How to Find Your Inner Confidence Through Dance
19th November 2021
It’s never too late to start dancing! Aside from its obvious health benefits, dancing can also be a fabulous way to build self-confidence. Don’t just take it from us, according to Dance Teacher and hot mamma, Hayley Blundy it can be ‘empowering, sexy and creative’. We caught up with Hayley to get to know a little more about her and her career as a dance teacher, as well as exploring how dance can build that extra bit of inner confidence.
What inspired you to start dancing? Talk to us about your journey.
I started dancing on and off at around 7 years old. I started dancing disco freestyle and continued through secondary school, taking part in competitions. It wasn't until much later, aged 19, that I found street dance. It was then that I finally understood how my body was built to move and I was instantly hooked! November marks two years since I returned to teaching street dance after an extended break. Four years ago, I was a different person, heavily pregnant for the second time, I had already decided it was time to hang up my trainers and quit dancing.
A short time after, I was given the opportunity to take back my adult beginner street dance class at Brighton Marina Studios and on a whim, despite my doubts, I said yes! It felt major. I was terrified - those internal thoughts were strong and hard to shake off. I can honestly say though, it was the best thing I could have done for myself. When I dance, I don’t think! I care only about how the music feels, how the moves piece together and flow with the music.
What made you decide to become a Dance Teacher?
I had never considered teaching at all until one day I was asked if I would consider covering a street dance class. I gave it a go and discovered I was good at it! Before long I went part time at my job in a bank and taken on 12 dance classes a week, sometimes teaching 4 classes back-to-back after work.
Looking back now I wonder where I found the energy, but I was young, free and had nothing to lose! Absolutely nothing beats the feeling of watching people get into your choreography, seeing them have those 'ah hah' moments and getting excited about the dance. A dance class can turn a bad day into a great one and to be the person responsible for making that happen is the greatest privilege.
What advice would you give to anyone that’s thinking of starting dancing?
Do it! You're not too old and it’s never too late to start. Music and movement go hand in hand and when you let go, and let the rhythm in, you will feel alive! Allowing yourself to mess up is key and right on the edge of that discomfort is where you will find the progression. In time, you'll be dancing in a way you never thought possible, and it'll feel so good!
What does body confidence mean to you? What has your own journey been with your body confidence?
Oh gosh, where to start? Like most of us, I have good and bad days. Having children was one of the biggest challenges I have faced. I found it difficult to see my body grow and stretch beyond my control, and even more so to love my body afterwards. It has taken me a long time to start working towards body acceptance, let alone confidence.
A couple of years ago I made a promise to myself to try and stop berating my body for what it looks like and celebrate what it does for me. Staying strong and mobile are my top priorities and I find that the harder I work on those things, the more confident I feel in myself regardless of my shape and size.
How can dance help people build their confidence?
Dance is very freeing when you let it be. The hardest part is giving into it. My job is to teach people the moves. Sure, I can tell you what to do with your body but how you interpret and execute my instruction is where the fun really begins! Recently, a member told me I had helped her to realise that she can dance without needing alcohol and that honestly made my day. What a huge achievement that is!
What are the best items of clothing for wearing whilst dancing?
For me, a supportive bra is an absolute essential so if, like me you're in the over shoulder boulder club, you should invest in a decent sports bra! (Check out our guide on finding the perfect fitting sports bra.) What I wear for dance is a huge part of my self-expression. Sometimes it'll be baggy bottoms and tees and other times, figure hugging leggings and vests.
It’s really about what has me feeling myself that day! I've been super fortunate to work with Pour Moi and its sportswear has been an actual gamechanger for my wardrobe. Wearing proper fitting sports bras and leggings gives me a boost of confidence whilst teaching.
We love that you're a part of #TeamPourMoi, what are you most looking forward to collaborating with us?
I absolutely love the focus on exercise for mental wellbeing and I am so excited to get started with dance tutorials to support this. I also love that Pour Moi celebrate all bodies; I never feel like I need to be anything other than myself when creating content. Having creative freedom to advertise Pour Moi products in a way that fits in with my values, rather than pressuring me to simply sell the products feels great.
Keep up to date with Hayley on Instagram and follow her fabulous dance tutorials. Or if you want to take a dance class in person, you can do so here.