So you've entered the own choreography competition and now need help putting together a routine?
Check out our guide below to help ...
1. Find your main intention and inspiration
What's driving you to create this particular routine? Is there a piece of music that you love? Is there a story that you wish to tell? Do you love a particular genre of dance? Maybe there is even a theme that you really want to pursue?
Find your reason and passion first.
2. Plan out the essentials
So you've found your main focus and now need to start planning out the basic elements.
a) What genre is the dance? Ballet, Jazz, Tap?
b) What music are you going to use?
c) What type of costume will you wear?
d) Are you going to use a prop?
3. Plan the of the rough direction of the routine
Sit down, close your eyes, listen to the music and think about the routine. What can you see when picturing the dance? Is there a part of the music that sounds like you will be travelling down the centre of the stage? Or perhaps you picture floor work in the final section of the routine? Do you see yourself starting on or off stage? Was there a build up in the music and you want to place your favourite jump there?
Roughly plan the routine by making notes, like below:
0:00 to 0:32 - floorwork, act out lyrics, start downstage
0:32 to 0:52 - travel to prompt side of stage, grande jete on accent
0:52 to 1:42 - travel in circle around stage and include turning jete into roll on floor
1:42 to 2:30 - travel towards the audience and stop for about 32 counts dance break, introduce prop
2:30 - end position holding prop up
4. Create actual movements for your piece
You now have the main direction for the piece, now you need to create each step and combination of steps to choreograph your routine.
Not sure which movements to use? Try improvising to the music first. What type of movements did you perform? Try to use this as a base for choosing your steps and combination of steps.
You may also consider using steps and movements from your dance classes, exam syllabus work, or perhaps movement from your group routines. Try not to copy exact phrases of movement but take bits and pieces and add your own flair.
5. Check your routine
You finished your routine, congrats!
Now it's time to go back and check your routine to ensure that you are happy with it and that it's ready for your competition.
a) Have you included levels? Movement on the floor, standing, and jumping?
b) Have you used the stage? Remember that you're dance should use the performance space even if your practice space is smaller.
c) Do you feel that the music, costume and movements all match and represent your intention and genre?
d) Are you showing the correct dance moves for your chosen style? For example, if it's a Jazz routine is there enough Jazz content such as jumps, kicks, turns and isolations?
e) Have you shown a variety of steps? Repetition can be used but be sure to have included a variation of steps and movement in your routine.
f) Have you put your personal stamp on it? Does it look like you've replicated your teacher's work or have you created some movements and combinations of your own?
g) Is the dance a suitable standard for you? It's important to choreograph to match you standard of technique. Remember to show movement and steps that you can execute safely and with correct technique.