“Nobody cares if you can’t dance well. Just get up and dance. Great dancers are great because of their passion.” - Martha Graham
Do you always feel a little glum when it comes to getting up on the dancefloor? Are you stuck sitting in your seat because you don’t know the Madison, Macarena, or even the YMCA?
There are only around 17,000 dancers and choreographers in the UK.
So you should feel relieved that most people probably have a similar level to you.
To feel a bit more relaxed on the dance floor at the end of an evening, here are 10 simple dance routines you can learn:
The Macarena is a dance routine that everybody should learn. You might have even learnt the steps when you were younger. But all hope is not lost! The steps are simple and you can easily learn them again.
Each step corresponds to a beat. There are 16 beats through the routine. You can start on the 17th when they say “Ay”.
- 1. Hold your right arm out in front of you with your palm facing downward.
- 2. Do the same with your left hand.
- 3. Now turn your right hand over to face upward.
- 4. Do the same with your left hand.
- 5. Place your right hand on your left shoulder.
- 6. Do the same with your left hand, crossing your arms over your torso.
- 7. Slide your ride arm from under your left arm and place your right hand on the back of your neck.
- 8. Do the same with your left hand.
- 9. Place your right hand on your left hip.
- 10. Place your left hand on your right hip (crossing your arms again).
- 11. Place your right hand on your right buttock.
- 12. Place your left hand on your left buttock.
- On the 13th, 14th, and 15th beats, wiggle your hips around three times.
- On the 16th beat, do a quarter turn and clap your hands (optional).
And repeat! A simple routine, some good cardio, and an easy way to work on your timing without needing to attend dance classes in a dance studio.
Find out more about learning choreography.
After the Latin rhythm of the Macarena, it’s time to move onto another classic, The Madison. Here are the steps you’ll need to learn:
- 1. Right step.
- 2. Cross your left leg in front of your right leg.
- 3. Do another right step.
- 4. Throw your left leg out and cross it in front of your right leg.
- 5. Left step.
- 6. Cross your right leg in front of your left leg.
- 7. Do another left step.
- 8. Throw your right leg in front of your left leg.
- 9. Do a backwards step with your right foot.
- 10. Step backwards with your left foot.
- 11. Do a backwards step with your right foot.
- 12. Bring your left foot back and do a touch as you do (touch the floor by your right heel)
- 13. Step forwards with your left foot.
- 14. Bring your right foot in line and do another touch (touch the floor by your left heel)
- 15. Step with your right foot.
- 16. Jump on your left leg and do a quarter turn.
There are plenty of variations of the Madison that include turning right, clapping your hands four times, turning left, and clapping your hands four times, etc. But the basic steps tend to remain the same. You’ll soon get into the swing.
You don’t need to take group classes or private tutorials to learn how to dance along to the YMCA. There are a few variations but you can learn how to dance with a simple YouTube tutorial.
If you want to keep things simple, you just have to make the four letters with your arms.
- Y: Hold your arms above your head in a V.
- M: Place the tips of your fingers on the top of your head.
- C: Lift your right arm up and across your body pointing leftwards as your left arm points leftwards from next to your hips. Both arms should be slightly bent to make the C.
- A: Bring your fingertips together over the top of your head.
Between the chorus, you can keep the rhythm with your feet.
To burn calories and give your bum a good workout for the evening, you can enjoy the Latin rhythms of Danza Kuduro.
- The first 8 beats: move backwards and forwards with your shoulders. Your left foot should be in front of your body and your weight should be on your left foot four times and your right (back) foot four times.
- The next 4 beats: jump forwards onto your right leg (placing your weight on your right leg and lifting your left leg), then back, then forwards, then back.
- The last 4 beats: place your right foot forward and do a half-turn, place your right foot down, jump again onto your right foot while throwing your left leg out so that you end up a quarter turn to the left from where you started.
Like with the Madison and the Macarena, the Kuduro will end up with you doing a box pattern on the floor. You’ll start facing forwards, then facing left, then with your back to the audience, and then facing right.
Learn how to create your own choreography.
We’re changing styles here with Gangnam Style. You don’t need to go to the gym to get a cardio workout:
- With your legs: spread your legs and hit the floor. Once with the right, once with the left, twice with the right. Once with the left, once with the right, twice with the left.
- With your arms: firstly, cross your hands and close your firsts as if you were holding the reins to a horse. The second time around, make circular movements above your head with your left hand and then with your right hand if you were spinning a lasso.
- The second step is as Psy sings “Hey, sexy lady”. You just need to place your hands on your hips and wiggle them as you do the steps with your legs.
This blend of Latin and African rhythms was Shakira’s song for the 2010 World Cup and one of the best World Cup songs. That said, it also made its way into clubs and onto dance floors so here are the main dance steps:
- Bring your hands together in front of your chest and transfer your weight from the left to the right four times.
- Raise and lower your hands while keeping them together for two beats and tapping your feet and opening your hands for two beats.
- Start again.
Discover the best YouTube choreography tutorials.
Ai Se Eu Te Pego
If you’ve spent an evening cutting a rug while listening to flamenco, tango, or reggaeton, you may have heard this one. The choreography is really simple.
- Place your right arm out in front of you.
- Do the same with your left arm.
- Wave both hands in front of your face as if you’re really hot.
- Do the first two steps again and then bring your arms down to your sides with your fists closed.
- Do it again but clap on a beat before bringing your arms down beside you.
Here’s another song that works great for your choreography and toning muscles. Just make sure you warm up first!
- Place your right hand on your head.
- Place your left hand on your head.
- Move your hips while keeping your hands on your head.
- Place your right hand on your hips.
- Place your left hand on your hips.
- Move your hips while keeping your hands on them.
- Gently move down.
- Gently move upwards with your hands in the air.
A lot of people may have heard this song during the summer of 2019. There are plenty of video tutorials on how to do it. Don’t forget to warm up before you do any intense dancing.
Good luck and if you need help, don’t hesitate to get help from a private tutor on Superprof. Whether you want to learn ballroom dancing, Argentine tango, Latin dance, west coast swing, the foxtrot, or the lindy hop, there are private dance lessons available for almost all styles of dance.
There are three different types of private lessons available on the platform: face-to-face tutorials, online tutorials, and group tutorials. Each comes with its pros and cons so choose carefully to ensure you get the best dance tutor. If you're choosing a dance class where you're going to dance with other people, don't opt for a private tutorial with just you and the tutor, for example.
Many of the tutors on the platform offer the first hour of dance instruction for free so you can use this time to discuss the dance styles that you're interested in with your potential dance instructor.