By Nadine Regina Yeam
Ever wondered how dancers on Instagram always managed to bust out the moves of Korean idols that we constantly thought were difficult as heck to execute? Ever wanted to be able to move like the super talented idols that you watch on your television or mobile screens?
Well, here we have a (non-exhaustive!) list of how-tos, with the focus being on improving your dance skills! If you are someone with no experience in moving your limbs, or even someone who has been dancing for over 10 years, these tips will be able to help you improve your techniques regardless of your prior experience in the world of dance!
1: PRACTICE YOUR FOUNDATIONS
This is, by far, the most important point of all pointers in this list. As the saying goes, Rome was not built in a day, and likewise, you cannot expect yourself to end up being able to execute moves as well as super dancers like SHINee’s Taemin and Chungha in a day if you do not practice your foundations in dance! From learning about the basic bounce, to honing your skills in body isolations and waves; if you are not able to master the basics of dance, how will you expect yourself to improve? That being said, this brings us to point number 2 …
2: WORKOUT REGULARLY
In order to improve your flexibility and ensuring that you do not get seriously injured when jamming out to your favourite songs and throwing in a step or two, working out regularly is the key to all problems. In dance, everything goes down to the power of your core - if you lack core power, the chances that the textures (how your moves look and feel like to the eyes and body respectively) will not look as good are high, when compared to someone who works out regularly and focuses on strengthening their core muscles. Try to do simple exercises like planks and crunches in 10-minute workouts for at least 3 times a week. For the exercises to seem less boring and like a burden, we advise you to try making your own routines or trying out routines that have been uploaded online on YouTube, like Chloe Ting’s workouts!
Daily stretching is also important to loosen your body, so every night before you head to bed, try to do a little short stint of yoga solely to stretch out the muscles that you have used in the day and for you to get a good night’s rest without feeling utterly sore the next morning~
3: “FREESTYLE” REGULARLY
Beginner dancers, and even experienced dancers, may be afraid of freestyling, or dance improvisation, where you just move your body freely to a random music that is played. However, there is no reason to be scared of freestyling, because the movements of your body to the music is that of your body’s own voice. By playing your favourite songs and dancing in however way you like and deem fit while looking at your reflection in the mirror, you are able to notice your own moves and see if there are any problems with your movements. Furthermore, express your true emotions through your freestyles, by dancing in the way that you like!
4: OBSERVE YOUR OWN DANCE CLIPS & ASK OTHERS FOR FEEDBACK
With dancing comes another fear - dancing in front of an audience or in front of a camera. However, the best way of overcoming your fears is to just do it! Filming yourself dancing to a routine that you have practiced so long and hard for will allow you to see yourself and your problems clearly. You are your biggest critic, and through watching the videos of yourself that you have filmed with your camera or your phone, you would be more mindful about the movements that you make at each point of the dance.
Asking other people and dancers for feedback on your dancing will also make you improve faster because you get more perspectives and opinions on your techniques and executions. It may seem intimidating to ask people for their advice but this is definitely one of the best ways to grow and hone your skills as a dancer!
5: LEARN FROM YOUR IDOLS
Many people get inspired to dance because they watch someone, a choreographer or a performer, perform in a way that mesmerizes them and lures them into the world of dance. Having a role model to look up to whenever you dance allows you to observe their dance moves and how they execute their movements in pieces that you think they look the best in. From how they are able to make themselves look so good, to how they are able to do certain pathways and execute steps in their own styles, watching videos of your idols allows you to gain muscle memory and helps you to build something out of your own style as well.
That being said, taking classes online and learning their choreographies is really a good way to improve your skills as a dancer. KDA is one of the best places for you to really get to learn from your idols! KDA holds many different online workshops that are conducted by a variety of South Korea’s best choreographers (just think of Mina Myoung, Junsun Yoo, Koosung Jung and many more!) and you get to learn from them LIVE and in the comfort of your own homes, how sweet is that? So do check them out at our website at www.kdaacademy.com, and stay tuned to the constantly amazing line-up that we always have in store for all you dancers out there!
6: STEP OUT OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE
This last point on our list of how-tos for improving your dance skills really goes without saying. Perhaps stepping out of your comfort zone comes hand-in-hand with practicing your foundations, because if you are not able to commit to either one of these points, chances are that you are not going to be able to develop your skills and abilities as a performer and a dancer and you will not be able to shine to your fullest potential! Practicing a variety of genres, from hip-hop to street jazz to popping and locking, will not only make you a much more versatile dancer, but it will also allow you to be able to delve deeper into the ocean of dance where there is so much to offer.
So there you have it, 6 of the most important tips to improving your dance skills! We hope that you will be able to pick up something from this listicle and that you will become a better dancer in the days, months and years to come! All the best from all of us at KDA! :-)