One of the most wonderful things about dance is that there are so many genres to choose from! Whether it be ballet, jazz or breaking, there is something out there for every dancer. And like everything else that holds options to choose from, every dancer finds that one genre that is their absolute favorite, the one genre that you love doing above all else. I like to call finding that favorite,”finding your niche”. For example, I have both taken and taught many jazz classes throughout my years as a dancer, and though I am good at jazz, my all time favorite dance genre and my niche is ballet. I never have to think much when I do ballet. I’ve studied it for so long and have been so obsessed with the art throughout the years, that it is a style of dance that has become second nature for me. However, just because ballet is my favorite or my “niche”, that does not mean that ballet is where I stay. By training in different styles, as well as having teaching experience in different styles, you come to gain a strong sense of versatility. Versatility as a dancer is extremely important because it means that even though you may be really good in one particular dance genre, you still have the complete ability to do just as well in others. This in return makes for a well rounded dancers and a very effective teacher.
“But I’ve never really dabbled too much in more than one dance style. Is it too late to gain a sense of versatility?”
The answer to this question, plain and simple, is no. It is never too late to broaden your horizons and push yourself to new heights as a dancer. If you have dedicated the majority of your years of training to one particular style, it doesn’t mean that you don’t have the time to start training in another. As long as the art of dance is in existence (and let’s face it, it will be in existence forever), there is always enough time to start practicing a new genre. When in dance, it is always important to be both a student and a teacher, an expert and a beginner.
“What are the first steps to start broadening your horizons and gaining versatility?”
Now this is the fun part! Of course, as you’ve probably figured, the first step to broadening your dance horizons is by enrolling in a class of the genre that you wish to study in. It is, however, very important to find the type of dance class that is right for you and your personal needs. Have any experience in the style you’re wanting to train in? Try opting for an intermediate classes instead of a beginner class! This will allow you to brush up on what you already know, as well as push you to gain knowledge in the things that you don’t. Not really feeling being in a big classes surrounded by a ton of people? Try booking a private class for some one on one time and a more relaxed atmosphere! Whatever your needs may be, whatever is going to make you the most comfortable, there is definitely a dance class out there that is right for you!
“But I’m a little afraid to try something new. How can I increase my self confidence and put myself out there?”
Just like I mentioned in our “Dabbling In Different Styles” blog post last year, stepping outside of the box and trying something new can be a little scary. When you are used to doing one particular style more than others or maybe even just doing one style period, it’s easy to get discouraged when stepping out of your comfort zone. However, one of the biggest ways to fix that is to get inside your own head, give yourself a pep talk and constantly encourage yourself. You may be a beginner in this new style right now, but remember that the word “beginner” is not a demeaning word and it’s not something to be ashamed of at all. Being a beginner is just another way of saying that you are at a new starting point , a new beginning, a blank page in the book of your dance training. So, don’t worry and stress over what you may struggle with at first. You’ll get better and better over time, until you’re an absolute beast at this new style! And then, what do you know? You’ve added another notch to your dance training belt and have explored the art of versatility a little bit deeper.
So, hold your head up high and show everyone whatcha got! I know you can do it! See you all next week and remember…