Great Tips For Learning To Dance Bigger

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So you’ve learned the choreography and now you’ve been told to “Dance Bigger”.  Sometimes that’s easier said than done.  Check out what our Dance Teacher Panel had to say about how they encourage students to dance “big”.  Also, take note, you are not alone.

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Reader Question:

My dance teacher keeps telling me to dance “bigger”.  I am trying to dance bigger, but my “bigger” isn’t big enough.  How can I improve?  

I have run into this situation many times as a dance teacher, at several different studios and in owning my own studio.  I have said MANY times, DANCE BIG! GO FULL OUT! BIGGER! BIGGER!  But honestly, I think for some students, it’s about choosing the right word when you want them to be bigger.  Some dancers don’t understand “bigger” and maybe that is the problem you are experiencing.  What if you hear the word “ATTACK”, as in “ATTACK THE CHOREOGRAPHY!” “ATTACK THE LEAPS!” Or perhaps think of dancing bigger in terms of “POUNDING” the choreography, or getting “MAD” at the choreography.  If you feel a fire within you and you think about destroying the dance or the leap, I guarantee you that will help you dance “bigger”.  Now, I don’t mean dance angry with your face (unless of course the dance has a dark angry theme to it!). I simply mean, put up a fight with the steps. Make yourself dig deep and explode out of your comfort zone.  Also, think about outdancing the person next to you, or the person in front of you. Steal the attention from her, and bring it on yourself!  This doesn’t mean lose control of your movement or look spastic.  That can get you negative attention. But if you try make yourself look bold and powerful and like you OWN the movement, you will outshine everyone around you, and I bet your teacher won’t keep giving you the “dance bigger” note.  Good luck! 🙂


I think it’s great you are continuing to keep at it!!  Always continue training and working on your technique.  This will help with muscle strength and body coordination.  This way you have control of your body and movements. When you are using your arms, don’t just stop at your arm. Remember to dance all the way through your fingertips no matter what style you are doing.  When you are using your legs dance all the way through your toes.  Don’t just stop at the ankle or your arch.  Also remember to use your face.  Whatever style of dance you are doing, let it show on your face.  Which brings me to my last point: Dance with your heart and soul.  Be passionate about what you do and love what you’re doing and your movement will show it in everything you do.  Then as you’re dancing your movement will be bigger!  Keep at it!!


My students struggle with this too.  What this means to me is that you are not completing movement or you are stopping your energy.  Some dancers have a tendency to cut their movement almost like taking a short cut.  I would focus on connecting each section of movement so there are no gaps in dance phrasing.  This will ensure that the energy continues from beginning to end.  In terms of energy I would think about it like electricity shooting out every point in your body and never stopping.  When you watch fireworks you don’t want watch the light shoot up in the air and fizzle out.  You want the light to shoot out and create the brightest light show you have ever seen, right?   The same goes for the energy within the body while you’re dancing.  You don’t want the energy to ever stop even in moments of stillness you can still be “big” in your presence because of the energy that resides inside of your limbs and body.  Perfecting dance, all aspects of dance, takes time and dedication but if you are willing to put in the work and focus then you are more than capable of being successful in terms of your artistry.  Never stop reaching! <3


‘BIGGER’ can mean a lot of things….  I would take a moment to ask your teacher if they could give you some specifics on what they are looking for first.  I find that many of my dancers dance in their own space rather than reaching out to the space outside their reach.  Try to travel more – really reach out with those beautifully stretched feet and MOVE!  Then, make sure you’re moving your arms right from the centre of your back.  Relevé higher, drop lower, jump with more attack and turn with more ‘snap’!  Another thing – find the space on the floor where no one is dancing and dance THERE!  Then you can really move out and take up more space.  Try not to mark things…the more you dance full out, the more it will feel like the usual thing for you.  And lastly….. Really let yourself go into the music and the choreography.  Sometimes bigger isn’t a physical thing, but a feeling of commitment for a dancer!  Good luck and have fun!!



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One Comment

  1. My dancers and I look forward to this feature each week. Great tips!

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