There's no formula for making a supa hot fire piece, but there are dance choreography tips and tricks you can use to help make the process a lot smoother.
Here are some 15 choreography tips that'll help you make the best piece you can!
1. Focus on one section
Hone in on the section that you can see that perfect move or combo and branch out from there.
Or, break up the choreography into pieces (known as 'chunking') and just choreograph a little bit every day.
2. Budget your time
Give yourself a set schedule to choreograph – like a full week with two hour intervals.
Don't just say "I'll choreograph later" every day and expect the piece to magically make itself.
3. Understand the music
Understand the song completely. The lyrics, meaning, beats, etc. I find myself stuck a lot when I would rush to choreograph to a song I barley listened to. But when I choreograph to a song that I connect with or know very well, my movements are more natural and carefree.
4. Do you
Be yourself! Don't focus on what's cool, but more on what feels good to you. The purpose of choreographing is to show your art and creativity.
5. Collaborate with others
Working with other people to create a piece is one of my favorite things to do. You’ll be surprised by what you can learn from another person’s creative process.
Not sure how? Read this: How To Collab With Someone To Make A Piece
6. Tell YOUR story
Don't choreograph to impress other people, do it to share a story. YOUR story.
– Tracy Seiler
7. Do weird moves
When you get stuck choreographing, try 'weird' moves- moves that make your body feel uncomfortable- or 'funny' moves- moves that help you get out of your head by just having fun with it. This allows your mind to create things that are new and creative. Keep changing up and that constant, somewhat dragging flow and you'll be surprised with what comes out of you.
– Michelle Shim
8. Be a character
What helps me most whenever I make a piece is I develop a character in my head. I give myself a reason, a motive, a feeling behind the piece. This will help you connect to the song and find some emotional attachment to your performance.
– Jaime Soriano
9. Trust yourself
Believe in your own abilities. Your very own, strictly organic, self-proclaimed abilities. A lot of us tend to have choreography blocks because we are investing too much time into what a piece should look like (based off of what we've seen from other choreographers), than what it should genuinely feel like.
10. Don't use videos as a reference
Watching videos is a great way to get inspired, but don’t just use them as a reference for moves.
Or else you'll just end up making a piece that's a patchwork of everyone else's choreo, rather than your own.
11. Dance to a different layer in the music
If you get stuck on the original pathway you were planning to follow, try highlighting a different layer in the music.
For example, forget the bass! What are the lyrics saying? How about the pitch?
Moving to different sounds will also help make your piece look more dynamic and less predictable.
12. Don't hit every single beat
Instead of moving to the most sounds, choose the right sounds. Be picky with the specific sound you want to follow.
You can groove through the rest or just have a moment in stillness, or milking the end of the last move.
Breathing through some sounds helps the audience (and your body) absorb a crazy sequence before or after that chill phase, and lifts some pressure off of the dance choreography process.
13. Utilize concepts to think of unique moves
Invent new moves based off of concepts. The potential for concept-based choreography is limitless, because your thoughts and ideas are limitless.
Just think of a word (or have someone give you one), and let that be your intention. You'll never run out of movement this way.
14. Take a break
Sometimes... the flow needs to pick up on its own. Instead of forcing it, take a break from your earphones and the mirror.
Do something else that'll refresh your mind and soul in a different way. Take a walk! Meditate! Watch a movie!
15. Watch this video when you hit choreo block
These 4 tips will help you get through that block!
We hope these dance choreography tips help! Can't wait to see the pieces you come up with.
Take class with your favorite choreographers to expand your vocabulary of movement and better understand how to piece moves together.