly, take it at your own pace and find what feels right for your body. And, don’t forget to have fun while you’re at it!
So, you want to start dancing, but maybe you feel like you’re a little late to the party? Well, the good news is that it’s NEVER too late to learn how to dance! It’s a myth that you have to start young. You can pursue whatever you want, whenever you want.
Oh, and the best part? It’s actually beneficial for your mind and body! That’s right. Moving your body each day can pave the way for a higher cardio-fitness score and increased flexibility, as well as release endorphins for a mood boost.
Plus, based on a study from Harvard, picking up new choreography and movement helps develop cognitive skills such as memory, decision making, and visual recognition. The moral of the story is that daily dancing will have your brain and body thanking you!
What you need to know before you start
You will mess up! And that’s okay.
Nobody gets a pirouette right away. In order to nail that single, double, or triple, falling out of the turn is required and encouraged! Even the most advanced dancers fall out of their turns. It’s all part of the process. You have to embrace the wobble in order to find your balance!
Fun fact: “Embrace the wobble” is a phrase from our favorite dance medicine specialist, Jennie Morton. She likes to focus on balancing as a dynamic process instead of a rigid stop.
You don’t have to be an expert to have fun AND look good.
No matter what moves you’re doing, if you’re having fun that energy will translate to those watching you! The most important part of dancing is your presence and how you’re feeling when you’re moving. Check-in with yourself! Are you able to just groove it out and forget about everything else for a while? That’s where the magic happens.
Everybody starts somewhere!
In order to do a leap, you have to start small and celebrate every tiny win! If that means for a whole month, you focus on stretching your hamstrings and working your flexibility before jumping into the air – that’s perfectly fine. The foundations are so much more important than tricks, and they’ll help you get to those advanced moves in the long run. Plus, having strong technique helps prevent injuries!
5 ways to start dancing today
1. Start small
While it may be tempting to jump into a 90-minute jazz class, it’s important to focus on preparing your body and working your way up to a full class. Try starting with just 10 minutes of a dance-inspired warm-up. You can start with your general warm-up exercises and add in dance techniques. Check out a few of our favorite 10-minute warm-ups HERE.
2. Incorporate dance into your daily routines
You don’t need to be in a studio to practice your technique! A great way to work on your dancing is to find different ways to move throughout the day.
- Want to work on balance? Try standing on one leg while you brush your teeth!
- Stretching in the morning? Try moving your arms throughout the port de bras during your morning stretching routine
- Need a 10 minute break from work? Head to first position and practice your releves with 3 sets of 20 calf raises.
- Cooling down from a workout? Do stretches that will help you increase your flexibility and turnout.
3. Freestyling and improvising are your friends
The best place to start? In your own room! Yep – put on your favorite song and just start moving! You can even dance in front of a mirror to give yourself some instant feedback. Improvising and freestyling is the best way to find what feels good for your body. When you watch your favorite choreographers, you’ll notice they all have different styles and that’s because everyone’s body has its own way of moving!
4. Start to explore different styles of dance just by watching
Everybody has different methods, but one way to get started with learning to dance is to immerse yourself in every aspect of it! That means following accounts of dancers on social media, finding choreographers you love and checking out all of their content. Go down a YouTube black hole of choreography and dance — and check out our YouTube page while you’re at it 🙂
- Cha Cha Basics – Lacey Schwimmer
- 5 tips to nail your turns – Carly Blaney
- Breakin’ Basics – Vincanity
5. Choose a goal and make a schedule for yourself
Do you want to learn a specific style? Pick a class or a few different classes that teach the basics, and keep practicing even when you’re not in the studio. The more you do it the easier—and more fun it gets! You don’t have to become a master overnight, no one does. Maybe one month you focus on a specific combo, or ballet and the next you try hip-hop! Just pick a small goals each month and you’ll see improvements before you know it.
Not sure where to start?
Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. CLI offers over 200 beginner-friendly classes to check out. Plus, you can actually control the speed of our classes so you never have to worry about missing a step! Check out a few of our favorite beginner classes below.
- Carly Blaney Beginner Jazz Course
- Molly Long Warm-Up
- Mel Mah – Alaska
- tWitch – Hip-Hop Grooves
- JBlaze Party Grooves Warm-Up
Okay, now that you have a few of our best tips and tricks for getting started – what are you waiting for? It’s time to dance! Believe us, you won’t regret it. The most important thing is to take it all at your own pace and have some fun. Remember, you’re learning something new which is so good for your brain and your body! And who doesn’t want a healthy brain and body?