Strut Your Stuff: Dance Walking
While we walk everyday, it’s not often we consider how to walk for an audience or how to “dance walk” to a piece of music. Dancers, models, and performers have practiced movement technique to make their struts more noticeable, strong, and even desired. Whether you’re planning an upcoming show entrance, choreographing a strut filled dance, or just trying to make some heads turn, you might be wondering how to sexify your stride. Read below for my tips and tricks on mastering your saunter and owning your walk
Keep Your Head Held High
Beam confidence and heads will turn! Performers will often keep their gaze just over the heads of audience members as a trick to keep their focus and energy up. Think thoughts of self pride and your head won’t sink.
Perfect Your Posture.
Square back your shoulders, engage your core, and stack your joints up so that you stand taller. Imagine there is a string holding you up by the top of your head and you are suspended from it. Think of the tension of the string as pulling you up. This will help you stand tall instead of sink down. A strong posture is essential in executing a desired walk.
Remember Your Arms
For a more natural look, swing your arms freely gently back and forth. Your right arm should swing back as your right foot steps forward and vice versa. For a more dramatic look, move your arms in exciting patterns as you walk. Your limbs are an extension of you, so give them a purpose. “Brush” your hair with your hands, trace your body, point, vogue, or pose. Get creative. The possibilities are endless.
Embody your Character
When dance walking, consider the song you are moving to. Personify the person singing, or the person being sung about in the song. Maybe the singer is belting out lyrics of a frustrating break up. Embody a fierce attitude and walk intensely. Perhaps you’re walking to a song that is about someone sweet and playful. Consider how you would change your walk to embody a fun, sweet character. Be inspired by your music and let it shape and motivate your walk.
Work the Catwalk
One thing to consider when walking is where you are placing your weight with every step. Walking with weight in your heels will put more “bass” in your walk. When your heel strikes the ground, allow the corresponding hip to work out to the side. Each step will have some reverberation and major hip goodness.
For a lighter slinkier walk, try placing your weight on the balls of your feet first. Keep most of your weight balanced on the ball of your foot instead of the heel. This will give you an elegant stride as opposed to our bassey clunky heel walk described above. Turn out your feel slightly and pretend like you’re walking on your tippy toes.
With either a heel lead or a ball lead step, try walking as if you we’re on a tightrope by placing one foot in front of the other. The slight crossing of the legs will give your body a nice shape and sexier movement. Allowing your footprints to form a zigzag will give your body a characteristic swing.
Slow It Down
Everything is sexier in slow motion. Moving slow also executes confidence. When people are nervous they move quickly and anxiously. Slower movement allows your audience to notice you, and a slow walk says, “you don’t hurry for nobody!”
Walk it Out!
All in all, when you craft your walk, make sure your movement is bold and purposeful. Get creative and experiment with different saunters. Develop your own signature walk and inject your personality. Have fun and, last but not least… OWN IT!
Article by Ziva. Dance Instructor specialist at Bella Ballroom Dance Studio in Orange County, CA.