Tips for Creating Choreographies. Part 2 of 4

A couple more tips on how to start creating your dance...

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Tips for Creating Choreographies. Part 2 of 4

Continuing with some extra tips for your choreographic inspiration. ;) See Part 1 for previous tips.

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Understand that your first draft won’t be perfect.

Of course, miracles happen, and sometimes you may get it right away. But most often it will take you X number of revisions until your choreography gets to a decent level. Just remember that in order to do even your first revision, you need to have a draft first. So take the pressure off your shoulders, and start doing something, even if it’s just a simple marking, even if you need to skip a part of a song for now because nothing comes to your mind. It doesn’t matter. You’ll come back to those gaps later. A first draft is a first draft: nothing more, but also, nothing less than that. You need to have some base to work with, and in the case of first draft, “done” is better than “perfect”.


Break down the structure of the song before you start. 

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Dance is like storytelling. It has particular parts: beginning, development, and culmination. And each of these parts can have smaller sub-parts. Listen to the entire song and decide how you will build up your dance story, and what is your focus on each segment. I’m not talking about the plot or anything like that, I’m talking about building up excitement and energy. 

You don’t need to start with everything at once. If you pack all variety of moves and things you know into the first minute, then what are you gonna do for the rest of the song? Also, imagine you’ve just been introduced to a new person at a party, and they decided to tell their entire bio even before you finished shaking their hand. It would probably scare you… lol ☺ The same is with your audience. Don’t overload them right away: take it easy. 

Introduce new ideas one at a time. Some parts will call for travelling steps, another part may be your floor work, the next segment focused on shimmies, etc. Decide according to your music and your interpretation of it, and think how you can finish your choreography on a high note. That’s why breaking down the song in advance can make your choreographic process so much easier.  Instead of panicking with a feeling of “I need to do SOMETHING”, you’ll have a much narrower focus for each section of the dance.

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Two magic moves.

There are moves that I use as my help tools in case I get stuck on a certain section of the song. They are shimmies and turns. I can’t explain it logically, but somehow at least one of them magically fits on almost any music, lol. I use this trick whenever I can’t come up with something at all, but want to keep going with the rest of the song.  These are my helpers. Usually by the time I finish my choreography and ready to present it, such “shimmy” gaps are substituted for something that reflects music more properly, but sometimes they get adjusted accordingly and stay there even in the final version. In any case, next time you get stuck on some music section, see if shimmy or turns can solve your problem. ☺ 

Author: Iana Komarnytska
Photographer: Pedro Bonatto

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Read Part 3 of Tips for Creating Choreographies



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