Sandip Soparrkar's Beginners Guide To Dancing

Sandip Soparrkar's Beginners Guide To Dancing

Here’s how to make the first move and become an expert dancer

Sandip SoparrkarUpdated: Friday, February 02, 2024, 09:24 PM IST
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When we see people dance, be it live or on screen, deep within we get an urge to do the same; but for many reasons, most beginners hesitate to take their first dancing step. Myriad questions cross one’s mind which results in not putting your best foot forward. Today let me suggest you what best you can do to not weaver away from stepping on the dance floor.

Am I too old to dance? The age equation is a myth! You can begin dancing at any age you want as long as you have the right tools to start. Always remember, you can pursue whatever and whenever you want.

I know it is healthy, but?

Moving your body each day can pave the way for a higher cardio-fitness score and increased flexibility, as well as release endorphins for a mood boost. Learning to dance is beneficial for your mind and body. So, no matter what age you are, you will still feel the benefits of a healthy dose of movement each day. Did you now a study from Harvard said, ‘Picking up new choreography and movement helps develop cognitive skills such as memory, decision making, and visual recognition.’ So, daily dancing will have your brain and body thanking you!

What if I make mistakes?

Anything that’s new, there will be mistakes made – and that’s okay! It is actually how we learn. In order to find your balance, you have to explore falling and wobbling. Yes, you will mess up. Nobody gets a pirouette or their first spin right, right away. Mistakes are a part of the learning process.

I am not a dancer, won’t I look bad?

You don’t have to be an expert to have fun and look good. No matter what moves you are doing, if you are having fun, that energy will translate to those watching you. The important part is your presence and how you are feeling. Check-in with yourself, just groove and forget everything else... that is when the magic will happen.

I don’t know how to begin?

Starting small is the best way to begin. Working on training your mind and muscles before jumping into tricks is the safest way to start. Remember, it is not as difficult to start as you think. From dancing in front of your mirror to stalking your favourite choreographers on social media, there are small ways you can start to learn and pick up movement every day. Once you figure out what you want to learn, you can create your own schedule and keep track of your progress.

Where I have the time?

Everybody starts somewhere. It is not important to dance daily, begin once a week if you are free. Take that time out for yourself, take it at your own pace, see what feels right for your body and don’t forget to have fun while you are at it.

But where do I go?

Look up various dance forms on social media and look for a dance school that will teach the right form. If you are too lazy, choose a class closest to your home but, make sure that the dance school you are choosing is of repute.

When at your first class

Try to get a good night’s sleep the night before the dance class and make sure they have had something to eat and drink before class (not too heavy thought).

Pack your dance bag with the essentials the night before, wear comfortable and appropriate cloths, carry the correct dance shoes/ghungroos, hair accessories if any and most importantly water bottle and a healthy snack.

Arrive early. Use a few extra minutes to use the bathroom, change and explore the new space.

Always have studio etiquette, smile, try and make new friends.

First day at class is scary enough so best is to leave the audience at home. Day one is not the day to bring family and friends along. If you are an older person, try to be independent. In case of children, one parent is enough and remember to say good-bye at the door.

Be attentive and be a good listener and try to put your best foot forward. Remember you have come to the school to learn and have fun.

Join a dance class to have fun and to learn something new that was always deep inside your heart. I hope my tips encourages you to step onto the dance floor. Now go ahead and make the first move!

(Sandip Soparrkar is a Latin and Ballroom dancer, and a Bollywood choreography honoured with three National excellence awards by the Govt. of India. He holds a doctorate in World Mythology Folklore from Pacifica University and an honorary doctorate in performing arts from The National American University.)

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