Back to Blog

How to do isolation dance moves



I'm going to share two isolation techniques that will help you develop your freestyle dance much further.

 Before I share these two techniques, the first question is :

What is isolation? 


To me, isolation is the art of moving one body part or sometimes two body parts at a time. The goal is that. The effect you want is that whenever you move this body part, the rest of your body is isolated.


The effect and goal are to be as clean as possible when doing an isolation to clearly see the body part that is moving and the body part that is not moving. When you can make and show the difference between the moving and non-moving parts, your isolation will look clean, and you will get the right effect. 


In this case, you want to train both techniques. You want to train both approaches. 


1st approach 


The first approach I like to use to work on isolation is to choose one body part I do not want to move.


I will try to keep it pretty much in the same place. And then I'm going to start moving the rest of my body. For example, if my arm is the part I don't want to move, this will be the part I want to isolate from the rest of my body.


And then I start moving and playing, but my arm stays in the same place. And your goal is to try to keep this as clean as possible. So the audience can truly see which part is being isolated and which part is moving. 

This is the first way I like to use isolation and practice isolation.


To give you an example, I'm going to show you a quick demo using only one body part. I'm going to move; I'm going to focus on not moving my arm and having the rest of my body moving for you to clearly see which part is moving and which is not moving.


All right. So check this out, and I'll see you after that.


Once you understand this principle, this is actually one of the best ways to start working on isolation. It will also help you gain more body control as a freestyle dancer.



Once you do that, the second step is that now you can start thinking; I will start using selective parts of my body.


What I mean by that is, instead of saying, I want to isolate my arm and then move the rest of my body, we're going to work the other way. It's going to be like, maybe I want to move only my head and leg, but the other part of my body is not going to move.


I move one part so, for example, you can and be all right, I'm going to move my leg head. All right. I'm moving my head. But the other part of my body is not moving that much, so I'm isolating the rest of my body, and I'm moving one or two parts at a time.


Do not overthink. Your freestyle has to be natural. The more you think, the more you're going to jeopardize your freestyle, and you don't want that. You can prevent yourself from performing well if you overthink the process.


We give exercises only to better understand how you can use the tools to enhance your freestyle and enrich your way of moving. 


But when it's time to do the thing, do not overthink, because if you start being like, okay, I need to move my head and my shoulder, then it's too calculated, and it becomes too mechanical. 


Dancing has to be something that you do instinctively. You understand the principle of this exercise, but do not overthink it.


Once again, you are just playing with one or two body parts you want to move. It can be head and shoulder. And the rest of your body is isolated. 


The moment you can show the difference between which part is moving and which part is not, you are doing your isolation well enough for the audience to see it and truly understand it.


This is going to be the next level of this exercise. 

This one can be more tricky and advanced, but it's the second step. You are just moving one body part or two body parts at a time. But you select, and it constantly changes. It's not always the same one.


If you start with your head, you can decide that it will be my legs, my hand, my shoulder, and my chest that follow. You keep moving. You select while you are freestyling, and everything has to be smooth.


This needs to be natural. I'm going to show you a quick example of what I'm talking about so you can see how I use this principle. This can inspire you to do your own thing as well.


 Like I said before, it's very important not to overthink it because you can quickly get overwhelmed. The moment you understand the process, you can play with it.


And the more you play with it, the more you'll be able to do it naturally. 


You can start with the first step, focusing on isolating one part of your body. And then you keep moving the rest of your body. This can be easier because you know that you are focusing on not moving only one part of your body. Once you feel comfortable with that, you can start playing with moving different parts of your body at a time. 


Freestyle is something that has to be done instinctively, do not overthink it. 


If you'd like more help and support on your dance journey – consider joining Beyond The Moves, our membership community and get access to in-depth freestyle dance programs, coaching and support. So you always feel confident that you're on the right path. And have absolute clarity on how and what to work on to progress faster than ever.