1. Don’t dance too fast - You have to feel the music and you might watch people move fast and it looks amazing, but it is about control and hitting the beats. You want to fully execute your moves and have control over you movement and that will make you look a stronger dancer. When it comes to burlesque remember it is about the performance and not the dance, you do not even have to dance if you do not want to. If you do have a strong dance element in your act, remeber to express your movement and make it a performance.
2. Stretch - This is something you should do before and after dancing, but have you fully stretched so that your body has a full range of motion. Try and stretch every day for at least 5- 10 minutes. Stretching helps you reduce the stiffness in your joints, which will help with your flexibility and it also reduces the risk of injury.
3. Practise - Practise really does make perfect. If you want to learn something then commit to it, practise until you are happy. It is very easy to find a lot of excuses of why not to do it, but the reasons to do it is going to make you a much better dancer.
4. Build your foundation - Learn the basics first, you might see some moves and choreography that blows your mind, but you still need to learn the basic firsts so you can build on them.
5. When in a class remember it is about learning and not about videos and photos. Go to your class being mindful and put your all in to it and you will feel much better than the photo you took. Also remember nobody else cares if you go wrong, only you do.
6. Watch dance videos - Watch with the intent to learn and not for entertainment. Pay attention to their movement and how other choreographers interpret the music, performance and execution. Understand how they are thinking not just moving, it is an extra way to educate yourself and to use that for inspiration to express yourself in your OWN way.
7. Eat smarter - errghh diets, no that is not what I mean. Be careful not to eat high fat or high protein food just before dancing as it takes your body longer to digest it. Your body is important when it comes to dancing so making sure you are well hydrated and making better choices before dancing, it is only going to help you dance better.
8. Listen to the music - Listen to all the elements in a song (the lyrics and the instrumental) and really analyse the song. This will help you connect your moves better with the music, you will also find parts that really stick out to you and that will help you fully express yourself. It is much easier to put feeling into something you vibe with.
9. Breathe - People tend to hold their breath will dancing, DON’T! It will end up making your movements stiffer, also breathing in to your moves can also help you express your movement especially in burlesque as it is going to lift your chest.
10. Pay attention to your hands - Your hands have to be intentional too so make sure they are doing something and not looking awkward. You can clap, point, draw your audience them in or place them. Don’t T Rex while dancing (No offence T-Rex’s)
11. Carry on learning - Do not stop learning, it does not matter how good you think you are, you can learn something new from every teacher and performer out there. Learn different styles, gain extra skills and build your knowledge, never stop learning.
12. Wing it - Dance through your mistakes. You will go wrong at some point, but make it look like it was suppose to happen and wing it out. Just keep going!
13. Take Critique - Everybody wants to feel validated, but to grow you need to be open to critique. People are giving you feedback to help you, not to hinder you.
14. Make a back story - Some people find it helpful to create a story to their act to help them embody the character more.
15. Take notes - Perks of taking notes if that you get to buy amazing stationery or you can use your notes app on your phone.
Take notes of any thoughts and ideas that you have, they do not have to be correct and you come back later to process them.
Write down moves and techniques, this will help you when it comes to doing your own choreography and if you ever get stuck.
Save any tips that you might have been given or which you have read. Also save studio details especially if you like to rehearse before going on stage in other cities.
Write down shows in areas you might be travelling to or shows you want to go and see, remember going to shows isn’t just supporting the arts it is also educational.
Make notes of the history of dance that you are going into, these are great for inspiration and motivation, but having knowledge of your movement and what you are doing is only going to make you more confident in what you are doing. Knowledge is power.
Save any inspirational quotes, videos and performers.
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Ruby's Rebels Performers: Dee Dee Delight, Racie Gracie, Black Velvet and Luna Blaze
Photographer: Ralph Barklam
Event: Triple Threat Burlesque Show