Most people have hobbies in life. Hobbies can bring joy and relaxation, and they can help combat stress and anxiety. They also give you something productive to do with your free time. For most people, a hobby remains just that – a hobby – but what happens if you want to pour more of yourself into that hobby and take it to the next level?
If you have a love of dance and often think of it as your hobby, there are ways you can advance it and take it to the next level of dedication, skill, and enjoyment. It all comes down to your expectations, goals and motivation.
Enrol In a Professional Dance Class
The easiest and perhaps the most effective way to take your love of dancing to the next level is to enrol in a professional dance class. You don’t want to choose the classes meant for novices just looking for a fun hobby; instead, look for a class that teaches proper technique, positions, and terminology, and features professional choreography. Also, the class should be taught by an experienced instructor so you know you’re going to learn from the experience. Dance classes aren’t typically a one-time thing; this may be an ongoing class for you. You’ll be able to excel and learn harder moves as you become more experienced.
Consider Trying a New Style of Dance
Sometimes, to reach the next level, it’s necessary to step outside your comfort zone. In terms of dancing, this can mean learning a new style of dance. The thing about dance is that so many of the styles are intertwined since you can learn the basic technique which can then be tweaked and advanced for that particular style of dance.
For example, ballet is one of the best styles of dance to learn as it gives you one of the most solid foundations out there. So what this means is that if you haven’t yet learned ballet, regardless of your favorite type of dance, it would be an excellent one to sign up for.
Find a Local Dance Studio to Rehearse In
While there is nothing wrong with practicing your dancing at home, the fact is that if you want to take it to the next level, you probably need a better space to practice in. Out-growing your house is perfectly normal, especially when you are trying to push yourself on a skill and technique level.
Finding a local dance studio that you can rent space for rehearsing in can be a great option. For example, Pirate offers Dallas dance studio space that is ideal for those looking to push to the next level. The Dallas dance studio offers room-length mirrors, a ballet barre, mood lighting, Harlequin sprung flooring, a sound system, and other features. It will feel like a professional space because it is professional.
Set a Rehearsal Schedule that You Stick With
Now that you’ve found a professional rehearsal space, it’s time to create a schedule that you stick with. When dancing is just a hobby, you tend to fit it in whenever you can and don’t give it a second thought. To level up, you need to make it a regular habit or a routine. Forming any new habit takes time and effort, so making a schedule will be helpful.
How many times should you rehearse a week? That’s obviously up to you but, ideally, you want to aim for at least three times a week and potentially work your way up from there.
Find Others to Dance With
Another tip is to start dancing with other people. If you’ve only been a solo artist until this point, you’d be surprised at what dancing with others can do for you. It helps to motivate and inspire you, it helps to propel you to the next level of technique and it allows for an environment of collaborative creation and working together. Dancing with others can mean you find a partner or you start dancing with a whole troupe or club. Whatever suits your dance style and personal interest.
Enroll in Dance Competitions
It doesn't get more advanced and next level than competing in the competition circuit of dancing. This can be extremely stressful, but it’s also very rewarding. Competition has a way of bringing out the best in people, so it could be the push you need to tap into your skills and passion.
There are often different levels of competition from beginners’ competitions to the pros, so obviously you want to be sure you pick the level that matches up with your skills. If you stick with the competition circuit then you can expect to work your way up the ranks, not just in terms of the leaderboard, but also in terms of the people you’re competing with. In a few years, you may be ready for the more advanced competitions.
A few tips if you decide to give competitions a try include:
- Expect to put in a lot of practice time - preparation should be your main focus.
- Expect to be filled with nerves and even stage fright - even professionals sometimes feel nervous before they hit the stage.
- Find a way to calm your nerves before hitting the stage - that could be a pep talk, breathing exercises, stretches, listening to relaxing music, whatever works.
- Make sure your choreography plays to your strengths, showing off the best of the best that you have to offer
- Ensure your wardrobe will be comfortable and safe to dance in, meaning you won't have to worry about a wardrobe malfunction mid-dance.
- Practice in front of friends and family before the competition - get used to having an audience.
For most dancers, the competition circuit gets less stressful with experience, so expect it to be difficult at first.
Deciding to take your love of dancing to the next level is a big commitment and one that can leave you feeling a bit tired and overwhelmed at first. Keep your eyes on the prize, your goals in mind and tap into your love and passion for the art form and it will take on a new meaning.