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Contemporary Dance For Beginners: This Is What You Need To Do

Contemporary Dance For Beginners: This Is What You Need To Do
24 Jan 2024

Speaking of dancing, surely what comes to your mind is hip-hop dance, modern dance, and others. Dance indeed has numerous types, one of which is contemporary dance. Contemporary dance is a dynamic and expressive form of movement that has gained popularity for its creative freedom and versatility. 

It is a genre that allows dancers to explore a wide range of movements, emotions, and styles, making it accessible to individuals with varying levels of experience. In this article, we will delve into the world of contemporary dance for beginners, understanding what it is and a few tips.

What is Contemporary Dance?

Contemporary dance emerged in the mid-20th century as a reaction against the strict conventions of classical ballet. It incorporates elements from various dance styles, emphasizing fluidity, freedom of movement, and the expression of emotions. 

Unlike ballet, contemporary dance encourages the use of gravity, floor work, and improvisation, offering dancers a unique opportunity for personal interpretation and creativity.

What You Have to Learn In Contemporary Dance

Every dance has its distinctive characteristics and prominent techniques. In contemporary dance, it requires gentle movements and a sufficiently elastic body. Here are some things you should learn in contemporary dance:

A. Develop Sense of Your Body

Enhancing flexibility is not the sole benefit, engaging in stretching exercises allows you to attune yourself to your body. For instance, take the gradual descent and ascent of your chest towards the floor, moving through each vertebra deliberately. This helps you discern the sensation of activating individual back muscles.

B. Understand Eye Contact and Chin Lines

Contemporary dancers go beyond conveying narratives solely through body movements, they also leverage the expressive potential of their facial expressions! The emotional nuance of each dance move is influenced by the direction in which you orient your eyes and tilt your chin.

C. Quality of Movements

Various perspectives exist in defining the movement styles for Contemporary dancers. What kind of timing you should use, whether they are slow or sudden, moving directly to a place or not, all of these nuances are important because they can look different, mastering these movements will make it easier for you as a dancer. You can also add some improvisation along the way.

D. Practice Safe Movements

To prevent injuries and discomfort, carefully observe the pathways your instructor takes while transitioning between positions. When lowering yourself to the floor, use your hands to assist the rest of your body. During ground rolls, prioritize the softest parts of your body (like your buttocks) as the primary points of contact rather than your joints.

When executing jumps, aim to land on the balls of your feet instead of flat-footed to allow your body to absorb the shock upon hitting the ground.

E. Familiarize With Ballet, Jazz and Other Foundations

Given that Contemporary dance incorporates elements from various styles, it can be beneficial to explore Ballet or Jazz dance classes alongside your Contemporary training.

Acquiring fundamental movements from these other styles will enhance your comprehension of the nuances specific to Contemporary interpretations of those moves.

Tips Contemporary Dance For Beginners

Indeed, learning something new is not easy, especially if you have never practiced it before. But don't worry, everyone starts as a beginner, and improvement takes time and effort. 

If you want to practice contemporary dance with a professional mentor, you can enroll in contemporary dance class, which is widely available. Here are some tips for beginners interested in doing contemporary dance:

1. Start with a Warm-Up

Begin each practice session with a thorough warm-up to prepare your body for the demands of contemporary dance. Include stretches, joint mobilization exercises, and gentle cardio activities.

2. Focus on Breath and Alignment

Pay attention to your breath and body alignment throughout your practice. Contemporary dance often involves movements that stem from the core, so maintaining proper alignment and utilizing your breath enhances the quality of your performance.

3. Experiment with Improvisation

Incorporate improvisation into your practice. Set aside time to explore movements freely, allowing your body to respond intuitively to music or emotions. Improvisation is a valuable aspect of contemporary dance that encourages creativity.

4. Take Classes and Workshops

Consider joining contemporary dance classes or workshops designed for beginners. Professional guidance can provide valuable insights, corrections, and inspiration as you embark on your dance journey.

5. Watch Performances and Learn from Others

Attend contemporary dance performances or watch online videos to gain inspiration and observe different styles. Learning from seasoned dancers can help you understand the nuances of the genre.

6. Embrace Mistakes as Learning Opportunities

Don't be afraid to make mistakes. Contemporary dance celebrates individuality and experimentation. View mistakes as opportunities for growth and refining your movement vocabulary.

7. Record Yourself

Recording yourself can significantly enhance your skills in contemporary dance by offering a unique perspective on your movements and performance. When you record, you create a visual record of your dance sessions, allowing you to objectively analyze your technique, form, and overall execution. 

This playback function serves as a valuable tool for self-assessment, enabling you to identify areas that need improvement and recognize your strengths. Additionally, observing your dance from an outsider's viewpoint helps you gain insights into the fluidity and expression of your movements, enhancing your understanding of the choreography.

8. Find Your Own Style

Discovering your own style in contemporary dance is a deeply personal and evolving journey that involves a blend of exploration, self-reflection, and creative expression. Contemporary dance encourages individuality, so don't be afraid to infuse your personality into your movements.

Start by immersing yourself in a variety of classes, learning from instructors with diverse styles and techniques. Embrace the fusion of different dance forms, drawing inspiration from ballet, jazz, modern dance, and beyond. 

Incorporate regular sessions of improvisation into your practice, allowing for spontaneous movements and fostering a sense of authenticity. Actively observe and learn from the performances of contemporary dancers, analyzing both their technical execution and the emotional resonance of their movements.

Interested in Contemporary Dance?

Contemporary dance stands as a dynamic and ever-evolving form of artistic expression. Its emphasis on freedom, individuality, and innovation allows dancers to push boundaries and explore the endless possibilities of movement. 

As you embark on this artistic journey, consider Rockstar Academy as your gateway to mastering the fundamentals and unleashing your creative potential. If you're eager to enroll in a contemporary dance class that not only prioritizes skill development but also encourages self-expression, Rockstar Academy is the ideal choice. 

Moreover, their commitment to fostering a vibrant dance community extends to providing opportunities for showcasing your newfound abilities through their contemporary dance testing and recitals. 

CSTD Contemporary Dance Testing serves as an evaluative platform, enabling students to systematically enhance their expertise and capabilities, progressing to higher levels. Crucially, success in the CSTD Contemporary Dance Testing also grants students the opportunity to ascend within the Rockstar Academy Contemporary Dance program.

Additionally, students are also provided with an opportunity to perform in a Ballet & Contemporary Dance Recital where they can celebrate their achievements and shine on stage!

Join Rockstar Academy and step into a world where your passion for dance can thrive, and your talents can shine on stage. Embrace the rhythm, express yourself, and let the journey into contemporary dance begin!


1. What is contemporary dance?

Contemporary dance is a modern and expressive dance form that emerged in the mid-20th century. It emphasizes freedom of movement, individual expression, and a diverse range of styles, incorporating elements from various dance genres.

2. How is contemporary dance different from other dance styles?

Unlike traditional dance styles, contemporary dance lacks rigid structure and embraces versatility. It allows for a wide range of movements, often including floor work, improvisation, and a focus on individual expression.

3. Is contemporary dance suitable for children?

Yes, contemporary dance is suitable for children. Many classes cater specifically to children, introducing fundamental techniques and providing a supportive environment for individuals at all skill levels.