The 5 Steps to Picking Up Choreography



Ever feel lost in a dance class?  Learn the 5 Steps to Picking Up Choreography.


The 5 Steps to Picking Up Choreography

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Taking a dance class for the first time or even for the first time with a new instructor can be challenging and scary, but when you break movement down, it makes it much easier to handle and learn.


  1. Focus on the Feet – I always say the feet keep the beat. So, when you’re in a dance class, focus on what the instructor is doing with her feet and just do that – only that. Is the instructor stepping two times to the side and then two times to the left? Is he walking front and then hopping back? Nail down what the feet are doing before you try anything else.


  1. Arms – Once you have the feet going, now it’s time to look up at the upper body. What directions are the arms moving? Are they going up at the same time and then right and left? How many times are the arms going up and down? Once you understand this pattern, you can add it on to the feet.


  1. Timing – Now that you have the big picture of the feet and arms and what direction they’re going in, the next piece is the timing of the movement. Most commercial hip-hop dancing is counted in 8s. So maybe the instructor walks front for the first four counts, stepping right, left, right, left and then she does the same to the back for the last four counts. If you’ve never heard the song before, but you understand how to count, you’ll always have the timing of the steps.


  1. Quality of Movement – Now that you have the big picture movement and the timing, the next step is the quality of the movement the instructor is showing and asking for. Does he step soft but then throw the arms up hard? Is she asking you to make your arms flow and your rib cage pop? Listen to the words being used and the details of the movement. This is one of the hardest steps for even the most advanced dancers and can take a very long time to master, but once you have it, you’re ready for the final step.


  1. Performance – Now that you have the movement, the timing and the quality, all that’s left is the performance of the choreography. What is the dance or song about? What piece of your personality do you want to show? How can your face and your body emulate your emotions and what the choreographer or instructor is asking for?


Although these are listed as only 5 steps, mastering all 5 in one class can take awhile to master. Be patience with yourself and understand what step you’re at, in each class, with each instructor, on each day. Once you know where your focus should be, it’s easy to be successful by the end of the day and know where to go from there.

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The 5 Steps to Picking Up Choreography


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