10 Easy Steps to Learn Dubstep Dance

10 Easy Steps to Learn Dubstep Dance

Find your Funky Feet

Just last fortnight, Leonardo, my boy, came home from school with a newfound passion for dubstep dance. We spent the following weekends turning our living room into a makeshift dance studio, a sight that may have prompted our Australian Shepherd, Max and our Siamese Cat, Lily, to question our sanity. The same level of expertise isn't required to learn dubstep dance, only a willingness to learn and an ear fine-tuned to the rhythm.

Believe me when I say, it takes patience, lots of patience. I'm not the most nimble-footed man in Melbourne, but I've followed these steps and started to look less like I was attempting to fend off a swarm of bees and more like I was dancing (at least, that's what my dear daughter, Seraphina, consolingly assures me). Here are the steps that made even a block-footed bloke like me manage some semblance of a dubstep dance.

Get the Gear and Create your Space

Dubstep dance isn't just about mastering the moves, it's about letting your body experience the music. For that, you want to invest in a prime set of speakers and put on your most comfortable attire, preferably clothing which won't restrict your movement. It's a good idea to clear up some space too. Just ask my wife about our misplaced coffee table. You don't need a ton of space or professional gear. Just something that gets you moving and grooving, without knocking over your grandmother's precious China.

In our setup, we moved the furniture around, bought proper dance shoes (nothing too fancy, just something with good traction and flexibility), and bumped up the volume till we could feel the beat resonating in our bones (Sorry, neighbours!).

Discover your Rhythm, Rediscover Dubstep

I'm going to give it to you straight, folks: understanding rhythm is crucial to dubstep dance. You can't randomly flail your arms around and expect to look cool; trust me, I've tried. Now, Leonardo has a natural sense of rhythm, he reminds me of a freight train at full throttle. However, if you’re someone like my darling, seraphic, Seraphina, this step may require a bit of practice. Don’t worry though, it’s all about feeling the beat and isn't as intimidating as it might seem.

While dubstep is a genre with a focus on bass elements, it can also incorporate a mix of different tempos and time signatures. Understanding these will help you authentically connect with the music. Get a feel of the rhythm, the time when the beat drops and the tempo shifts. Drawing concentric circles on the visual imagery of the rhythm can help. You'll soon start seeing the motion in the music, and that’s when the fun begins.

Loosen Up and Warm-up

The first key to dancing like a Dubstep virtuoso is to loosen up the motor functions in your limbs just like Max, my Australian Shepherd, chasing his tail in circles. Warm-up exercises give you a greater range of motion, helping those moves look smoother and feel more natural. Get those joints mobile with some simple rotator exercises, toe taps, ankle rotations, head rolls, and general body shakes.

Nothing stops the rhythm like a pulled muscle, so it's wise to start with some light aerobic activity to get the blood flowing. Each stretching session, hold the stretch for about 30 seconds - that's about half the length of most dubstep breaks. It may not seem like much, but in dance time, that's a whole movement sequence.

The Foundation of Dance: Step by Step

Now that you're warmed up, you need to start with the basic dance steps. Here's where the journey truly begins. Each dubstep move should be practiced first with light music, focusing on the rhythm and movement precision. Isolate a movement, practice it, and then start stringing them together. In dubstep dance, it's all about fluidity and sudden changes in motion, isolating, and experimenting with different parts of your body.

In our house, I’ve often been the guinea pig for these steps. First, Leonardo starts with head isolation (my favourite part - that's a sarcastic favourite in case you're wondering). Next, we practice chest pops, arm waves, robot walks. We even compete to see who was the best robot in the house (I proudly hold the title at present).

Adding Layers: Interpret the Music, Express Yourself

You've got the gear, you've got the rhythm, you've loosened up, and you've got your foundational moves in place. Now, it's time to truly make it your own. Take each step you've learned and add a personal twist. Many dubstep dances incorporate street dance forms like popping, locking, and tutting. Explore these dance forms, merge them into your dance repertoire. Distinctly mine seemed to hold some resemblance to a scarecrow caught in a gusty wind, but you should have seen Leonardo – an absolute natural at it.

Interpret the music in your unique way, express yourself on the bass drops, burst open on the crescendos. Challenge yourself with how slowly you can execute a move, how quickly you can transition between moves, or how much you can exaggerate a movement. Remember, it's about creating your dance language and connecting it to the language of dubstep.

Patience, Practice, and Persistence

Let's face it, it won’t be a cakewalk initially. There will be days when you feel like you're more capable of flying to the moon than swinging your two left feet in alignment to music. Days when you pull a muscle or stub a toe (or your cat's tail, in my case – sorry, Lily). But as they say, Rome wasn't built in a day, and nor will your dubstep dance skills.

Practice till the dance feels less like steps and more like expressions. Go on; unleash the rhythm within. It all becomes easier with time, patience and practice. And above all else, remember to have fun with it, folks. Dance isn't about the perfect execution of steps - it’s about expression and joy, and maybe even pulling a few leg-pulling remarks from your loved ones (Thanks, Seraphina).

Give a Spin to your Skills: Showcase & Elevate

Once you’ve got a handle on your moves, it's time to showcase those block-rocking beats. Try filming a video of your dance (your family can play the unbiased audience), upload it on a social forum, or participate in a local event. Whatever you do, remember, the aim is to enjoy the process and the performance, not just the end result. Take your feedback constructively and use it to elevate your performance.

In my case, I may not have won over any awards, but I've certainly won over Leonardo's respect – and a few chuckles from Seraphina. Regardless, giving a spin to your skills in a public setting will do wonders for your confidence. You may even inspire someone else to embark on their own dubstep dance journey.

And there you have it! Your 10-step guide to mastering the art of dubstep dance. So go on, folks, find your rhythm, express yourself, and before you know it, you’ll be gliding, popping and locking like a pro. As for me, I’m going to put my robot skills to use and help Leonardo piece together his latest Lego set while we listen to some good old dubstep. Who knew dancing could be this fun!

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