How long dance tutorial

How To Choreograph A Dance Routine In 6 Simple Steps

Are you wondering how to choreograph a dance routine? Or if you even can???

The answer is YES, YOU CAN! And you totally should.

Choreographing isn't just for professional dancers with tons of clout. It's a skill that anyone can learn with a little practice and inspiration. Not sure how to start? Just follow this handy 6-step guide and start creating!

Finding the right song could be the easiest or hardest part of choreographing.

Sometimes, you hear a song for the first time and you know, you just KNOW, that it's the one.

Other times, you browse through your entire iTunes library, SoundCloud dashboard, Spotify playlists, and still don't feel anything.

But once you have a song and pick out the section you want to choreograph to, listen to it...A LOT. And don’t just listen – listen with intent.

Look up the lyrics to see how you relate to the meaning of the song. Discover hidden hi-hats and riffs that you can highlight.

Note the "pathways" for movement you want to take –  do you want to hit a certain lyric? Or that dope double bass? Visualize ideas as you listen.

You don't need to come up with concrete moves, but understand how you wanna move. And if you need to cut your music, do that first.

Having to wait or skip around to different parts of the song can interrupt the process.

Some tips for finding songs: Best Ways For Dancers To Find New Music

Yes, you can watch videos from your favorite choreographers and remix their routines, but to make something unique to you, try drawing inspiration from your own life and the culture around you.

Read thought-provoking books, watch beautifully shot movies, check out MET Gala costumes, and visit cool museums!

All forms of art can inspire and fuel your art. When you see something inspiring, write it down so you can come back to those ideas later.

Even something simple like an interesting conversation with a friend can turn into a dance choreography idea or a new dance move.

Already feeling inspired? Watch this video to learn how to turn those ideas and concepts into dance moves!

Freestyling doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re going to be using those exact moves in your piece. In fact, you probably won’t even remember a lot of what you did!

The point is to let your body respond to the music. Play the whole song and let yourself move. Notice how you naturally groove to certain sounds.

This will be the first "layer" in your choreography. You can then try variations or build more intricate movements on top of it.

Not sure how to start freestyling? Read this article for a few more tips: How to Freestyle Dance

And if you put on a song you really love, but still can't come up with any moves, check out this video!

Clay gives you tips for creating unique movements, even when you think you have choreo block.

You probably decided to choreograph to the song because you thought certain sections would look dope on the body.

Is it a climax? A breakdown? An instrumental interlude?

Whatever it is, start with that part. You don’t have to choreograph chronologically from beginning to end.

Start with the chunks that come easier, then build the rest of the choreography around it.

After you've choreographed your favorite chunks, make sure to give some love to those in-between sections!

Just because it’s not a crazy beat combo doesn’t mean it doesn’t have potential to look amazing.

Sometimes it’s those slower moments that are the most memorable. Check out this piece from Galen – it's all about her presence and demeanor.

Even her simple movements are engaging because she's filling those calmer moments with presence, before she goes off in a powerful combo.

A lot of us have the problem of making choreography that looks good in our heads... But not on our bodies. At that point, you just gotta train yourself.

Some refer to this as “cleaning” or “setting,” which involves perfecting certain pictures you make with your body, looking at pathways between points, or drilling quick combinations.

Check out this article to learn more about the cleaning process: How To Execute Choreography Better By Utilizing Your Body With Carlo Darang (Choreo Cookies)

And remember: How you choreograph will be how the piece looks. So when you choreograph a dance, do the moves full out.

For example, if you want a plié somewhere, really bend those knees. Let body rolls go all the way through your body. If you’re doing floorwork –  get on the floor!

It's not going to magically look amazing when you perform on stage or in front of the camera. Make it amazing as you're making it.

Watch this video to learn more about dancing full-out, in every moment.

There are probably moments within your piece that feel perfect to you. Don’t change those.

But the piece as a whole is probably a bit rough around the edges, especially if this is your first time choreographing.

As novelist Ernest Hemingway once said, “The first draft of anything is sh*t.”

So don’t worry if it’s not exactly what you wanted it to be. You can work your way there!

Do this by trying out variations of movements, scrapping some sections, changing directions, or adding floorwork – whatever you feel is necessary to “edit” the piece.

And honestly? That’s what makes creating so fun – trying things. Saying “Nope, not that,” or “YES oh my god, it worked!”

It’s supposed to take multiple drafts! Just keep editing until you’re done.

Of course, if you're a perfectionist, you might feel like your piece is never finished, but you gotta draw the line at some point.

While it’s awesome to try to keep improving your piece, there comes a point where you have to say “This is it. It's ready."

It's not about feeling like your piece is perfect. It's about making something that you feel proud to say you made. So when you're done, let it be.

Give yourself a pat on the back. Record the piece and share it with us via our STEEZY Studio members Facebook Group!

Thousands of dancers around the world are not only improving their dance skills on STEEZY Studio... they're joining our community and getting feedback from other dancers!

Click here to sign up for STEEZY ;)

Check out this video for a quick recap of this guide AND a few extra tips!

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Dance training - advice for beginners

Everyone can learn to dance, regardless of gender, age, physical fitness and musical talent. Let's list the main stereotypes and immediately give them a refutation:

  • "You need to develop skills from early childhood." Modern dance schools offer training from scratch for any age category - from preschool to retirement age.
  • "I have no ear for music" - it is not at all necessary for a dancer to distinguish the note A of a small octave from the note F sharp of the first octave.
  • "I have no sense of rhythm" - it develops in the process of learning.
  • "I will look funny." Adults who first came to dance training have the same abilities, and accordingly, they look about the same.

Where to learn to dance

Of course, you can learn to dance at home, with the help of online training, but it is better to visit the studio. The advantages of this solution include:

  • classes in specially equipped rooms with large mirrors. This allows you to better perceive new material, visually see the result, track the dynamics, quickly correct the mistakes made;
  • direct contact with the trainer. Mentor not only leads by example. He finds an approach to each student. Even if the group includes a sufficiently large number of people, the coach manages to pay attention to everyone, point out mistakes, note the result. The personal praise of the coach is the best incentive to move forward;
  • communication with other students, new acquaintances. It is possible to organize joint leisure activities and even performances.

The only negative is that you need to study at a strictly defined time, so you will have to adjust your schedule.

Tips for beginners

Do you want to learn to dance but don't have a specific preference? Try several directions by visiting trial lessons. Having chosen "your" type of dance, start regular training.

Basic rules to follow for beginners:

  • systematic. If you set out to learn to dance, you should not miss classes without a good reason. Each missed workout is a significant rollback, and, accordingly, a decrease in results;
  • repetition. Everything you learned in training try to repeat at home. In order to better remember the dance sequences, it is advisable to repeat them with a fresh mind - as soon as you come home from training. Spend a few minutes every day repeating - and the result will not be long in coming;
  • additional classes. For a dancer, not only technique and plasticity are important, but also muscle strength, endurance, and stretching. Therefore, it does not increase the performance of strength exercises, visiting the pool, yoga or stretching;
  • development of musicality. Change the way you listen to music tracks. The dancer must pass the music through himself, divide it into separate components, highlight strong and weak beats, pulse, rhythm, bass. In your free time, do exercises to develop musical ear and rhythm;
  • self-development. Learn the maximum information about the chosen direction. Attend master classes, watch the performances of the masters - this inspires you to achieve the best results.

How much does dance training cost?

Another stereotype is that dance training is too expensive. It all depends on your goals. If you plan to participate in competitions, perform at concerts and festivals, you will have to spend money on costumes, shoes, and organizational issues. But if you want to practice for your own pleasure, you only need to pay directly for training. The only thing is that it is advisable to buy special shoes. It is quite expensive and is guaranteed to last for several years.

12 life hacks, to quickly learn how to dance from Mamita Dance


Author: Pavel Gather
Psychologist, Teacher of Salsa and Tango


Author: Pavel Pavel Pavel Pavel, Sons and Tango teacher

At the start, you always want to get a quick result. When it doesn't happen, the hypothesis arises that everything takes time. After a conditionally acceptable time, humility comes to mastering pair dances, which, perhaps, is not given, and I will just do what I learned somehow.

This is the most common story of those who believe that the mere act of attending a pair dance class is enough to learn how to dance.
Absolutely not. If you want to really dance well, you have to make an effort outside of the dance class. A good teacher will definitely be needed, but the initiative should be on your side.

1. Listen to music

The most common and accessible advice that is given already in the first lessons. And it definitely works. Music creates a certain atmosphere of the dance and intuitively you want to move to it. It doesn't matter where you listen to music - in the car, on headphones while walking or doing household chores.

An addition that will help you dance better is your active participation in the music. Sing along, dance or simply beat musical accents with any free parts of the body. In the subway, for example, it is enough to tap out bright moments with your fingers, in the car to sing along with sounds, and at home you can jump for pleasure.

2. Watch videos of good dancers

It's complicated, but also obvious. It’s more difficult, because without recommendations from more experienced dancers, unfortunately, it’s not so easy to find a good quality video on the net (I mean not the resolution quality, but the content itself).

Meaningful video viewing is about building an understanding of HOW dancers make a particular impression on a partner or viewer. Technology is at the heart of everything. Understanding how the pros do it is a big step forward.

It is important to distinguish a show from a disco dance, a staged performance from an improvisation, a stylized dance from an authentic one, etc. Ask for recommendations and dance teachers will always throw off a couple of videos of worthy landmarks.

Tango Z. Showreel.

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3. Dance in salsatecas/milongas/discotheques

A very delicate moment when it is worth coming to the first party. From a technical point of view, most students in 1-3 months have a sufficient set of figures and techniques to come and dance calmly. Psychologically, the same moment can be stretched out for an indefinite time. After all, it is imperative to “not lose face”, “learn more figures” and be sure what to do in case “there is an unfamiliar movement”.

In fact, the partygoers don't really care (except for a small layer of non-professional teachers who want to help inexperienced dancers by treating them as customers in the future). It is important to come and try dancing after a month of classes. You can only with friends or guys from your group. This will be enough to feel the adrenaline and inspiration from the dance.

4. Dance with partners or partners not of your level

The conventional wisdom that you need to practice in groups of your level does not stand up to the test of experience. Perhaps now your eyes widened in surprise, and you want to meaningfully read the phrase again. Yes, you saw everything correctly: when you dance with a partner of your level, you don’t grow anywhere.

It's important to understand that not only does it work one way and you have to dance with cooler dancers, but it works even more effectively the other way. It is no coincidence that teaching pair dances dramatically raises the level of the teacher himself. You have an endless stream of very beginner dancers.

How it works. A more experienced partner needs to be "stretched". It's easy and obvious. With beginners, you need to take more initiative on yourself, see the general pattern of the dance more widely, turn on and insure more, try to be an example and be more careful. The quality of interaction begins to grow significantly. And wonderful partners too.

Dancing with partners of your level doesn't make you grow. Dance with beginners and more advanced dancers

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5. Learn to dance for a partner and for a partner

Turks and Argentines are one of the best partners in the world. In Russia, partners are highly valued. Why? The answer is simple. In Argentina and Turkey, it is not questionable for men to ask another man to lead in one piece or another and give feedback on the quality of the lead. For them, it will be a great shame to hear moralizing from a partner, or even more so to be known in the community as an insecure partner.

In Russia, due to the constant, often far-fetched, opinion that there are more women in pair dances, partners calmly get up and study their partner's part. Such partners then grow into very cool dancers and teachers. In no case do this at parties, only in class. Here we are talking only about the learning strategy. At parties, be yourself.

6. Do not memorize the links

Always try to look deeper and understand the through principle and idea of ​​movement. Understanding what and how is done will make it possible to independently generate any sequences and chips.

Human memory is limited and there will always be a moment when something will escape and your repertoire will be limited by the size of RAM.

In Argentine tango, for example, there are seven levels of movement construction that, when mastered, will allow you to make millions of combinations. And how many dance sequences can you really remember? In rueda, more than 150 figures dance in a rare circle. It's hard to keep more in mind.

7. Develop your body

Many years of experience in teaching couple dance shows that as soon as everyone pairs up in a class, any progress in individual style ends. But it is the individual style that distinguishes everyone at the disco: partners change, and style is always with you.

The body as the main instrument of dance must be very plastic, responsive and emotional. Surprisingly, not all pair dance schools have a general physical warm-up. It is vital to tune the body and understand how it works.

You can always train extra and concentrate more on the basic steps, as their true value is as body work. The sequence of steps is, in fact, the simplest thing that can be in pair dancing. The quality of individual performance determines the craftsmanship.

8. Try on the images of inspiring dancers

A psychological life hack for those who have already mastered the steps, but still feel that there is not enough brightness and drive. Most are terribly afraid of being someone else's "clone". Here the action is the same as under the influence of hypnosis - the more you resist, the more you plunge into an altered state of consciousness.

With a high degree of probability, you are already dancing like someone else's "clone". A meaningful fitting of someone else's image is that you mentally take the image of the one who inspires you (inspiration is critical in this case) and "put on" yourself. Then you start dancing and trying to feel in general how it is to be able, for example, to be the best partner or the sexiest partner in a disco. This is much more difficult than it seems. But it works extremely efficiently.

9. Dance to offbeat music

Habitual rhythms keep you tight. Tango salon or speedy timba leave little room for experimentation and fantasy. Pattern dancing is always noticeable and is reserved for beginners.

The truly new is born outside of the usual. Look for places to experiment. If there is no place, organize self-training. The main thing is not to get carried away, because music determines the style. We bring something new to pair dances, rather than trying to change them.

Search, improvise, don't be afraid to go beyond, develop in different directions, be inspired by music atypical for the style

10. Try your hand at basic dance directions

dances exist according to their own non-choreographic laws.

This is the deepest delusion, which has turned into a ceiling for the qualitative development of partner dances. After all, all professional dancers, for example, in salsa or bachata, build their ideas on the basic choreographic principles.

Do not think that choreography is only applicable on stage. Any meaningful movement of the body can be choreographic. In general, try classical or modern choreography. Basically, hip-hop can work too.

11. Look for battle sensations

Pair dances return us to an active position of manifestation of our body. As in the days of our ancient ancestors, we impress the members of the opposite sex by how dexterous, hardy, sexy, etc. we are. Modern laws of the jungle in the entourage of big cities.

If you look around the dance floor, it becomes clear that the majority are clearly herbivores (not in the sense of vegetarians, but in relation to those around them). I am sure that predators are always more interesting in terms of the attractiveness of the image - try to find a counterbalance among herbivores, for example, a cat woman or a lion man.

The conversation is about an internal position, not about aggressiveness. Lability and lack of control are inherent in adolescents, and not in adult self-sufficient people.

Accordingly, even a training or friendly battle gives, on the one hand, practical skills - to make a bright sequence of movements, bring an idea to a climax, show a spectacular feature, on the other hand, develops the psychological basis of the dance - self-confidence, resistance to extraneous attention, self-control and self-control in complex elements.

12. Communicate with professionals

The environment shapes the internal position. Basically, real passionaries of the dance community are ready to openly talk, discuss and support the development of dance in every possible way. Universal principles and the ideas they articulate have a much longer and more practical perspective than meets the eye.

Accept that, for example, behind the words "listen to your partner" is not only a beautiful metaphor, but also a practical skill to literally listen to your partner. At the same time, always treat every thought, even the most respected teacher, as a private opinion.

Your skill will lie in finding the scope of the idea even in conflicting opinions. Most often, the contradiction is speculative and the truth lies in the angle of perception or situationality.

Your dancing growth will stop sooner or later. This can happen at the level of three basic steps or years of experience in teaching and show performances. Regardless of your level, the suggested 12 life hacks can get you off the ground and greatly accelerate your dance growth. There is no way here without your motivation and activity. Take your dance development into your own hands.

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