Increasing Your Comfort Level with Solo Dancing

Lewi Gilamichael (Baltimore) and Angie Fadness (Madison) solo dancing at Bambloozled, Wash DC October 2013.

Lewi Gilamichael (Baltimore) and Angie Fadness (Madison) solo dancing at Bambloozled, Wash DC October 2013.

Many of us have witnessed the confident people at dance events; dancing freely to the music all alone. Maybe you envy them or they scare you  a bit but I bet some part of you wants to do what they are doing. 

Why solo dancing? 

I have realized that many folks, on various parts of their dance journey, aren’t comfortable with solo dancing. When I say solo dancing, I mean dancing without a partner connected to you. I think the majority of people think that social dancing needs to always require a partner. After all, it’s partner dancing. But this isn’t always the case. It’s encouraged and a great way for you to be a better dance partner! Yes, I said that; if you work on your own movement skills, you will be a better partner to your current and future dance partners. Focusing on how your own body moves and interprets music without another body connected to you is very useful in figuring out what parts you need to work on. With a partner always connected to you – sometimes your weaknesses can be masked.

How do I work on solo movement? 

You can start out by simply dancing around alone in your house. This is especially useful if you are somewhat nervous about busting out solo dancing in public. Pick any type of music you like to get down to and bust a move. Start slowly, even one song a day can help you feel increasingly more comfortable. Once you’re feeling good about dancing alone you can start to work on what you’re doing. Pay attention to how the music makes you want to move your body. Are there certain types of movements that are your ‘go-tos’? Do you always move certain parts of your body (arms, hips) and not others? If you want to work on your quality of movement you can start to vary up what you’re doing based on these observations. As always, you can find youtube videos of solo dancing if you need more moves inspiration.

What if I’m too scared to try this out in public? 

Now that you’ve started to practice on your own and are feeling good about dancing solo…it’s time to bring it out in public. If you’re still feeling a bit nervous about this next step..ask your friends to do a solo movement jam circle to a song you all like. This keeps everyone inspired and removes the element of stage fright. You can see what others are doing and undoubtedly you will interpret the music differently and learn new movements from each other. And most people can agree that solo dancing in a group for the first few times will go a long way to increase your confidence, readying you for that time when you will bust out on your own.

Give it a go! Working on your own movements will help you understand how your body works and therefore how it works in relation to a partner.