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Finding your feet: a guide for beginner dancers

Every dancer has a different story to tell about how they ended up at a studio or on a stage. More often than not however, the stories we hear about the most are of those who started off very young. What we don’t hear enough of are the stories of people who started dancing later on in life people who turned to dance as less of a hobby and more of a form of relaxation or therapy. Fortunately, with more and more research pointing to just how beneficial any form of movement can be as a way of staying happy and healthy, dance is moving beyond the arena of the performing arts towards something better and bigger.

Today we know that for many people, the main aim of getting started as a dancer involves so much more than taking to the stage or having a moment in the spotlight. Dance can be a powerful tool for unleashing your creativity, learning how to express yourself, reconnecting with your body and developing your confidence. For all these reasons and more, dancing comes highly recommended. If you’ve been toying with the idea of making your debut in the world of dance, you’re definitely in the right place.

Common myths about dancing busted

Before you sign up for your first class or buy your first dance outfit, there are a few common beliefs about dance that need to be busted as absolute myths. When many people think of what it means to be a dancer, they picture professional ballerinas, contemporary maestros and the acrobatic experts we see in world-renowned performances like Cirque du Soleil. In reality however, what makes you a dancer, is the act of dancing itself. You don’t have to be technically proficient, super fit and athletic or even have the best sense of rhythm. In fact, some of the best dancers charter their own paths through the world of performance arts and can attest to the fact that dancing is just as much about experimentation as it is about the actual science of movement. Anyone can be a dancer and it’s never too late to find your feet.

Another common myth that holds people back from realising the amazing benefits of dancing is that only people with certain body types can dance. This couldn’t be further from the truth, and thanks to the proliferation of social media, the world is beginning to understand that dancers come in all shapes and sizes. Some of the most inspirational dance stories come from people who are wheelchair bound but have the courage to enter ballroom competitions, or those who suffer various physical challenges who persevere and hone their craft, no matter what anyone says or thinks. These are the real dancers people who understand that dance is a form of communication and that as long as you have the capacity to tell a story, convey a mood, or interpret a feeling, you can become a dancer in your own right and in your own way.

Advice on choosing your first class

Once you’ve cleared the mental hurdles that may be holding you back from finding your feet, it’s time to choose a dance class. Choosing a dance style that resonates with your personal sense of style and natural inclination towards certain types of movement can be a challenge, so to start out, you may want to sign up with dance companies that offer a complementary first class.

The rest is really a process of trial and error and trying out different styles until you find one that works for you. One of the myths that can stand in the way of you finding your niche in the dance world is that the style of dance that comes easiest to you is the one to opt for. As with every other creative discipline, dance takes time, patience and practice to perfect. So although you may find the first few classes difficult, what matters is that you learn as you go along and give yourself the space and time you need to feel comfortable moving in your own skin.

Next: what to wear?

The next thing you’ll need to do is decide what to wear. These are some of the factors you may wish to consider when choosing an outfit:

Moisture-wicking material: Ideally you want to choose garments that repel moisture and allow your skin to breathe. Moisture-wicking textiles are materials designed to efficiently manage moisture (sweat or moisture from the environment) by quickly moving it away from the body or the surface of the fabric. These textiles are often combined with breathable designs or mesh panels to enhance air circulation. This combination helps in regulating body temperature and reducing overheating during physical activities.

Need an example? Check out our Maria Crop Top

Versatility: When choosing a dance outfit, you need to opt for something that can be worn for other occasions. If you make your dancewear a part of your capsule

wardrobe, not only will you be reducing your fashion consumption and carbon footprint, you’ll have more pieces that you can adapt in different ways. It’s also ideal for the outfit you choose to be suited to a variety of dance forms, so you have room to experiment and try out different styles without having to buy a new outfit.

Here’s a piece we can recommend: Eli Kuro Leotard

Comfort: You’ll need to make sure that whichever outfit you choose to wear allows for a full range of motion, from intricate footwork to graceful arm extensions. Comfortable dancewear, such as leotards, tights, and stretchy fabrics, will allow you to move freely without restriction. Comfort is also key because uncomfortable dancewear can be a constant distraction during rehearsals and performances. With comfortable attire, you’ll be able to concentrate on your artistry and technique.

Here’s some inspiration: Dali Pants

Once you’ve found the classes you want to try and you’ve got the dancewear you need to feel super comfortable, the next step is to simply follow your feet!

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