General Question

CuriousLoner's avatar

I want to learn to dance where should I start?

Asked by CuriousLoner (1812points) June 21st, 2011

I can’t dance to save my life, but for some reason since I have been doing all this working out I have the strange and sudden urge to want “move” more.

But like I said me dancing. Haha. Oh boy.

Where should I start?

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21 Answers

Arp's avatar

Well, what type of dancing do you want to learn? That should be your first decision, shouldn’t it? :)

EmpressPixie's avatar

You can find some dance classes near you. A lot of intro style classes will cover a whole bunch of dances and dance styles so you can figure out what you like.

CuriousLoner's avatar

@ucme That is what I am talking about! lol Go to about 1:18 Now if I could dance like that…

ucme's avatar

@CuriousLoner I am like soooooo jealous of that guy, what a mover :¬)

JLeslie's avatar

Good question at the top, what type of dancing? You could take a few classes in ballroom dancing to get some basics. There are Fred Astaire dance schools all over the country (assuming you are in America).

If you go to a gym, check out some of their zumba classes, that has a big variety of music and whatever step is too difficult you can modify to what you can do, people modify all the time for many different reasons, can’t do the step, not enough physical stamina, etc. No one will care. The first time will be difficult, but after 3 or 4 classes you will be shocked by your improvement.

Go out to a club and watch people dance. I am going to assume you have rhythm, can clap to a beat. It really takes very little movement, very few steps to be dancing. Most people who look terrible dancing are too jerky, overdoing the dance moves, or trying to do some very trending move. Trying too hard. In big dance clubs there is very little space on the dance floor, no one should be moving their arms around a lot or dancing from side to side. It is much more controlled usually.

The basics of merengue for instance, a latin dance, is basically just walking. Walk, walk, walk. Easiest step out there.

Think the movie dirty dancing, great posture, not a lot of movement above the waist, and oh, legs are not wide apart a lot, only for moments while doing a step, again not a lot of side to side to side to side to side. Not sire I can really explain what I mean.

CuriousLoner's avatar

@JLeslie Thanks for the answer. Very insightful.

I guess never thought about the style of dancing, that is a great question as everybody else said too. I’ll have to ponder on it a little I guess haha. Zumba I thought was for women only?

JLeslie's avatar

We have men in our class. Admittedly out of the thirty usually 2 or 3 are men in the regular zumba. Zumba gold, which is geared towards the over 60 (although I take the class sometimes, I am 43) it is more like 60% women 40% men, but that class usually has around 50 people in it, so there are a lot of men present. I have observed that age group simply danced more in general. When I go to a wedding, the older men are right out there with their wives. My parents were great dancers, lindy, twist, all the 50’s dances, plus basics for cha cha, waltz, polka, etc, they knew the basic steps, the counts. When I was little they took disco lessons as something to do together. I don’t get why younger, straight, American white men are not oriented towards dancing anymore? I know that is stereotyping, but it’s true. Of course, I have no idea if you are white, or born in America, or whatever, just making a generalization.

Oh, one thing to think about is most popular music is counts of 8. Not that you will be counting on the floor at a nightclub, but in zumba for instance, most songs are counts of 8. The moves they do wil be done in 4’s or 8’s. While driving today, and listening to the radio, count with the song, 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8. You will see what I mean. This is good to know because it will help you predict how long to do a move or the next change. Also, don’t worry about your arms until you get the feet down.

And, when I said above don’t go side to side, I mean feet apart side to side, not stepping side to side. Stepping is dancing. I know I am not explaining it well, and it is way more important for women so don’t worry about that too much.

wundayatta's avatar

If you like the style of those guys in the movies, then you don’t need any training at all. Just stand up and pretend you are a fool.

You might want to learn hip-hop. That can be cool. Very athletic. You can do couples dancing. Most guys use martial arts to learn their dance moves. Karate, Aikido, Tai Chi, Kung Fu etc. I always think of those classes as dance for boys. Just don’t tell anyone it’s dance, or they’ll stop doing it faster than cockroach disappears when the light comes on.

In any case, I think it’s fun to learn all kinds of styles. But these days, it doesn’t seem to matter. You can make any kind of spastic motion and people will think you’re dancing. This is a good thing.

JLeslie's avatar

@wundayatta For some reason I have this idea in my head that you are a good dancer.

wundayatta's avatar

@JLeslie Could it be because I write about it every chance I get?

LostInParadise's avatar

What worked for me was attending an Aikido class. I went from a being a horrible dancer, unable to lead a partner, to being an acceptable dancer. The breakthrough occurred when I applied the Aikido idea of imagining movement as originating in the dan tien, or midsection. Everything then fell into place. Even my timing improved, though I am still in danger of being off the beat if I do not concentrate on the music. Like I said, acceptable dancer, not great dancer.

JLeslie's avatar

The first minuteof this video gives good basics actually for club dancing

CuriousLoner's avatar

Thanks everyone for your answers. Also I think the style of dance I want to learn is some modern stuff but I want to learn something that is very close to someone and is intense but not overly impossible to pull off….Any ideas?

JLeslie's avatar

@CuriousLoner Very close? As in a couples dance holding her back and your left arm out to the side holding her right? Or, more modern type of slow dance? And, do you know this person well, or are you just asking a random person for a dance?

CuriousLoner's avatar

@JLeslie This is a combination of things for me. I want to learn for multiple reasons…Confidence, hobby , and so I can get dance with someone and be able to at least actually dance. lol

I suppose it isn’t for anyone specific more a personal thing for myself.

JLeslie's avatar

@CuriousLoner Take a dance class or two for couples. You don’t need a partner, the instructors dance with you or pair you up. Most young people don’t know how to dance in couples anymore, I don’t know how old you are? Except for the higher social classes, and they usually have some sort of lessons at a young age. Even wedding I have been to recently have contemporary music, and the slower dances just take being able to move back and forth to the music without any tricky steps. But, the classes will teach you how to lead and a few twirls, counting, etc. You should do it. I met my husband in a dance club (not sure if I mentioned this already) it would be annoying to me if my husband would not get out on a dance floor. I think a lot of women are dissappointed when men don’t dance.

CuriousLoner's avatar

@JLeslie Oh wow that is cool, you two just danced and hit it off?

JLeslie's avatar

@CuriousLoner The longer story is I was at a nightclub with two girlfriends. One, was off making the rounds, the other was standing with me at a bar near the dance floor. I spyed my now hisband dancing with another girl, and leaned over to my friend standing with me to say I thought he was cute too bad he was dancing with someone else. About a half an hour later I was dancing with both of my girlfriend and that very same guy walked up to the friend that had been making her rounds earlier and said, “Hi Amy!” (I changed the name) and I reached over to my other friend and said, “OMG Amy knows him.” Then Amy introduced him to me and we danced. It was all fast dancing. Honestly, I hate slow dancing with men at night clubs. Anyway, I gave him my number, he actually knew my roomate at the time it turned out, and we started dating and eventually got married.

CuriousLoner's avatar

@JLeslie Aw wow that is great! Also yea I agree that why I want to learn a more just going out dancing and a more intimate and closer style as well.

Earthgirl's avatar

This is my favorite instructional video on you tube for dancing! How to dance at a rave.

To answer your question seriously, since this is in general, a lot depends on what type of dance you want to do. I like freeform dance without rigid steps, just improvisational. I have a hard time learning steps and remembering them. When I took Jazz dance I always seemed to be a few steps behind everyone else, lol.
It makes sense that you became more interested in dance after working out. You are probably feeling more in tune with your body and have more physical body confidence.
I would watch and try as many forms of dance as you can to find out what you like, then seek out a good studio. It depends how serious you are about learning. It’s also a good idea to go to a club as JLeslie said and watch and remember any good moves you may see. The most important thing is to be able to hear the beat of the music and stay in time with it. You need to let go and lose yourself in the beat, feel the music. Have you ever seen little children who are amazing dancers? They are so cute! They don’t worry about looking cool, they just do what comes naturally. Of course you will never see them dance the tango, lol. That takes dedication!! It’s so dramatic, I love it! I believe Simone de Beauvoir is a tango dancer. She hasn’t answered this question though.

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