How to smile bright, but natural

Lots of us can smile bright, and likewise, lots of us can smile naturally. But, the main problem is merging the two so that we can have bright, natural smiles when we dance.

Here’s some common problems:

1. Trying too hard: basically, if you try too hard, you look like you’re forcing the smile; thus, it doesn’t look natural.

2. Biggest doesn’t mean best. However, brightest and most natural does mean best. You don’t have to have the biggest smile; in fact, it’s sometimes bad when you try too hard to make your smile big because then, again, you risk making it look unnatural. Don’t focus on getting your smile big. The first step is to achieve naturalness.

3. Staring and trying to smile usually doesn’t work. We usually get sick of that spot that we’re staring at and then the smile fades.

4. Misconception: look away from the audience. Never look away from them, because they are the people that should be cheering you on and causing your smile! Look at people, not a spot on the ceiling or wall. Remember, you are a performer, and you’re supposed to be entertaining your audience while you receive support. If you get nervous, that’s a different story. In this case, try to get rid of your nervousness by simply not thinking about it. If you think about being nervous, then you’ll get nervous. Just take a deep breath and perform. After all, there is nothing to be scared of.

5. Fling your teeth out at the audience. This method just looks unnatural. Never try to open your mouth big, unless it looks natural. Remember that naturalness is more important than anything. Who wants to watch a dancer with a fake smile?

Here’s some tips and steps to get that smile:

1. Natural. Be natural, as I’ve said before. No one wants to watch a dancer with a fake smile, and you don’t want to be that dancer. Even if your natural smile is small, it is much more effective and pleasing than a bright, big, and feigned smile. Your natural smile is the one that you, well, naturally use! Look in the mirror and smile without trying to. A natural smile is evident in your eyes and is contagious. As the saying goes, one smile can generate a hundred more smiles. Just be natural and don’t think too hard about smiling. Be happy. When you’re happy, the smile is almost always real. When you dance, be happy, and that will generate your natural smile.

2. Bright. A bright smile is one that displays happiness and, in a way, passes it out to the audience. Again, this should be natural. Being happy when you dance will always help you smile bright.

3. Contagian. Try to “infect” the audience with your smile (now, this doesn’t mean smile really big). To do this, try to make the audience smile by showing the your happiness. Think about it like this–when you’re walking down the street and you smile at someone, they (usually)  smile back. Your smile had a contagious effect. Try to apply this to dance. When you a dancer smiles at an audience member, he/she smiles back. Your smile will only be contagious, however, if you make it that way. That means being natural, bright, and drawing. You need to look your audience in the eye and pass on your smile. I’ve experienced this as an audience member several times before and it is a truly amazing feeling. Trying to pass this onto your judges is a plus! But, remember that your judges are judging how well your routine is to the audience as well. Don’t focus too much on them, because the people who came to watch you (and weren’t paid for it!) are your audience.

I hope this helps you with smiles, because I know that it seems easy but can be a very difficult thing to do. Comment and tell me if this article has helped you.


  1. lyndi brown

    Thank you so much for this article. I have had
    trouble not fake smiling forever(practically). I
    am a freshman on Thurston Cabaret Dance and
    Drill Team. I was looking for advice because I was dancing before I made the team but I had trouble naturally smiling because I have a spaces in my teeth. I think that I will feel much better not only as a dancer, but in all of the pictures that you have to take in highschool. This entire website has helped me so much. Also, if you need help with your straddle(middle) splits, you should check out the stretches.

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