7 Dance Moves You Should Always Have In Your Arsenal

Photographed by Aliya Naumoff.
If having to dance in a social situation makes you want to glue yourself to a wall with permanent adhesive, that's normal and you're not lame. Social dancing is hard, because there's so much pressure to look cool, sexy, and fun — all while keeping to the rhythm and pretending your moves are completely spontaneous.
"It's especially hard for our generation to embrace dancing, because we are the generation that elevates effortlessness and irony," says Sadie Kurzban, founder of 305 Fitness. "It's tacky these days to show that you are enthusiastic, that you actually give a damn, and that you are enjoying yourself."
Plus, dancing just makes a lot of people feel vulnerable, says Jonathan Lee, a beginner hip-hop instructor at the Ailey Extension and former backup dancer for Madonna and Britney Spears. "Let go of the fear of feeling judged, and this includes self-judgement," Lee says. "Other people's opinions of your dancing are just that — their opinion and none of your business." Lee says the easiest way to feel confident dancing is to fake it, but that's just the first step.
"The more you practice and get familiar with dance vocabulary, the easier it gets to understand, and you'll feel more at ease with what you are doing," says Ariel Hoffman, director of professional development at AKT, a dance cardio studio in New York City. We aren't all blessed with Beyoncé charisma, so as wedding season approaches, it's time to rehearse. Here's a handful of dance moves that you can have at the ready for whatever wedding, bat mitzvah, or clerb makes you get up offa that thing and dance.
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Use it: When you don't know a song well enough to pick up the rhythm or lyrics. "This goes with every song across the board," Lee says. "You can two-step to anything!"

How to do it: Step one foot to the side, and bring the other foot to meet it; repeat in the opposite direction. Step side-to-side with the beat of the music, and add any arm flourish that feels natural (like a clap or a snap) once you feel like you have the feet down.
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Four corners

Use it: Holding hands with a partner. Even if you both don't have rhythm, solidarity is empowering. "The key is to always make your partner look great, which will result in making you look just as great," Lee says.

How to do it: Step your right foot forward on a diagonal and push your right hip out with it. Then, leading with your right hip, step your right foot diagonally back. Repeat with your left foot and hip, and continue hitting all four corners in succession. It doesn't have to be precise, as long as you're moving your hips in a square-ish motion, you're set.
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Body roll

Use it: Wisely, when you want to add a fun flourish. Pairs well with Beyoncé.

How to do it: There's a spectrum to body rolls, so you can start small. Imagine you're smoothly sliding through a hula hoop, starting with your chest and moving down your torso and hips.
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Head nod

Use it: If you really don't feel like dancing, but want to subtly join in.

How to do it: Find a beat in the song and simply nod your head up and down, front to back, or side to side. "Everyone has rhythm," Lee says. "It may not match to the music that's playing, but there lies the goal: to get in sync with the music."
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Snap roll

Use it: To add groove to your two-step. It's not as campy as clapping your hands, but it still lets you add some percussion to your movement.

How to do it: As you step side to side, add a snap when you bring your feet together, and you can bounce your shoulders with it in time with the music. To get really fancy, snap your right hand, then your left hand, then circle your wrists and snap both hands, which is shown at 0:42 in this video.
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Use it: When you have ample space on the dance floor.

How to do it: Step to the right with your right foot; step your left foot in back of your right foot; step your right foot to the side, and bring your left foot to meet it. Repeat side to side.
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Shoulder lean

Use it: In a big group of people dancing closely together, or when you have a drink in your hand.

How to do it: Keeping your arms down by your sides, lean your shoulders to the right, then to the left. This video includes some more complicated variations, but just keep it simple at first before you add any extra moves.

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