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Advice From the Best... What Makes a Dancer Great? - CheerTime 101
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Advice From the Best… What Makes a Dancer Great?

Screenshot 2014-05-25 17.28.37What does it take to be a great dancer? Perfect pirouettes? Musicality? Ten years plus of formal dance training? I’ve danced with individuals from all sorts of dance backgrounds–some studio trained and others not (myself included). A great dancer has something called presence and heart. But unfortunately, these two characteristics are not easily achieved. Yes, one can learn, but it may take a lot of time before they make their grand appearance. If you ever plan on auditioning for anything dance–presence will get you selected over someone with all the technique or dance training in the world. So how can you get presence? Well, just like anything else, you have to study and you must be devoted to mastering your art. Heart on the other hand cannot be taught. Having heart for anything is when one is so passionate about what they do, they would do anything to perfect it.  People who have heart are truly in love with what they do.

I asked for a little help from my CheerTime followers and received some great feedback!

Via @corinabianca_Sacramento Kings Dancer, corinabianca, and my former high school teammate, explains it perfectly…

Performance, passion, poise, confidence, energy, personality & the natural ability to inspire others.”  

https://instagram.com/deshonallen/?modal=trueThe director to the Palm Beach Makos Cheerleaders deshonallen says…

The passion and desire to be the very best dancer you can be.”

https://instagram.com/thepomprince/Dancer and former UNCG Cheerleaderthepomprince said…

Owning it! Confidence no matter how many times you mess up or if you forget choreography. Never let mistakes show on your face.”

https://instagram.com/chrisfua32/Huge sports fanatic chrisfua32 knows his sports and cheerleaders, and he states that it is all about…

Wowing your audience. Dancing is not one of my strong suits lol…but that’s what makes a great performer whether it’s dancing or anything else.”

https://instagram.com/peaistoolegit/The very lovely peaistoolegit said…

Showing confidence, determination, fearlessness. When in doubt be YONCé!”

https://instagram.com/jasminejaye_/Screenshot 2015-07-19 22.01.33Dancer, and former Oregon Trailblazers Dancer jasminejaye says…

Passion, hard work, the desire to never stop learning, and always believing in yourself.”

https://instagram.com/p/3J0fhhkHH7/?taken-by=emythompDancer and model emythomp says…

No never stopped me.”

So how can you become a great dancer?  Well according to these amazing people, you must at least have these three things… persistence, confidence and passion. Here are my tips on how to become a great dancer.

Research: Study and master your art by researching the type of dancer you want to be. So, naturally YouTube will serve as one of your greatest resources. I also watch music videos, dance teams and shows like, “So You Think You Can Dance,” and “Dancing with the Stars.”  There are usually dancers that I will naturally gravitate to, and I try to look for the things that make me want to watch them. Finally, I literally try to imitate my dream dancer.  But remember, still give yourself room to be unique–you still want to dance like YOU.

Practice until you hurt: Once you figure out how you want to dance, practice, practice practice! Try learning just one eight count of your idol’s material and perfect it. Perfect it to the point when you can no longer move your muscles. There have been times when I danced so much that I felt as if I were hit by a train while I was asleep. Even if you are at that point, you should still be able to push yourself to dance just because you’re so passionate about what you do. Remember, it takes heart <3.

Perform: After practicing and perfecting your eight count of choreography, record yourself and perform as if you’re auditioning for the most prestigious dance company or school in the world! Dress up, wear full make-up and hair, and finally, work that camera like no one else’s business. Once you’ve performed for the camera, try performing before an actual audience… Mom, dad, siblings, your bestie, boyfriend or hubby. Whoever you select, make sure that they can give you serious feedback.

Critique and be critiqued: Once you perform, be able to find someone who can provide you with honest feedback. So, If you’re getting perfect tens from your judges, you may need hire new ones. Find someone else who isn’t afraid of giving you the feedback you deserve, so that you can seriously make the necessary adjustments. However, don’t solely rely on just their feedback–it’s okay to take in your own critiques, especially because you personally know who you are trying to portray–so study your film!

Visualize and dream: Before I even had my splits for the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders, I still would imagine myself dancing on that team in uniform hitting my perfected jump split. Visualization is so powerful if you take it seriously–you can literally see your dreams become a reality.

Have faith: Finally, and most importantly–don’t carry all of this weight on your shoulders. Have faith by praying and meditating about what you want. Just remember that if your dream does become a reality, give thanks and appreciation because it can also easily be taken away.

What do YOU think it takes to be the best?  Let us know your thoughts!

XOXO <3 <3 <3

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