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What Does It Take To Be a Champion Dancer?

1st September 2014

What Does It Take To Be a Champion Dancer?
With Strictly Come Dancing well on its way, the nation is glued to the TV. With the sparkles, the hair, the makeup, the shoes, and not to mention the admirable dancing, it's not surprising that last year the grand final attracted 12 million viewers.

But, what does it take to become one of the professionals? Or for that matter a champion dancer?

Getting started: learn the basics

Good foundations are vital for any dancer. Learning the basic figures; where to put which foot, the rise and fall action, how the dance is put together and even how to hold a dance partner are important learning curves which need to be overcome early on. It makes the progression from amateur to champion that little bit easier if the foundations have been laid properly.

Championship ballroom dancers start at an early age, with some starting from four onwards in order to get a solid foundation in ballroom dancing techniques, such as posture and balance.

Learning the basics is essential. It allows young dancers to start taking medal grades in social dancing where they progress through bronze, silver and gold before taking up competitive dancing from around the age of eight onwards.

Competitive ballroom dancing is another level where the student will start to learn the art of movement, shape and co-ordination with a partner, learning to dance in perfect harmony.

The right coach makes all the difference at competition level

Having someone with experience and a good understanding of figures and dances as a whole is fundamental for dancers. A coach's wisdom is spread to the dancers themselves, giving them more understanding of the dance.

A dance coach experiences the journey with the dancer, giving them the support they need. Whether it's the countless hours of training or last minute advice before the championships, the coach is the backbone of the dancers' competition performance.

Finding a competition coach is important with dancers often using separate coaches for different aspects such as choreography, movement and technique.

Find the right dance partner

Without a good dance partner to share the load of practice and performance many champion dancers would struggle. With dance being shared between two people, the performance must embrace the unity of the two. Without this, the performance would look too clinical and rehearsed, limiting the chance of becoming champions.

Competitive couples practise two, three or more times a week after school or work, with weekends often filled with competitions and more practices. So finding the right partner who can meet this demanding schedule is very important.

Determination and fitness

Competition in the ballroom dancing arena is fierce. It takes commitment and determination to get to the highest levels. With countless hours of practice and strenuous competitions, fitness levels have to be high. Many dancers use additional forms of exercise to build their core strength such as Pilates or yoga.

Anything is possible - believe

Above are the four things that are the fundamental blocks which allow dancers to become champions. It takes a lot of work to become the best in the field, but with these starting blocks, it is possible.

Social Ballroom Dancing

The commitment to competitive dancing can be too much for many people, but you can still enjoy the fun and glamour of ballroom dancing by taking classes at a local dance studio near you. They will teach you the foundations and who knows, one day you could become a champion or just simply enjoy meeting people and learning something new.

It's never too late to take up dancing if Strictly Come Dancing inspires you, why wait!