Sexy Starts With You

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Elena Anashina

Sexy. That’s the first word we think of when we see Latin and Rhythm dancing ladies. It’s no lie that they possess every bit of elegance and sexual prowess we all desire. We feel their energy whether we see them dancing in person or through videos, and at some point, all of us ladies wish we could be just like them.

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We study the way they move, the way they dress, the way they change their facial expressions at all the right moments, and the way they somehow (in almost a spiritual manner) connect with their partner. Whether you’re a beginner just learning the basics, or a veteran who has danced for many years, we all want to know one thing: What’s the secret to looking sexy on the dance floor?

Elena Anashina
Elena Anashina

Fundamentals = Confidence

The first thing we learn about dancing are the fundamentals. We learn steps, technique, and styling. We practice our craft for hours, days, and years, and watch ourselves dance in the mirror until we can’t stand to look at ourselves anymore. Our instructors correct us, teach us, and show us what we’re supposed to do, but even though they provide us with all this information it’s as if we can’t make our own bodies do it. We understand, we visualize, but we can’t perform. Sound familiar?

Let’s think of it in another sense: When we go shopping, and we see an amazing dress on a mannequin standing at the display window, what’s the first thing we do? We imagine ourselves wearing that dress. The second thing we do is decide whether we would look good in that dress, and then we try it on if we can imagine ourselves in it. When we try it on and we look amazing in it, our confidence takes a huge boost, and we buy the dress (let’s disregard the price tag). But what just happened exactly? It’s simple: You believed you would look amazing and you confirmed that theory. The dress basically sold itself based off faith in yourself.

We lack confidence. A key component to every craft we want to perfect begins with self-confidence. Self-confidence doesn’t begin until you can believe in yourself first. I’m sure plenty of us have had our instructors tell us, “You have to sell yourself.” But what does that actually mean?

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Pep Talk

How many times have we practiced in front of a mirror and grew frustrated with the way we look? We forcefully move our arms and our bodies to imitate the professionals, but we can’t seem to get it right. Take a moment and do this instead: Stand in front of the mirror and look at yourself. Study your body and begin by giving yourself a pep talk. You ARE beautiful. You ARE graceful. You’re sexy and you know it. It might sound silly, but once you believe it, your movements won’t be the same. Basically, do whatever you have to do to build yourself up. Your movements will become more natural and you’ll feel more connected with yourself. No longer will you feel as though you’re a robot, jutting your arms out and whirling them around nonsensically. As my coach once told me: Focus on the positives of you.

Elena Anashina
Elena Anashina

In The Moment

Feel the moment. We hear that many a times, but do we actually understand it? Feeling the moment requires you to let go of all your inhibitions and to really embrace the ecstasy of every extension and every eye contact you make with your partner. We watch the professionals and, whether or not they’re lovers in real life, they make it look so convincing. How? Because they feel each other. When they dance, they dance as though there is no one else but them. They’re not worried about how the other dancers on the floor look, and they’re not worried about who in the audience is watching them. All they’re concerned about are themselves and each other. They focus on every connection they make and every breath they take. They give and receive energy to one another. But let’s take a step back and focus on what’s most important: You. You can’t receive without giving, and if you don’t have something to give, then you have nothing at all.

Elena Anashina
Elena Anashina

Your MAN Knows!

Your partner will know when you’re feeling insecure—he doesn’t have to see it; he’ll feel it.  People may argue that it is enough when you make a connection by giving your center, but it’s not because that’s simply mechanics. You can push and pull all you want, but you must really give with everything inside you to provide this connection of energy. Take it from a man’s perspective: They have to know what they’re doing to lead. We as ladies have the fortune of predicting our partner’s intentions, but without their confidence, we as well would lack confidence. Now, I’m not saying that you should rely on your partner to verify your self-confidence; as always, we must know our part. But there would be a misunderstanding if the man were to not provide the amount of energy we require, the amount of confidence in movement, and this would lead to a bad connection. For me, feeling the moment means to hone into yourself and to listen to your body and to your partner’s body, and to really enjoy every sensation.

Elena Anashina
Elena Anashina

What Does All This Have To Do With Looking Sexy?

Looking sexy isn’t enough! You can dress yourself up, put on as much makeup as needed, and have the best hairstyle, and it still won’t be enough. If I want to look sexy, I have to convince myself before I am able to convince others. I have to BE SEXY. Build that self-confidence and really embrace your inner lioness. Don’t be afraid to explore (and roar)! You might look silly if you attempt different styles, but that comes with learning about yourself. Your body is a vessel used to express your inner desires, and no one can do that better than yourself. We are all meant to find our own sexual prowess and to learn to use that to express our own styles in dance. When you learn what your body is capable of, what YOU are capable of, you will find the right styles that fit your dance personality.

Author: Emily Chen
Photography: Elena Anashina
Exclusively for Dance Comp Review

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