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Advice from a Dancer: Never Stop Dancing

                                                     

Whether you’ve been dancing since before you could walk or you only dance when no one’s watching, the best advice I could give to you is to never stop dancing. It doesn’t matter if you are one step away from being a professional or if you groove along to the music selection when you’re grocery shopping, dancing can benefit everyone in more ways than one could even imagine. There are the obvious physical benefits of getting exercise, strengthening the core and legs, enhancing coordination, improving memory, etc. Dance is more than just taking classes as a kid and performing at a recital once a year. You don’t have to be a classically trained dancer to reap the benefits of dance, you just need a beat (whether it’s real music or just in your head). 

 

A little background: I began dancing at the age of 3 and I danced whenever I felt the beat of a song or the rhythm of the music, which was apparently all the time. I always knew growing up that I would never be the best, but this never stopped me from continuing on and learning new styles and developing myself as a dancer. I have continued to dance throughout college and I even began to choreograph pieces of my own, which I feel has truly shaped me as a person as well as a dancer. Outside of scheduled dance classes, I am still passionate about dancing. I could hear any song with a decent beat in any setting and immediately start bopping along without even realizing. Most of the time there doesn’t even need to be music playing for me to start dancing. Dance has changed my life for the better, so this is my advice to you to let it change yours too:

 

For all the dancers:

No matter what styles you do, the number of years you’ve been dancing or what studios you’ve gone to, there’s always room for improvement and growth. You already know how dance can affect your life: it improves your mood whenever you get into class, it lets you express your true inner feelings when the time warrants it, you’ve made the conclusion that it is the best kind of exercise. You may be comfortable where you are, so my advice to you is never stop moving. Keep pursuing the classes and styles you are passionate about but push yourself out of your comfort zone and take a class in a style you’ve never done before, take a workshop in a kind of dance that you were always scared to do. Pushing yourself to expand your horizons will help you develop as a dancer, and it could help you find a balance in your dancing career.

 

For all the non-dancers:

Who needs classical training when you have two feet and a song stuck in your head? My advice to everyone that hasn’t taken dance classes a day in their lives or left it at a very young age, don’t let it go! I’m not saying go out and take classes, but never be afraid to dance! If anything, you should dance whenever you can to relieve some stress and to just overall make you feel energetic! I know for me personally a dance party (by myself or with friends) is the ultimate therapy no matter where I am. The phrase “dance like nobody’s watching” should be a motto to uphold, because I am a firm believer that whenever the music hits you or whenever you feel the urge to dance, just do it! If people judge you for being happy and having a good time dancing, then good riddance to them. And plus, it’s practically impossible to be upset or angry when you’re having a dance party, that’s just science.

 

For all the dancers that ended their career too soon:

You know who you are, those people that quit dancing because they knew they weren’t getting anywhere with it or they thought they aged out of it. I got news for you: you can dance from the time you’re 2 to the time you’re 102! Even if you’ve been out of the game for a long time and you don’t think you can get back on the wagon, it’s never too late to revive your dance career and refresh the skills you spent countless years developing! So for all those college students who thought that leaving their dance studio to go to school was the end of their career, join the school dance program or dance team if that’s an option! If it’s not an option, try and find a dance studio to take classes at or if you’re near a major city, see if there are any master classes being offered. Say it with me: it is never too late to get back into dancing. Plus, if you started dancing at a young age, you’re practically wired for it and there’s no escaping it so going back to classes would basically be like re-learning how to ride a bike, all the steps are there you just need to put them into action.

 

For all the choreographers:

My advice for you is to never stop creating no matter what. Every choreographer is a dancer, but not every dancer is a choreographer. It is a gift that you have the ability to create something from nothing and be able to teach it to students that are so willing to learn. If you find yourself with this gift, never give up on it. You may run out of classes to teach, but that shouldn’t stop you from creating choreography even if it’s just for yourself. The creativity it takes to make a routine with moving parts and dimensions shouldn’t be wasted. If you find yourself full of ideas and nowhere to bring them, check your local dance studios to see if they are hiring student teachers or go to workshops or classes on choreographing to build on your skills and hopefully advance you in your choreographing career. The point is to never stop creating as long as you have the ideas, the passion, and the creativity. That kind of talent doesn’t come around every day so use yours to the fullest. 

 

My Ultimate Advice:

If you’re a dancer, never be afraid to push yourself to your fullest potential and grow and expand on the skills you already have. It is never too late to continue on dancing and you shouldn’t give up on it if it’s truly one of your passions. If you’re not a dancer, don’t let that discourage you from dancing, anyone can be a dancer even if it’s just to boost your mood or to let loose! Dance like nobody’s watching and I guarantee you’ll be happy if you do. So go get your closest friends (or be by yourself) and let the dancing take you away!