For me, one of the most fun things to do as a dancer is experimenting with different dance styles! My main style is ballet, but I love taking classes in styles that are completely opposite of what I do! My first experience of dabbling in new styles was early in my dance career when I attended a summer intensive. This intensive wasn’t just ballet based. It offered almost every genre of dance you could think of, from ballet to musical theatre to hip hop and I wanted to take them all!
At the time, I was in intermediate/advanced classes, so that was the division I was placed in at the intensive and since I was placed in that division, every single class I took was at this level. This included classes in genres that I had never done before in my life! Two of those genres were musical theatre and hip hop. I wasn’t too worried about musical theatre but hip hop? In the advanced level?! I was SO nervous! Sure, I can dance and groove when my favorite song comes on the radio but to actually take a legitimate hip hop class was something I never even thought about doing because I was convinced I would be terrible at it. Nevertheless, I took the class and when I took the class, I had the best time! Not only did I keep up and catch on to the choreography, I was complimented by the choreographer!
Trying a new style of dance that you’ve never done before can be a bit nerve wracking, maybe even scary, but you never know what you’re capable of until you take the plunge! No one ever told me that I would be terrible at hip hop. That was a preconceived idea that I told myself. But when the opportunity was given to me, I took it. Why? Because I knew this was an experience that I would never forget in my whole dance career and even if I crashed and burned, I would still have the experience. And look at what happened! I realized that I’m actually good at hip hop and it even inspired me to keep taking hip hop classes! Now it’s a genre that I adore dancing! If you never take the risk of trying something new, you’ll never know exactly what you can do, which will ultimately lead to you to never really reaching your full potential as a dancer. Sure, everyone has a genre that they love above all others but always be opened minded.
Trying different dance styles also aids in your growth as an overall dancer because you’ve widened your training a little bit further! It also aids in giving you so much more self-confidence as a dancer because it simultaneously instills a mindset of “if I can conquer that class, then I can conquer this class all the same”! So, go ahead a sign up for that jazz class, that contemporary class, that hip hop class or even that ballet class that you’re nervous about! The next time the opportunity for a master class in a different genre presents itself, take it! If you never spread your wings, you’ll never know how far you will fly!