This post is for those of us who, at one time or another, felt frustrated with our own dance abilities seemingly stagnating – it’s not that you’re getting any worse, but you’ve stopped getting better. You don’t see much improvement from one week to the next and you recycle the same 20 moves over and over. You stopped taking classes or, even worse, stopped learning or retaining much from the classes you’re taking. You feel like your brain needs a kick-start and wonder if maybe you reached the top of your dance ability.
You’ve reached a dance plateau and, while being there sucks, the good news is, you can get better – you just need to get out of your routine and try something new. Here are 5 ways to do it:
- Dance with someone new
Whether it’s someone you’ve always been intimidated by because they’re so much better, someone with a very different style, or just a new face on the dance floor, dancing with a new partner can make you discover new things about your own dancing. If you’ve exhausted the Ottawa crowd, go to Montreal for the weekend – just find someone new to dance with.
- Take a styling class
If you’ve only ever taken pattern classes, odds are at some point you get tired of tying and untying knots with your arms, and you can only retain so many combinations. Taking a styling class not only adds a bit more oomph to your moves, it also gives your brain something new to focus on, which will help you break the routine.
- Try a new style of dance
If you’ve been focusing on nothing but salsa, try a cha cha or bachata class. If Latin dances don’t seem all that exciting any more, try swing or ballet or hip hop. Then look for elements of your new dance to infuse into salsa – odds are, you’ll create your own unique style!
- Try your hand at choreography
It doesn’t have to be an award-winning routine to be performed on congress stages – it can just be little patterns to bits of music, and only for yourself. Playing around with music and the moves you know forces you to dig deeper and create new patterns in the process. Find a mirror and a good song, and get started.
- Take a break
If all else fails, and you stop enjoying the dance, there’s nothing wrong with taking a break for a while. Go home early on nights when you’re not feeling inspired, or take up a new hobby for a few weeks or months. When you decide to come back, odds are your brain will feel refreshed and you’ll discover new joy in dancing.
Have you ever hit a dance plateau? How did you fight past it? Tell us in a comment!