Believe it or not, there are people out there who are hesitant to dance. For some, the fear of dancing comes from not being comfortable in their own skin. For others, its a matter of being overly bashful and shy. Or, maybe they’re just clueless about what to do. Whatever the issue is, if you really are a stiff dancer, there are remedies for the fear of dancing.
Everybody’s Looking at me
Self-conscious? Do you hate the thought of being the center of attention? Those who hate mirrors and photographs often suffer a lack of friendship and social activities. This is because fear makes them apprehensive and reluctant to put themselves out there. Not only on the dance floor, but in life. Stop and think about the fun activities you’ll miss out on if you choose to sit out all the dances.
- Clubs with live bands, such as Latin, Swing, Tango, and Oldies bands
- House parties with dance-loving friends, neighbors, and relatives
What if learning to dance and knowing you look good could help you overcome your cautious lifestyle? Even though you may have wear and tear caused by stiffness and locked joints, you’re not doomed to being rigid and uncomfortable. Before we get to some solutions, let’s examine a few reasons you feel might this way.
Stiff dancer? Here are 3 possible causes.
- Stiffness can be a result of overuse of the muscles, injury, or aging. Gentle stretching, swimming, and massage are very helpful for warming up the muscles.
- There is a clinical phobia of dancing called Chorophobia. It is caused by trauma and is best managed by medical and psychological professionals.
- Those with mental or emotional blockages about dancing may appear tight and tense. To avoid bringing attention to themselves, they move very little with no expression. They’re sure people are watching them and talking about how bad they dance. This causes nervous tension and makes muscles and joints freeze up and lock in place.
“Let’s give them something to talk about…”
If nerves are stopping you from dancing, let’s talk about how to achieve just the right amount of tone and looseness you need for you and your partner to feel good. The goal is to loosen up but hold it together. This is achieved by finding the happy medium of being not too rigid, but not too loose.
To avoid being too rigid, take one step at a time.
- Lets start with a tiny, confidence-building exercise that you can do alone. For this activity, you’ll need a full length mirror and a safe place. Stand a few feet from the mirror, raise your hand up, wave, and say ‘hi’. After a few times, do the same with the other hand. Then, just swing your arms loosely back and forth at your sides. Do this until you’re sure you look good. And, stop calling yourself a stiff dancer!
- Your confidence will take a hit if you’re unsure about your dance steps and patterns. Knowing what direction you’re supposed to move in makes all the difference in the world. After all, who has time to think about looking relaxed if you’re not sure where you’re going. Find a comfortable practice schedule and stick to it.
- The knees are the shock absorbers of the body. Use them to smooth out your movement around the floor and within your torso. Avoid locking your knees. Instead, soften them for a more natural look as you move from one foot to the next.
- Finally, we get to partnership skills. When it comes to the dance hold, a robust frame is great. However, it cannot be rock-solid as that is neither comfortable nor attractive. Moving through dance positions, such as closed, promenade, and outside partner is difficult without the give and take of two ballroom partners’ frames. That means the dance hold must be toned, but not overly rigid.
These are small steps to take, but they’re very important if you want to enjoy fun times with music, dancing, and companionship. It’s normal to feel klutzy, loosey-goosey, or too stiff when you first start dancing. But, I promise, with time and practice, it’ll all be a thing of the past. Give it a try.