When people think of longboards, they tend to think mainly about downhill longboarding at high speeds or freestyle tricks. Longboards are versatile, and the only limits are the ones you create for yourself.
An activity that is becoming more popular among longboarders is a combination of skills and rhythm called longboard dancing. To learn more about what longboard dancing is and how to start, you must be comfortable trying new things and giving them your all.
Trying a new way to longboard will expand your abilities and allow you to grow. Learning is a fun and challenging process; taking on a new challenge will increase your resiliency and help you obtain better results.
What Is Longboard Dancing?
Longboarders traditionally use a longboard for three main activities: downhill longboarding, freestyle, and commuting. These activities provide fun, transportation, and an outlet for stress when necessary, but there are more activities you can perform with your longboard.
Longboard dancing is an activity that combines footwork, dance movements, and freestyling skills all into a continuous dance routine. You can do it to music or follow what your body tells you whenever you feel like doing it. Just as with a traditional dance routine, you must connect different transitions and skills to a beat and create a routine you can perform multiple times.
This activity requires you to work on your cardio and coordination to deliver accurate movements on and off your longboard. Dancing is a form of self-expression, so you can try any movement that will allow you to feel good and keep going.
Freestyling vs. Dancing
Freestyling on your longboard includes flips and tricks that sometimes push your skills to the limit; you can isolate these skills but also connect them. Dancing on a longboard requires rhythm, patterns, and incorporating freestyle movements.
The main difference between one and the other is that a set routine will let you add or upgrade some of your moves to make the transitions smoother and better. Freestyling requires attention to detail, strength, and concentration; dancing requires the same, plus a constant beat, musicality, and creativity.
Starting With Longboard Dancing
Longboards come in various shapes and sizes. The best option for this activity is a complete pintail longboard to help you distribute your weight evenly and give you more control.
As with a dance routine, you must begin with basic movements and work your way up; you can create small routines with different skills to progressively change to more complicated ones. You can start by stepping on and off your moving board with a repetitive sequence without missing a beat. After this, you can incorporate a twist; whenever you step off the board, return to facing the opposite direction going backward.
Creating repetitive patterns will allow you to develop progression and a personal style that you can incorporate into your routine. You don’t necessarily need a set routine; you need movement consistency to incorporate different changes and develop your skills.
Timing your movements and trying different patterns, like carving or jumping, will help you get closer to your goal. Eventually, you can mix various patterns with the correct timing, skills, and rhythm to deliver a more professional routine.
Dancing comes in different forms; you can start from zero or incorporate skills you already have. Here, you will find a brief explanation of the most popular longboard dancing skills you can start learning to gain momentum quickly:
- Cross Stepping: With your longboard in motion, try to step one foot in front of the other, almost simulating a walking movement.
- Ghost Ride: With one foot in the middle of the board, swing your foot over it to cross to the other side down on the ground. You’ll jump across your longboard without touching it as it moves. •Peter Pan: This movement is the next level to a ghost ride; instead of jumping on the ground, you must do the same continuous movement on your longboard.
- Kickflip: This is a classic skill for longboarding where you must make your board flip 360 degrees horizontally and land on top of it without touching the ground. Push down the tail with one foot and use the other foot to spin it as your board rises.
These skills will help you achieve a better routine and more confidence to try better and higher-level tricks you can incorporate.
Some longboards already come with the perfect set of wheels for dancing, but others don’t; you need to know the right size in case you need to change them. The right size is a soft wheel between 60 to 65 mm, giving you stability and flexibility to perform tricks, jumps, and movements.
A softer wheel will make it easier for your board to overcome any inconsistencies on the road, especially dirt, rocks, and debris.
The trucks on your longboard have a great responsibility for the performance of your board. Looser trucks will make it more manageable and flexible for your board to deal with jumps and constant movement, but this might also cause wheel bites, which can damage the underside.
Experience with the right knowledge will provide you with everything you must know, but you can always adjust details to match your style and skills. Tighter trucks will give you more control but also minimize flexibility; you must find the right balance to achieve your goals.
Dancing on top of a longboard requires time and practice; you can express yourself healthily, finding relief and challenge in movement. The size of your longboard should relate to your height; this will give you a better experience and support. If it’s too small, it will be more challenging to control.
The right shoes are also essential for this activity; opt for shoes with non-slippery soles that get a good grip on the board. Finally, you must always be aware of your surroundings; while dancing on a longboard is fun, you must avoid running into people or things or disturbing the peace.