When I first started dancing I had a drastically different relationship with my body than I do now. My prior knowledge of being healthy and “fit” was boxed in the idea of “I do this exercise so I can look like this”. Over time I have realized that dance can hold an impact on the way you view your body and ultimately how it can change your relationship with your body. While it is a challenge most of the time (sometimes more mentally than physically) Learning how to dance, and dancing for myself allowed me to appreciate my body.
1. Put your body in control
Dancing is a rather physically tasking thing. You might not feel it in the moment, but after hours of dancing your body can feel beat. Listen to your body, you are the one that knows it most. If you are tired; take a break, if you need water; drink, and if you feel something is off; stop what you are doing and listen to it. When you allow your body to be in control you’re allowing yourself to grow in a healthy way.
2. Allows for communication
As mentioned above, allow for an open line of communication with your body. Listen to what it has to tell you, but also push yourself enough to see growth and change when you are dancing. This can be trying new stretching exercises before you start dancing, trying a new harder move that you feel is a good challenge or even start waking up early and go for a run to allow your body to build up stamina when you are in class. Listening to your body is important, but also challenging yourself to grow and learn is just as important.
3. Train better therefore feel better
When you train better, you feel better. And while working out is important, sometimes training in other dance styles can help you feel better! If you have been taking hip hop classes why not try ballroom or tango, or if you take ballet classes try hip hop or tab. Training in something else will allow you to realize aspects of your body that you might not have even utilized before in another style! Training better in other aspects makes you feel better when you are in your element!
4. Your body becomes a tool of expression
When fully in connection with my body during a dance class, my form of expression runs through my movement. When you are happy you can express it by jumping up and down and when you are frustrated you can express through kicks or punching the air. Whatever floats your boat haha. But no matter how you feel use your body as a form of expression when dancing, you will say what you want to say without words, but you will also get so much off your chest that you didn’t know you had!
5. Listen, adapt, do
I want to leave off this blog by saying one thing; listen, adapt, and do. When you listen to yourself and your body you know what you have to do; when adapting to new things you are building up a stamina for all the challenges you will have when learning how to dance, and when you do it you will finally be able to piece everything together!
Listening to your body when dancing will allow you to appreciate what your body has done for you all these years. Your body is a machine that takes care of you. When you trust your body enough you will be able to learn and grow as a dancer! Learning how to dance is a journey and it is that process of finding what works for you one of the most rewarding things you can do as a dancer, whether beginner or not! If you would like to learn how to dance, we would love to have you! Check out our workshops here and how to get registered here!
See ya out there :))
The STU Arts Dance Team