Dancing with myself
July 26, 2022 9:15 AM   Subscribe

I like to dance to music, alone, in my room. But I don't have any moves. Can you recommend online resources that can teach me some dance moves? Ideally it would be some sort of structured instruction video but I am open to suggestions.

I guess what I'm looking for is sort of club or music video kind of dancing? Is that modern dance? I'd like to dance to Footloose, but also heavier bass-y stuff.

Obviously I know very little about dance, or music.
posted by stillnocturnal to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (13 answers total) 54 users marked this as a favorite
I am hesitant to recommend it because it's probably not really what you had in mind... but do you have a tiktok? Hours upon hours of instructional videos and inspiration, and the algorithmic nature of it might help you explore and pin down the styles you're most drawn to.
posted by geegollygosh at 10:11 AM on July 26, 2022 [7 favorites]

I take a weekly "Party Dance" class that the teacher offers online and in-person. It's a mix of hip-hop and regular dance moves. MeMail me if you're interested. He offers a few different classes and times throughout the week. The other person I love dancing with is the Fitness Marshall. He's super positive, is inclusive to all body sizes, and uses current music. Some of the songs skew dance-y, some skew fitness-y depending on the speed.

Both of these have given me plenty of moves for when my jam comes on and I'm crossing the street and I gotta dance.
posted by cocoagirl at 10:13 AM on July 26, 2022 [7 favorites]

I have some friends that used Just Dance for such learning and fun. Tiktok may also be worth considering.
posted by Candleman at 10:27 AM on July 26, 2022 [2 favorites]

Love Fitness Marshall!
posted by radioamy at 10:36 AM on July 26, 2022 [1 favorite]

Silly Answer starts at about 2:00. These moves go from basic to near expert, like the splits and the break-dance worm jump - don't do that unless you can jump into a handstand or you will hurt your wrists and your face.

I'm sure you can see from Footloose and other dance videos that they do a 'routine', which is a grouping of moves that the dance-artist who created it thinks look good together, flow well, and are within the skills of the dancing crew.

So of course first you need to work on your flexibility and strength because big show stopper moves like the splits are the queen of the show. You can also look up breakdancing videos, and '90s dance music videos to see which moves you like and can do. And then you make up your own routine.

Exercise dancing videos, whether boxing, tae-bo, yoga-ish, pilates, whatever will increase strength and show you some moves you can use.

Good options for music videos for set routines:
Thrilller - Michael Jackson (really anything)
Rhythm Nation - Janet Jackson (anything)
Formation - Beyonce (anything)
Uptown Funk - Bruno Mars - has lots of good but mostly easy moves
1234 - Fiest - also mostly easy moves

You can steal these moves to create your main routine, and adjust it to different songs and kinds of music.
posted by The_Vegetables at 10:47 AM on July 26, 2022 [2 favorites]

I don't know of anybody in your timezone, but The Ladies of Hip-Hop are amazing, and sometimes run online classes - their YouTube and Instagram have lots of recaps as well. I know them through LaTasha Barnes, a friend and multi-styles badass who teaches in the swing dance scene. Here's a class of hers on YouTube.

I've only had a couple of classes in club dances like house and waacking, but both styles have a history and culture which is so powerful - dancing as a way to express yourself and communicate with others' expression. A teacher once put it as "give shine to get shine." Whatever you do, I hope you feel joy and connection!
posted by rrrrrrrrrt at 10:48 AM on July 26, 2022 [1 favorite]

So I have never actually taken their classes, but there is an "online dance studio" called Steezy which sounds a lot like what you're after! I really enjoy their "3 choreographers 1 song" series of YouTube videos, for which the choreographers are often Steezy instructors. Here is a recent-ish edition of that where they're dancing to Best Friends by The Weeknd, but they also have videos on their channel which are more instructional, such as this Free Dance Tutorials playlist, or this playlist of 6 Dance Moves videos. They cover a wide range of styles so maybe check out some of those free videos and see if you want to step up to the paid subscription stuff?
posted by sigmagalator at 11:58 AM on July 26, 2022 [2 favorites]

Someone already mentioned fitness videos, but you might try Zumba. There are a million free videos on YouTube, from beginner to advanced. They're a great way to get some moves and build up the stamina for "real" dancing. :)
posted by DrumsIntheDeep at 1:59 PM on July 26, 2022 [1 favorite]

BTW, if you ever feel down about your progress, go watch the video for MC Hammer - Can't Touch This which features some amazing indidividual and group dancing, and if you pay attention to the background dancers, some that is off rhythm, off time, and out of sync. Like at 3:28 for example. And those are probably pros! It's like they were as bad as the members of Van Halen trying to dance in-sync in the Hot for Teacher video. I'm just saying this stuff is pretty hard!
posted by The_Vegetables at 11:08 AM on July 27, 2022

Youtube. If you search for 'dance tutorials' or 'dance moves', you find a ton. It's hard to suggest any specifics, as some slow it down and go step by step explaining everything, and others tend to show the dance as an example, while letting you pick it up yourself.

For the former, DNCR Academy has a lot, and breaks down by difficulty level.

You can also look up specific dance moves; Evelina's "How to Shuffle" comes to mind.

Mihran Kirakosian has a bunch on his channel as well.

Adding to someone's "go watch MC Hammer pro background dancers screw it up", Hammer was famous for just bringing his whole hometown along, so they might not be pro. But uh, Katy Perry's "Left Shark", that was a pro dancer, so yeah, literally everyone gets this wrong from time to time, and it's fine.

(FWIW, Katy Perry also tends to avoid dancing near as I can tell, as she put her skill into singing, not dancing about.)
posted by talldean at 6:02 AM on July 29, 2022

If you want to get fun with it, sort of inspired by a scene in the movie 13 Going On 30, you can learn the Thriller dance here. I aspire to learn it well enough to break it out at a party or club if it gets played. Alas, I have not yet mastered that.

I mostly club dance like a drunken monkey, but I have fun and people don't seem to hate what I'm doing. It's never occurred to me to try to learn moves for that. I thought people who could do that just, um... could do them?
posted by hippybear at 6:50 AM on July 30, 2022

Surely the fun of dancing alone in your own home is that you don't have to have "moves"? Just fling yourself around in whatever way makes you feel good in the moment. "Moves" are there to impress other people, and solo dancing at home is blissfully free of that concern.
posted by Paul Slade at 12:38 AM on July 31, 2022

"Moves" are there to impress other people, and solo dancing at home is blissfully free of that concern.

Established “moves” can feel great (and can open up possibilities for all sorts of new moves you wouldn’t have imagined otherwise). If you’re avoiding them because you think they’re just for wow’ing onlookers, give them a try! Seriously, you’re missing out.
posted by a box and a stick and a string and a bear at 2:09 PM on July 31, 2022

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