Dancing Tips & Advice
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Improving Your Dancing Outside of ClassPosted: 11/02/2018
Having a lot of time that you can dedicate to working on your dancing is great, when it's possible, but often that's just not practical - however you can still improve when not much time is available!A future post will go into more detail on setting up a practice session, and there are also future posts planned on music (as it's easy to find time to listen to music). Today's tips are things you can do any time.Please note that you should consult your health care professional before new exercises if you have an existing condition or any concerns.
To start with, think about your posture; when you're walking through the shops, sitting at work or in your car, or standing while waiting for the kettle to boil - this doesn't take any extra time.If you'd like a recap, come to extension on posture week; but to get you started, the first step is to be standing (or sitting) tall and relaxed.Practice walking smoothly with good posture (shorter steps can help with smoothness), and allow your body to move.It's natural for your arms to swing as you walk - but as soon as you start thinking about posture, it's likely you'll tense up, and need to allow yourself to relax back into a good posture.Having good posture looks good, is good for your body, and is easy to practice any time; so it's a great idea!
Strength, Stretch, and Fitness
Most of our dancing is low to moderate aerobic exercise; the strength we need is primarily core stability; and you don't need a lot of flexibility for what we teach - of course, there are fun options (like aerials) which will require more fitness if you want to pursue those!
Regular gentle stretching keeps your body moving, and should feel good.
If you're not sure where to start with strengthening, then a good basic option for dancers is to work on your ankles.Stand with good posture, and move your weight forward to the balls of your feet, then side to side from one foot to the other.Have your weight on the balls of your feet, and slowly raise your heels up as far as is comfortable (making sure your weight is still on the bottom of your feet, and your feet haven't rolled in or out), and repeat raising and lowering a few times.Having the strength and control to do this slowly may take a while, but it can make a surprising difference to your dancing!
If you'd like to know more about how balance works, and what causes dizziness, please read this companion article.Learning to listen to your body will help with balance (and reduce dizziness), so practice being more aware of your body.You can start by sitting or standing comfortably, close your eyes and be aware of your muscles and joints - particularly as you make small movements.Then extend the same idea to walking, and then into your dancing - feel where the ground or floor is, and that will help your sense of balance of where you are!
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