Choreoghraphing a dance

Steps to Choreographing your own dance

1.      Find a theme

This is a step in Choreography that often gets left out. It is very important to make your dance have a meaning or theme. This theme may be a story of something that happened in your life or someone else’s. A theme can come from everyday objects like bouncy balls, video games, or a leaf falling from a tree. Browse through a book of poems to see if any inspire you. If your mind can think it, it could become a dance.     

2.      Find music

After you have discovered your theme, find music to match. It is important to not look for the words of the music. You do not want your music to dominate your dance. For example, taking the story of the music and making that the theme for your dance will make it more about your song than your dance. Top 40 songs are often not the music you should be listening for.


Theme: Romeo and Juliet

Song: Taylor Swift “Love Story”


Theme: Romeo and Juliet 

Song: When looking for a song for this theme you may find something dark and dreary to portray the tragedy of the story or you could locate a song that is more uplifting if you are looking to portray the joy of first love.

3.      Listen to your music choice and visualize the dance

Once you have discovered your music become familiar with the entire song. Pay attention to the different parts of the song. There may be slow, fast, soft, or loud sections. Consider each of these sections and what they could portray about your theme.  

4.      Experiment with movement

In creative/contemporary dance improvisation is an activity used to create new movement. Improvisation is simply turning on the music and letting your body move in a way that the music and the theme make you feel. As you move pay attention to the movement you like and begin to put together a pattern.

5.      Begin putting together patterns from the movement you liked

When you start to put together patterns it is important to not take tricks (leaps, splits, turns, etc.) and line them up right next to each other. Include small movements like the turn of the head, a roll of the shoulders, or the swing of the arm. While these are not the movements that wow the audience it makes for a good contrast so that the large movements like the leaps stand out (keep in mind that a dancer can make a turn of the head look amazing as well).

6.      Put together your dance!

Take your patterns and match them to your dance. You can start from the beginning of the music and create movement in synch with the progression of the music. You can create patterns first and discover where you would like to put them within the dance according to the sections of the music that you had discovered before. Use your own creativity and create something you have never seen before. While movement you have seen from another dance can be included in your patterns, be aware that you don’t want to steal someone else’s choreography. It is unfair to them and it may not fit your theme and music like it fit theirs.



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