Useful Tips

How to learn to dance: video lessons for those who are not afraid to try


After six years of dancing, Masha Botvinina found out whether it is possible to lose weight when dancing, and which part of the body usually bothers the dancer the most. Her advice to beginners is priceless.
A few years ago I enrolled in a dance school. Just. Quite by chance I saw an ad in the LJ tape. I did not have global tasks like "lose weight here" or "pump up there." I needed a boring physical activity - and I suddenly decided that dancing was what I needed.

And recently it dawned on me unexpectedly: I have been studying for the sixth year already. I mentally went over the last few years: I changed 3 jobs and 4 guys, but the dances have not gone away!

Therefore, if you also start to dance or think about it - here are practical tips that have been tested by personal experience.

1. While practicing 1-2 times a week, you can completely tone the muscles, pump some, and some even pump very well. But not all. Systems that are not involved in dances (for example, biceps-triceps) will stand out deplorably compared to those involved.

2. Lose weight a little - yes, you can. But radically - it’s impossible. Dancing is not a simulator, so you, cheers, will have excellent muscles, and from above, alas, your native fat.

3. All newcomers are usually worried about the question “can I then cool dance at a disco?” It all depends on you and the dances. If you learn to dance hip-hop - and go to the hip-hop club - yes. But my Irish dances will help unless in the pub)))

4. Everyone can learn to dance. You too. If your teacher says that dancing is not for you, you can safely burn him with a look: this is not your teacher, and indeed not a teacher.

5. Learning to dance is never too late. In modern schools there is no age limit. Even in ballet schools there are adult groups. So what are you losing?

6. If you came to the first lesson, and your group was full of people - do not be alarmed: a third will not come to the second lesson, because they will not like the unusually heavy load. In a month, another third will not come, whose desire to do it will be broken by the realization that “like in Riverdance” something didn’t work out in a month ... Then, from those who remain, one third will remain - the rest will stretch something to themselves, break it, move to another city or just beat. Thus, natural selection and reduction of groups to normal numbers are carried out.

7. You will surely have a part of the body that will constantly interfere and strive to do not what you need. For example, in my Irish these are hands. Here they are needed to tie the shoelaces, but the rest of the time - no. You may sometimes want to tear them off. At such moments, remember that with your teeth you don’t tie shoelaces at all comme il faut. And there’s a chance that you are planning on group Irish dancing. Rumor has it that they move their hands there too.

8. Most likely, you will need special shoes. If, again, you go to the Irish dances that I go to, you will need at least 2 pairs of shoes: “stepping” and soft leather slippers. If you bought shoes and it seems convenient to you, take a lesson in it. If you still think that it is comfortable - this is not your shoes. When looking at exactly your shoes, you should want to wrap your feet in plaster up to the knee. If these sacrifices are not for you, try dancing where dancing in sneakers or barefoot in general.

9. After six months of classes, you will learn to pathetically jump over puddles. This is one of the most important bonuses. However, in a couple of years you will carefully circumvent all puddles sideways, because for jumping you need to warm up, be in the right shoes and in general there is a street, not a stage.

10. Metro is the best place to train to unfold your toes. In addition, when you see your face during this lesson, even pregnant grandmothers will give you a place.

11. If at competitions you saw a colorful shiny dress and thought that you would never wear such bad taste in your life, just wait. In a year or two, you yourself will choose rhinestones to the same.

12. Dance competitions are practically the only place where adult aunts can wear crowns, tiaras and rhinestones, and even paint their faces so that their mother does not grieve. In the end, is this not a reason to participate?))

13. Judges at competitions are very insidious and can lower scores due to any garbage. For example, if you have slipped one sock. Sly Irish dancers for the sake of medals even came up with glue for socks! Now you have seen everything)

14. But no, not all. A wig and a bun are also an important part of the costume. Did you want to dance with a ponytail on stage ??

15. You will learn the taste of victories and defeats. Why not stand on the podium, if there is such an opportunity? True, only you will know how hard these places get.

By the way, if you one day decide to participate in competitions, you will most likely have to forget about regular rest - your entire travel schedule will be subject to the competition schedule. That is why I have been on vacation for the third year in April, and about the same time I was not in the warm sea! And all because in April my dance association - the World Irish Dance Association - holds a big event: World Cup, European Championship and Grade Feis ("Big Competitions") - and this whole cake with candles once in 3-4 days somewhere in Europe. I don’t participate in championships yet, but with Grade Feis I have two silver 🙂

For all my achievements, many thanks to my teacher and founder of the “Moscow School of Irish Dance Maria Singal” - Masha Singal and all the other teachers, because during these 6 years I managed to work out with everyone, and I know for sure that they are wonderful 🙂

I am sure that among our readers there are many dancers. What are you dancing?

Is it difficult to learn to dance?

In fact, this is no more complicated than any other business in which you are new. Dance styles are very different from each other. Even if you have mastered one of them, it will be unusual for you to engage in others.

However, all dances are associated with the ability to control your body. And if this is not new to you (for example, you practiced martial arts, gymnastics, swimming, and even more so dancing), it will be easier for you to adapt to new movements than a beginner who is not friends with his body.

Even if you have a rather wooden body, do not despair. The secret to success is in constant practice.

Learning to dance in video lessons is more difficult than in courses. If your body is flexible and obedient, you can still do something similar to the instructor’s movements from the video. If not, you can quickly be disappointed in dancing: the difference between what is shown in the video and what you see in the mirror will be too strong.

Still worth a try. At least in order to decide on a suitable direction.

How many times a week to dance?

After exercise, the muscles may hurt at first. But, unlike strength training or running, the body does not need a recovery period.

Therefore, you can safely engage in dancing constantly. One of my teachers said that you need to dance 25 hours a day. In any case, the more you dance, the more noticeable the progress.


Contemporari combined elements of modern jazz, yoga and martial arts, seasoned with improvisations and attention to breathing. It is freedom and plasticity - the natural beauty of movement.

Here is a video with a combination in contemporary style. Try it, just remember to warm up well and stretch out before you teach.

And here is the second part:

By the way, about the warm-up. In the video below - a full lesson with a warm-up, stretching and analysis of the combination. In English, but everything is clear without translation.

If you do not have time to repeat or consider how any movement is made, set the speed to 0.25.

If you liked the combinations, but you still can’t repeat them, here are a few more clips with routine classes on contemporary music.

Most likely, the same thing will have to be done at the dance school, before you manage to perform beautiful combinations.

Strip of plastic

Many people confuse pylon classes and strip plastic. The second is just a sensual dance that can be performed without a pole.

When doing strip plastic, you will not stand at the machine and pull the sock. Everything here is based on the natural sexuality of the female body. Of course, many teachers diversify strip plastic with elements of contemporary or modern, Latin American dances and other areas, but it all depends on the teacher.

How beautiful your dance will look, again depends on how well you can control your body, how mobile your joints and stretched muscles and tendons are.

In the video below there is an analysis of the combination. Not too simple, but very sensual and beautiful. And you do not have to make movements on the floor, so that your knees will not suffer.

And here is a playlist with strip plastic lessons from different dance schools. There are separate movements and combinations.

And another, simpler combination. Try if the first one doesn’t work out.

Belly Dance (Bellidance)

This is a sensual and beautiful dance, which, among other things, helps to develop plasticity and even get rid of some health problems.

There are so many belly dance lessons on YouTube. Below are some of them.

Here, the main movements are explained very easily:

Below is a playlist with five tutorials for beginners from another teacher.

How to learn to dance street dances

Hip Hop has been around for only 50 years. But during this time, many directions and styles have appeared, with different elements, plastic, special chips.

In addition, modern hip-hop is often complemented by movements from other dance styles, which provides even richer vocabulary and original combinations.

But before you come up with your own bundles, you need to master the base. In the playlist below you will find basic movements, steps and many combinations. Explain everything is available. If you don’t have time, slow down the video speed.

The next big playlist’s commercials explain the concepts of inertia, manipulation, and isolation in hip-hop. There is also a story about improvisation, behavior in the battle, if you are ready for this, and several options for partner hip-hop movements (on the floor) to diversify your combinations.

Break dance consists of different elements: tricks and power movements on the floor, waves, fixations, as well as a change in the levels at which the dance is performed.

Here on this channel there is training in different styles: Waving, King Tut, Robot, - analysis of the technique of power elements and basic movements at different levels.

Below is a video with a detailed analysis of the 6 steps element from Footwork.

And here you can see how the "turtle" is performed.

Here is a voluminous playlist in which there are a lot of breakdance elements with a detailed analysis of the dance and power elements technique.

A sexy dance in which you need to actively work your buttocks, hips, stomach and arms. In this playlist, you will find several lessons with twerk movements.

How to learn to dance social dances

Social dances are not created for competitions, but for communication between partners and enjoyment. Here improvisation is welcomed, through which the dancer can express himself, his feelings and emotions.

This dance is from the Dominican Republic. He is very sensual, and sometimes erotic. The basics of bachata are four steps with an emphasis on the latter. In dance there are spins and throws of partners, small supports.

Despite the fact that bachata is a pair dance, one can also learn solo combinations. For example, if you do not have a partner yet.

In the video below - an analysis of the main steps. Where to carry body weight, how to hold hands, how to emphasize - everything is described in a detailed way.

But the variation of bachata from the same teacher.

Below is a playlist for those who want to pair bachata. These are Dominican bachate lessons from the Imagine dance school of dance.

This is a passionate pair dance native to Africa, and more specifically from Angola. Now it is performed all over the world and is especially popular in France and Portugal.

Steps, a lot of hips and close contact with a partner. Sometimes very cramped. For example, in the Tarraxinha style, a slower and more sensual version of this social dance.

Here's a playlist of kizomba lessons.

And another playlist with videos from another dance studio.

That's all. If you have favorite training videos, share them in the comments to the article.