How to learn dance at home: A step by step guide
Interested in dance and want to learn a few dance moves at home? Here's how.
Dance is one of the most multi-purpose skills out there. What else can you use in the club and as a workout? Lots of people learn to dance in structured settings like studios, but with the prevalence of the internet, many resources like videos and online communities for support, anyone can learn to dance at home.
How to Learn to Dance at Home
Want to improve your moves? Follow these steps to learn to dance at home:
1. Select a style
Start by deciding what style of dance you want to learn. There are tons out there — individual dance styles like ballet, jazz, and hip hop, and partner styles like ballroom and salsa. Definitely figure out what type you're interested in before you get started, which will make it easier to find the best resources.
2. Decide on technique or routine
Next, decide whether you want to learn basic technique or a specific dance. Most dance styles have foundational movements that trained dancers practice repeatedly to build their strength, endurance, and skill. However, some folks who are just learning for fun might prefer learning a specific dance, like Lil Uzi Vert's Futsal Shuffle rather than just practicing the basics.
3. Find the right video
Now's the time to find your teacher: A video. There are tons of fantastic vids out there from professional dancers, teachers, musicians, and amateurs to help you learn to dance. Lots of websites offer classes, tutorials, or tips for burgeoning dancers — some are free and some cost money. If you're looking for a technique class, search for something like "hip hop dance class." If you want to learn a specific dance, search for the name of the dance along with "tutorial," like "Chicago Cell Block Tango tutorial."
4. Warm up
Before you dance, it's important you warm up. Get your heart rate up and your muscles warm by jogging in place. Do some stretching like touching your toes and opening your hips to loosen up. Most dance styles require a bit of flexibility, so focus on a few exercises that will help lengthen tight muscles before you get going.
5. Do the lesson
Finally, it's time to dance! Play your video, and get moving! If you're using a smart TV, keep the remote nearby so you can pause and rewind when you need to see a step again. If you're using your phone or laptop, keep it close by for the same reason. Don't be afraid to do the same step or section a few times over — some steps take longer than others to master.
Tip: Try the moves in front of a mirror next to your video so you can see how you look.
They say it takes 10,000 hours to master a new skill — don't give up! Keep practicing with the same video and new videos with other teachers to get better at your dance. You'll see improvement the more you work at it.
Best Resources to Learn How to Dance
The internet is an amazing place. So many resources exist for people to master dance at home. Consider these top learn-to-dance-at-home resources to get started.
Looking for some solid technical guidance? Consider these classes, tutorials, and lessons from professional dancers:
- CLI Studios: Aspiring dancers can take classes in styles like ballet, jazz, and contemporary from big-name dancers like Kathryn McCormick from the hit show So You Think You Can Dance starting at $100 a month.
- Dance Plug: Learn a wide variety of styles, like Bollywood and lyrical, in the form of classes, combinations, and routines, starting at $29 a month.
- Steezy: Super interested in urban dance? Steezy focuses on learning movements from hip hop, krump, breaking, popping, and more. Get started for $20 a month or $99.99 a year.
For a more cost-effective option (though you'll have to do more searching for solid content), try out these guys:
- Vimeo: Vimeo has always been a favorite of creative types, so you might be able to find some solid videos there.
Where to Start
Totally overwhelmed and not sure which style you should start with? Consider starting with one of the big top three: Ballet, jazz, or hip hop. Almost every other style of dance uses some ballet terminology (yes, even hip hop), so it might be helpful to learn a little ballet before anything else.
Jazz and hip hop are also foundational styles — jazz is the basis for contemporary dance and hip hop informs lots of popular, urban and music video dances. Want a list of a few dance styles to try? You got it. Keep in mind, there are hundreds of different dance styles out there — one of them is absolutely perfect for you!
- Hip hop
- African dance
- Latin dance
- Swing dance
Learning to dance should be fun. Take the time in the comfort of your living room to learn a new technique or routine to show off to your friends.