Whether you’ve heard the perfect song, want to increase your movement vocabulary, or just want to dance like no one is watching…

Here are some quick tips from Tiffany Jane (@titojane) that will help jump start your freestyle journey.

Megan Dyga (@merghern) in the Flier top & Bombshell bottom

1. Plant yourself

This is a great place to start for both newbies and experienced freestylers.  Start in any orientation around the pole and plant your feet in one spot. Now begin dancing and explore what types of shapes you can create all while keeping your feet in one spot.  What are the ways you can curl yourself around the pole? Explore twisting and turning while standing or coming down to the floor, all while keeping your feet stationary.

2. Clothing

Find any article of clothing, like a loose shirt, sweater, skirt, dress, pants, scarf, leg warmers or socks.  You can wear several layers or just one. Play with movement that focuses on incorporating the use of clothing. What are ways you can pull it off or put it back on while still dancing and moving around the pole? Clothing can add a new layer of creativity.

3. Body Parts

Assign yourself a body part that will be the initiation of all your movement. For example, let your head or heart lead your dance and be the focal point of your movement.  Challenge yourself by trying less obvious body parts, like the elbow or knee, and see what movement your body uncovers.

4. Levels

Challenge yourself by dancing at different levels.  Levels can be floor work (ex: nothing above the crawling position or lying down), standing, or up in the air.  If you’re up in the air, start with a simple sit or leg hang. Linger in the position for a few seconds and explore different hand/arm movements, leg shapes, and body twists.  Naturally, this often leads to another move, uncovering new transitions and flow.

5. Practice

Practice makes progress! Freestyling is a challenge and requires just as much attention as fonjis and handsprings.  Start your freestyle with eyes closed, feel your breath, the floor, the pole, move without looking at yourself in a mirror.  Clear your mind or use those emotions to guide your movement.  Record yourself and watch it after, you’ll be surprised what you find. Sometimes you’ll only like 10 seconds of dance to a 4 minute song, but eventually 10 seconds, will turn to 15, 20, 30 seconds.

The beautiful thing about freestyle, and dance in general, is the infinite movement possibilities and creations that come out of it.

The tips above are designed to make freestyling less overwhelming and daunting by giving the dancer a focal point on where to begin their freestyle exploration. 

Remember not to take yourself too seriously and embrace all the new movement your body is about to experience.

–Tiffany Jane (@titojane)

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