It's easy to think you're not talented enough if you can't sing and dance like other singers on stage. But it's actually not as easy as it looks and takes a good deal of training. Anyone can train themselves to dance while they sing, and this article will show you how.
Singing and dancing at the same time requires a healthy body and voice through exercise and a balanced diet. You also need to learn to control your breathing and practice singing while moving or exercising. The song and dance should then be memorised separately before attempting them together.
I have outlined these points clearly below so that you have a step-by-step guide to training yourself to dance and sing at the same time. You also might be interested to know that many famous singers struggle with this too, which I will explain further down.
1. Exercise Your Muscles
In order to sing and dance at the same time, you need to be fit. Otherwise you will become tired and breathless very quickly. This is because muscles that are not strong enough have to work harder to keep up.
When muscles are working hard, they need more oxygen, which your heart delivers through your blood. In order to deliver more oxygen, your heart rate increases and you start breathing faster. If you exercise regularly, your muscles will become stronger and won't have to work as hard.
Stretching and Exercising Your Muscles
Before you dance or do any exercise, you need to warm up with stretches. Below are some good stretches to consider.
- Touch your toes
- Reach for the sky
- Forward lunges
- Side reaches
- Rolling your shoulders
From there, it's just a matter of improving your fitness. This can be through any cardio activity; running, star jumps, dancing (even just with a dance mat). Whatever exercise you choose, it just needs to be something that gets your heart pumping.
Exercising Your Voice
Exercising your voice involves all the vocal warmups your singing teacher has given you. These exercises can be used to warm up your voice before a performance or as a way of strengthening your voice.
Great vocal exercises include scales, sirens, yawns and puppy dog whimpers. You can find out how to do these warmups here (sirens and whimpers) and here (yawns and other exercises to control the voice).
These exercises engage various muscles in your voice box and stretch them so they can work more effectively. This also prevents damage to your vocal cords when you sing.
2. Learn to Control Your Breathing
Your breathing is mainly controlled by your diaphragm. By learning to control your diaphragm, you can control how much air you breathe in and how much can escape as you sing and dance.
The key is to let as little air out as possible when you sing (to avoid puffing) and to take deep breaths when you can.
You can teach yourself to let air out slowly and strengthen your diaphragm by doing regular breathing exercises. You can find breathing exercises in this article. You can then run through your song to determine the best places to take a deep breath. This is usually after a phrase or between the verse, chorus or bridge.
It is very easy to become breathless when you dance, so try to concentrate on breathing deeply and regularly.
3. Eat a Healthy Diet
Eating healthy will give you the energy you need to dance while you sing and keep you hydrated. Processed foods often contain simply energy sources that burn quickly and leave you feeling tired. The energy from healthy food options is often more complex, providing a slow-burning fuel-source.
Eating healthy will also prevent excess mucous or a dry sore throat after you sing. In saying that, there are still some healthy foods, like cheese, that can affect your voice. Here is a guide to the main foods you should avoid before singing.
Another benefit to eating healthy is that your body will be more efficient at energy production and carrying oxygen to the muscles. Iron, in particular, which is found in red meats and green leafy vegetables, will allow the blood to carry more oxygen at a time. This means you are not as likely to be puffing for air.
4. Practice Singing and Moving
Before you run, you need to walk. This saying is very relevant to your current situation. You need to learn to carry out basic movements while singing before you are ready to take on a dance.
You can practice this in a number of ways, which you can find below. Choose whatever you are comfortable with and work up from there.
- Sing while vacuuming
- Sing while walking
- Sing while jogging
- Sing while emptying the dishwasher
- Sing while jumping (on a trampoline is more fun)
I'm sure there are many other ways you can think of singing while you move around. But whichever you choose, make sure you focus on breathing regularly and singing steadily. You can even start by just trying to hold one note. Just keeping that single note steady while jogging or jumping can be hard.
Don't be discouraged if you find this difficult. This will be something that, if you keep practising everyday, you'll realise one day that it has become second nature. Don't be afraid to try singing to basic dance moves either, like doing the grapevine back and forth.
5. Memorise the Song and Dance
Once you have checked off the four steps above, your body should be ready to sing and dance at the same time. So the last step is memorising your music and your dance moves.
Learn to sing your song separately to learning the dance moves until you can do each without thinking. For your song, you need to make sure the lyrics are second-nature and you know exactly what melody you need to sing. You should also practice all the high notes until they come easily as well (here are a few tips on how to sing higher).
For your dance, make sure there are no moves that make you stumble. You should also be able to do them while maintaining a conversation with someone. This proves that you are ready to incorporate singing into your dancing.
Once you master this, you're going to look and sound absolutely fabulous!
The Reality of Most Famous Singers
You may have looked at all of the above and thought that singing and dancing is a lot harder than you thought. If that's the case, don't be discouraged. The truth is, many famous singers are thinking the same thing.
In fact, many singers use a little trick that we like to call lip-syncing. When a singer is performing a complicated dance, they often have a recording playing in the background that allows them to stop singing and mouth the lyrics. This means they can concentrate on their dance moves and then start singing again when they're ready.
Another trick is to simplify their dance moves while they're singing. If you watch some singers, you'll notice that they dance the most when they're not singing and then will walk around the stage more when they do sing. This means they don't have to think about their footwork while singing.
There are most certainly singers out there that are incredibly talented at singing and dancing at the same time, but these people work very hard to do that. If you work hard, you'll find that you can sing and dance at the same time too.