Finding the Beat of Music

One of the most difficult things for a new dancer to master, is finding the beat of music. Being able to pick out the beat of a song is extremely important when learning how to keep time to music. If you can’t time your dance steps to the beats of music, you will have a hard time learning to dance. Dance timing is most important when dancing with a partner. Both dancers need to be able to depend on the other to hit certain moves at the exact same point in a music routine.

Beats and Rhythm

A beat is the basic time unit of a piece of music. The beats in a sequence are also known as rhythm or the groove of the song. Music is characterized by the strong (stressed) and weak (unstressed) beats. The speed of the beats is known as the tempo. If you can pick out the beats of different song, you will have an easier time at learning how to dance.

Finding the Beat

The first step in trying to pick out the beat of the music is to listen for the strongest beats. Try finding four strong, solid beats. The first beat will be louder or stronger then the next three beats. Look for beats like ONE, two, three, four, ONE, two, three, four. Then try clapping your hands to the stronger beat and stomping your feet to the next three weaker beats. Clap once and stomp three times, this is the beat of the song.


The best way to get good at finding the beat of music is to listen to a lot of music. The more music you listen closely to, the better you will get. Once you get the hang of finding the beat, you won’t even need to practice or try. It will cometo you more naturally. And this will help when trying to become a great dancer.