8 Tips on Choreographing Your Own Masterpiece
“I just can’t choreograph.”
I hear this ALL the time. Every-time I want to respond with: “Have you ever been in your room, blasted music, and started dancing in front of the mirror?” Because that’s the first step.
If you’ve never ever choreographed a routine or even a clip of a song, then you’re definitely missing out! Of course, the more you do it the better you get; the more ideas come through and you start witnessing the potential of the song AND yourself!
In case you ever want to try your hand at dance choreography, which I think everyone should do at least ONCE in their lifetime, here are 8 tips to start!
- Pick your FAVORITE song.It doesn’t have to be fast, it doesn’t have to be the most trending song, it doesn’t even have to be in the same language (welcome to our world)! You just have to LOVE it. Pick a song you can never get tired of and you’re always excited to hear, because then you’ll always be excited to dance to it!
- Find your Inspiration. Inspiration is everywhere. Sometimes when I’m in a rut or a mental block, I go to a few of my favorite dancer’s page and just binge watch their videos. I’m not doing this to steal their moves (neither should you – always stay original!); I do this because I just need some inspiration. I want to watch fellow dancers do their thing; fulfilling their passion, doing what they love and how they share it with the world without a care. In essence, find your hype!
- Mirror, Mirror. This is a must. You’ll get a lot more comfortable with choreographing if you get a lot more comfortable looking at yourself. You can see what works, what doesn’t, what flows well together and where your strengths are.
- Timed Sections – Choreo & Repeat.People hear the word ‘choreography’ and get intimidated. You don’t immediately have to think 10237420834 different steps for a whole song. Break down your song into something as small as 10 second increments. Come up with just two steps for that 10 seconds. Great! You just choreographed, now just repeat the process for the next 10 seconds and so forth.
- Practice your choreo. Make sure you are practicing your new found choreo as you create it. This is the best way to see if it works and how to keep track of it. So what I mean is, every-time you choreo a new step, start the routine again from the beginning and add on your step. Get your body used to the music, beat, and moves.
- Swag it out. Add your personality to it! This is YOUR creative space. Throw in a wink, a shoulder pop, a head nod- whatever YOU want! The best routines are where you can see the dancer’s personality through their moves!
- Edit. The great thing about creativity is that there is no limit. You have the freedom to change it up. I am completely guilty of this and notorious for this among my students. I’ll be teaching a routine for 3 weeks and then realize that another move could be replaced with something cooler. This is only bad when the performance is the next day (#guilty). You don’t want to change everything up all the time obviously, but don’t be afraid to try new things. Nothing is set in stone!
- Record & Review. Record yourself doing your new creative piece. People hate being videotaped, but it’s the best way to improve. In our classes, we record/ watch every single performance and talk about what was good and what we need to work on. It is an amazing learning curve to see where you need to get your energy up and to see where you are forgetting the next move.
Everyone has a little bit of creativity in them. It’s just about tapping into it and exposing it. The more you you do it, the better you’ll get. It’s awesome to see the product of your ideas!
It’s even better to see it on stage live! But that’s for another post.