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10 Crucial Steps for Being a Better Dancer

Updated on November 5, 2014

Why wouldn't you want to be a better dancer??!


Great Job! The first step to being a better dancer is doing exatly what you are doing now, and working for it.

Being the best dancer you can be starts with YOU! These 10 Crucial Steps will help guide you in the direction of being a better dancer, but ultimately, you just need to make the decision that it is something you want to do, and success will come!

1. Work Harder

As a dance teacher, I see every kind of student.

  • The shy, quiet ones that just love to dance
  • The hardworking motivated ones that want to be the best
  • The show-offs that are good, but know it
  • The attention hungry, not-talented girls that make classes distracted
  • The ones who think they are already the best and stop trying, and
  • The practice-holics, that you know are going to excel, because all they do is dance where ever they go and are always asking for ways to be better.

The dancers that work hard and focus on dance, these are the ones that will excel.


2. Pay Attention to the Details

If you want to be ahead of the curve, not just with dancing, but in life, one of the most important things you can do is be observant. People who pay attention to detail and notice things that others may not, will simply excel.

  • They will get in fewer car crashes for anticipating wrecks,
  • Observant people will be better friends and notice others emotions more effectively, and
  • As a dancer, those who pay attention to detail will be able to perfect their art and out perform those around them.

3. Look in the Mirror

One of the most important aspects to think of for dance, and just for life in general is to ask, "is it I?" Whenever a critique is made, ALWAYS assume that is something YOU need to work one. It may be hard to admit, but you are not perfect, and you can always improve.

Take a Look in the mirror and think:

Understanding this will help you excel insurmountable amounts.


4. Stretch Always

It drives me crazy when they say that they can't do something. Then when they say they can't do it, because they aren't flexible, that to me is even worse. Yes, some people are just born naturally flexible. However, I have NEVER been a flexible person. Splits and high kicks just never came easily to me. However, I can kick over my head and do my splits flat as can be. The reason is because I stretch daily.

If you want to be a better dancer, you need flexibility. To get that flexibility, you need to stretch every day, on your own. Stretching doesn't mean lazily sitting in straddle. It means pushing yourself to reach farther and be closer to the ground.

I guarantee that if you stretch, really stretch, every single day, you will have your splits flat within a month.

5. Stay Healthy

  1. Eat - Sometimes people don't consciously think about the importance of being healthy, or they confuse the term of being healthy with being skinny. This is not the same thing.
  • Skipping meals is not being healthy.
  • Throwing up daily is not healthy.
  • Being underweight, is not healthy.
  • Eat three well portioned meals every day, and stay at a healthy weight. Below is a Body Mass Index Chart to help you know the healthy weight you should be, based on your height.
  1. Sleep - Another crucial part of being healthy is getting a good night's sleep. Sleep for a dancer is sometimes hard to get when you try to balance school, classes, homework, home practicing, jobs, etc. However, 6-8 hours is needed every night to maintain a healthy lifestyle as a dancer.
  • It is more important to be well rested before a big performance, that trying to squeeze in late practices.
  1. Stay Hydrated - Finally, stay hydrated and drink lots of water. You should be taking a drink break ever 15-30 minutes as a dancer. If you are thirsty, drink, don't just try to keep going without being hydrated.
  • It is also important to replace those electrolytes with Gatorade and Powerade type drinks. You know your body best, so be sure to take care of it.

Are you at a Healthy Weight?


Have competitive choreography

  1. Outsource - As a competitive dancer, one of the best ways to help yourself improve is to push yourself with competitive dance choreography. Outsourcing to hire choreographers that will push you, instruct you, and help you look great while performing, are going to be that outside source that helps you jump from a good dancer to a great dancer.

    Often times dancers think that hiring choreographers to help push them to new extremes is too expensive. The truth is, you can find impeccable choreographers, who do what they do, simply for the love of dancing.

You can find great choreographers online or locally that will offer discounts and find ways to work with you financially and physically. All you need to do is ask.


7. Practice! Know your dance routine without the music

Once you have your routine, you need to perfect it! Dancers that just dominate in competitions, are the ones who know their routines forwards and backwards.

The ones who could dance perfectly, even without the music. Knowing your routine is a HUGE part of being a good dancer, because it allows you to free your mind from focusing on the steps you are dancing, and simply dance from the heart!

8. Breathe

Listen to the music and just soak it all in. As a dancer, we always have a million different things going on all at the same time; but you can't let that show. To perform, you must breathe - just let the music take over your body and your dance performance will be elevated to a whole new level.

(For more Performance advice follow Lai Rupe on Hub Pages and read the article: "SUPER DANCE PERFORMANCE SECRETS.")

9. Smile

Have some fun!

Nearly last, just have fun. Smile, perform, make the dance yours! You control the way the audience feels watching, by the way you feel while dancing! Don't be afraid to show your emotions in the routine.

After all, dance is all about passion!

10. Know WHY you Dance.

Too many dancers forget this, and at that point their love for dancing simply diminishes. To be the best dancer you can be, never forget WHY you dance.

This may be the most important thing you figure out in your life.

Why do you dance?


Have any dance questions, concerns, or topics to discuss? Don't hesitate to reach out to Lai Rupe's Choreography. I am here to spread the beauty of dance.

To Improve your dance-self more and more each day, please follow me and check out some of my other great articles like, "HOW TO LEARN CHOREOGRAPHY MORE QUICKLY."

Thanks for your LOVE and Support!

~Alaina (Lai) Rupe


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