Tutus or tap shoes? Hip-hop or salsa? How to choose the dance style that makes dancing fun and not an act of labor?
Dancing is a fun and friendly way of developing wellness and well being.
You have always wanted to dance and relate to the pain and the need to be continually being on your toes from rehearsals to performances. But what makes a dance style tick for you? How do you know which style will have you dancing like no one is watching?
To make this decision more comfortable for you, we have got some tips on choosing the best dance style which is perfect for you.
How to Decide if a Dance Style is your True Calling?
1. Your Physical Fitness Level:
You need to assess your body's capabilities honestly. Sure, you are itching to try out the funky and explosive Salsa but if you haven't been exercising regularly, introducing yourself to a more relaxed form of dancing should be your first step. Different dance forms require a vast variety of fitness levels and physical demands. Consider your body's condition before jete(ing) at the deep end.
2. Your Age:
You can start dancing after pregnancy, or be a late bloomer and start dancing when it’s usually time for dancers to hang their ballet shoes. But it’s probably best to give it a close look before launching into an intense dancing style. Most forms of dance are open to all ages, ballroom dancing and Irish dancing are popular across age groups. But for dances like Flamenco, ballet, belly dancing, it’s best to consult a qualified instructor who understands to age-related limits of your body.
3. Your Personal Preferences:
Want to try pole dancing? Not to mention that it requires extreme levels of fitness and muscular strength. You won’t be able to if you are the shy and retiring type. Consider your personality and music tastes before choosing a dance style.
4. Your Dancing Goals:
Are you learning to dance at your best friend’s wedding, or trying to use dance as a weight loss medium, make new friends or cut down the daily stress? Your dancing goals and realizing what you want out of your dancing will help you decide the style of dancing that best suits you.
5. Your Peer Group Choices:
Ask around, your friends may be going for a Zumba or a Hip Hop session. Take their advice and maybe join them for a trial class. This allows you to learn from their mistakes and leaves with a lot of handy tips and advice.
Choosing a dance style based on your personality and interest sounds too obvious to talk about, but if you are a dance parent and trying to find the style that suits your child the best, there are millions of things on your mind. Dance training is expensive, and most classes want a commitment of minimum 6 months to a year, making a significant investment in your child's current love without understanding the real reason behind it may not be fair. Even for adults, learning a new skill and keeping at it despite a lot of setbacks is not easy. Here are a few questions that many people overlook and you shouldn't!
6. Is the Dance Form Just an Interest or Has a Potential to Go Beyond it?
You will hear it very often; a little girl loved tutus and went on to sign up for a ballet class. But did it hold your daughter’s interest long enough to practice and work on the intricacies? Is she going to be happy and excited before every class, or will drag her feet to it? If you are an adult, the decision- dancing for recreation or a professional dance career has already been made for you. But for children, help them understand that dancing is a very demanding career, developing dancer's bodies take countless hours of rigorous daily practice and continual training.
Most dancers are socially cut-off from non-dancers because the long practice hours, rigors of watching weight and post-dance activities hardly leave any time. If you or your child are interested to take up dance for social reasons or to make friends, you could choose any form you like. Just think of what you want to do on the dance floor, and what interests you, and you are good to go!
7. Are you Aware of Your Abilities and Interests?
Have you found your teen spending too much time watching TV after school? How about introducing them to a cool dance style like hip-hop? We all are more enthusiastic and participate more willingly if we have a personal interest in the type of dance we are learning. Sit down with your kids, and gauge their reaction while they are watching dance shows or a particular style of dancing. It should help you determine their choice.
8. What is Your Budget for Dance Classes?
Cost is a huge factor associated with various dance forms. Dancewear, shoes, accessories, and props are also an investment you might have to make before you start dancing. Although most dance classes require dancers to come dressed in comfortable clothing, there are still a few specific requirements like leotards, shoes, etc. If you have not considered this overhead cost beforehand, you may be in for a surprise and might not be able to continue for a more extended period.
9. What Are the Benefits You Are Looking For?
Are you looking for a dance class to build your child’s self-confidence? Are you looking for something to keep them gainfully occupied? Does your child have a genuine interest in dancing but not sure which dance style they should pursue seriously? Whatever your intentions, you and your child's, you need to consider the cost versus benefit and goals versus expected results before you finalize a dance form.
10. Dance Styles That You Can Choose From:
Once you have given a thorough reality check to your desire to get up and dance, you need to know the various dance styles that are there, and if your locality has the class, you are looking for.
- Ballroom Dancing: Suitable for all ages, great for socializing and parties, may or may not need a partner. Dramatic tango or graceful Viennese waltz, a lot of fancy footwork is required in these dances, and they are just great for posture, flexibility, and grace. Read
- Street Dancing: Popping, locking, break dancing, R’n’B bump and grind, are some of the styles that you can get a gist of music channels like MTV. •
- Belly Dancing: Originated in the Middle East, it is a very feminine and sensual dance fantastic for abdominal and back muscles, to improve posture and strengthen pelvic floor muscles. A low impact dance, gentle and suitable for anyone trying dancing for the first time.
- Latin Style: It is a saucy form of dancing, courtship dance which is highly energetic and has fluid, circular patterns of movement combined with hip swaying and spinning around. A strong core, glutes, thighs, lower back, and calves with a good sense of rhythm and coordination are needed. Salsa, Rumba, Cha Cha and Jive are some of the popular variants.
- Ballet: Don’t write off ballet till you have read our article on how adults can start taking ballet classes. Posture, poise, graceful movement and a lot of strength are required for ballet. Although it is most suited for young kids and teens, most ballerinas today opt for ballet fusion once they are through their traditional ballet days. Ballet teaches fun and discipline in a more structured environment and is fundamentally very strong and helpful when taking up other dance styles later in life.
- Country: Shuffle or country Cha Cha? A lot of traveling steps and foot movements make this style an excellent choice for people who wish to bring out the Wild West on the dance floors.
- Jazz: A dynamic and high- energy option perfect for music lovers and natural athletes, jazz is everything about music from jazz clubs to Michael Jackson’s iconic music videos.
- Contemporary/Modern: More like a casual ballet, but incorporates careful choreography; contemporary and contemporary dances treat the human body as a versatile tool and challenge traditional notions of movement and art.
- Tap Dancing: Tap dancing is acting out the details and emotions of a story with your feet. With the coordinated and controlled movement of toes and heels, your internal rhythm and balance transform for the better.
- Theatrical Dance: props, costumes, music, and backgrounds come together to create a constant sensory simulation for dancers who wish to channel their physical energy and tap into their natural storytelling talents.
- Acro: Acrobatics and classical dance moves combination are hugely popular in dance competitions. It requires excellent athleticism and sense of balance.
Always check for the dance teacher’s credentials. A good dance teacher is equally essential for a flourishing dance career. Other factors like ease of travel, convenient timings and comfortable setting for you to dance without being judged is similarly necessary if you wish to choose a dance style that does justice to your passion for dancing. Dance is a great way to stay active, express yourself and make friends!
Go ahead and embrace the dancer in you!