Photo Credit: Jhan Wong
No matter if you’re a professional dancer or new to social dancing, there are times when you’re struggling to execute a particular move because you keep losing your balance!
Having good balance and stability allows you to execute dance moves fluidly, quickly, and safely. You might not notice it when you’re dancing, but the base of your support changes as you move. And you have to train your body to respond to these changes accordingly so that you can maintain the proper form while dancing and never lose your balance.
It takes a strong mental focus and a fit body to maintain balance and stability. Here are quick tips that will help improve your balance for social dance:
6 Quick Tips to Improve Your Balance and Stability for Latin Dance
Build ankle strength: The ankles bear the full brunt of your body weight when you dance, and the thing with ankles is that they can be weak or wobbly if you’re not working out. Strength exercises that focus on the ankles help build a strong base. Ideally, choose workouts that allow side-to-side movements of the foot to strengthen the ankles. Here are some ankle exercises worth trying.
Build core strength: A strong core helps improve balance. The core consists of muscles surrounding the trunk. It includes abdominals, obliques, diaphragm, pelvic floor, trunk extensors, and hip flexors. This muscle group provides upper body strength and balance. To build core strength, try these tips.
Challenge yourself: If you’re used to practicing with a partner in a well-lit room, try experimenting with different scenarios and see how well you’d perform. For example, rehearse a routine on your own in a dim room or practice on an uneven surface like a tumbling mat, see if you can keep your balance. You can also try dancing with your eyes closed, see how much your body will adjust to the darkness.
By challenging yourself, you’ll learn more about your body’s ability to adapt to changes. You might struggle to maintain your balance while at it, but you’ll know what your body is capable of when you’re dancing in places or situations that you’re not used to.
Test your limit: If you were to execute a specific move, try holding the position a few seconds more than you usually would. Don’t be afraid to take risks if it means becoming better at it each time. By testing your limit, you will learn how fully in control you are of your body.
Choose a focus point: Mind over matter is key to maintaining your balance while dancing. And to free yourself from distractions, we suggest choosing a point to focus on. Directing your eye to a focus point - like a light at the back of the dance floor or a sign on the wall - could help keep your balance longer. Don’t focus on the floor though! You need to keep your chin up and lift the eyes for an outward focus!
Push Yourself: Negativity will bring down even the brightest of spirits. Focus on happy thoughts to push yourself to perform your absolute best! Be your own cheerleader to motivate yourself as well as your dance partner. And if happy thoughts fail, try visualization. Visualize yourself dancing in perfect balance. If you can dream it, you can do it.
Bonus tip: Wearing the right social dance shoes help improve balance and stability too! If you are not used to wearing high heels, opt for Latin dance shoes with a flared heel or low heel. Be sure to wear proper dance shoes, not regular walking shoes. Social dance shoes like Yami Dance shoes are built differently than your average walking shoes. These shoes provide better arch and heel support thanks to their sturdy straps, cushioned insoles, microfiber outsoles, and sturdy heel cups. Feel the Yami difference by gifting yourself a pair today.