Bruno Mars is, in our opinion, one of the best entertainers of our generation. So it’s only natural that we’d want to dissect one of his most valuable assets: his dancing!
We’ll look at the three primary aspects that make Bruno Mars’ dancing so unique in this blog:
- Having no qualms about imitating
- What he does with his hands
- His swagger comes from Sacramento.
Plus, as you progress through your dance journey, we’ll leave you with some pointers to help you dance more like Bruno.
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Now let’s get started!
1. Don’t be afraid to imitate
Bruno has always gladly mimicked and honoured his heroes from the beginning.
From becoming the world’s youngest Elvis lookalike at the age of two to working as a Michael Jackson impersonator while still in high school, he has done it all.
He admired and imitated these giants, as well as James Brown, the “Godfather of Soul.”
Tip for Taking Away:
It’s perfectly acceptable to try to copy your favourite dancers (just be sure to give credit).
Imitation is a terrific approach to discover what feels comfortable to you, whether you want to be a professional dancer or you’ve just started learning the basics.
When we look at Bruno Mars, we can see that none of his moves are original, yet he still manages to interest us with his dance because he doesn’t hide the fact that he’s emulating these legendary artists.
So put your concern of appearing ignorant, awkward, or “not as good as everyone else” to the side.
Rather, copy with assurance!
2. Use your hands
Every dancer has a set of “go-to” moves or stances that they use to build their movement style. Then they throw in facial expressions, timing shifts, and small shoulder rises — everything that gives those foundations personality.
Bruno’s foundational moves can be found in nearly every dance he performs.
Hip sways and rolls, body rockers, bounces, and a funky two step are all favourites of his.
However, Bruno employs a small yet effective instrument that most of us may overlook: his hands.
He employs them in the most comfortable and assured manner possible. There is no force, only pleasant feelings. They are never rigid or strained. His hands are calm and confident.
On stage or in music videos, you can see it when he playsfully signals and gestures at his staff.
Or when he’s in full dancing gear, accentuating different movements with his hands.
He almost never makes a complete, tight fist. He lets his fingers hover, almost as if he’s had a new manicure.
Bruno can now deliver a story without singing a single note.
Tip for Taking Away:
To begin, these hand movements are referred to as gesticulation.
These are the gestures we make when speaking to better explain or emphasise what we’re saying.
Bruno manages to incorporate fun gesticulation into full-fledged choreographies, despite the fact that most musical artists employ it when singing or chatting to the audience.
Try this to get a feel for Bruno’s gesticulation style:
- Stand tall with your arms and hands dangling on each side of your body.
- Let the gap between your fingers form naturally by keeping your fingers loose.
- Raise your hands to the side, half-way up with your elbows bent, or above your head — all the while keeping your hands and fingers relaxed.
- Practice different poses with your body while listening to entertaining music, focusing on keeping your hands flexible and relaxed.
Remember, Bruno looked like he had a new manicure, so be gentle with those babies.
3. Master Sacramento swagger
Despite the fact that Bruno was not born and raised in Sacramento, he rose to the top by incorporating some of the city’s flavour into his performances.
Mars’ dance technique was primarily based on moves performed by his predecessors until roughly 2014.
That is, until the release of “Uptown Funk,” his blockbuster single with Mark Ronson.
Phil Tayag, one of the original Jabbawockeez and founder of the Sacramento Boogie Monsters, began dancing and choreographing for Bruno during this time.
” Phil “SB ” Bruno’s movement was notably modified by Tayag, the SB standing for Sac Boy, as it became lighter with a delicate upwards groove.
The Sacboy, Phil’s original motion, thereafter became a mainstay in Mars’ new and improved dance repertoire.
Soon after, Bay Area manoeuvres like the Yike and the Smeeze (developed by Chonkie of the Turf Feinz) made their way into his stage.
Tip for Taking Away:
Look for those who can help you improve your dancing, much like Bruno did.
Having someone to guide you in discovering your own personal style can be really beneficial.
If you want to dance like Bruno, take lessons from these Sacramento dancers!
Learn more: How To Track Your Progress As A Dancer