Being in a dance class can sometimes be tricky. The nerves that come along while trying something new, wanting to not look like you are very confused, and of course the trying-not-to-sound-like you’re-fighting-for-your-life-by-breathing-too-heavily (I might be speaking from experience on that one). However, there is one hack to all of this, and that is picking up on choreography fast. Being able to pick up choreo is something you can actually train for and get better at over time. So even if you feel defeated in some classes, don’t give up! Here are some tips to get you picking up any choreography fast!
1. Pick a good spot
Picking a good spot where you can clearly see yourself and the instructor is the absolute ideal for picking up choreography easy. Clearly seeing the teacher (in person and in the mirror) is a great way to connect your dancing to theirs. When they are showing you a section of the choreo, you are able to copy them instantly and see how to match your movements to theirs through the mirror. I know that if you are new you are more inclined to stand in the back of the class, but I encourage you to take a step forward and challenge yourself. You will definitely learn a lot better and faster!
2. Mess up, then move on
The instructor is there to control the setting and teach you the pace of certain moves, but sometimes that can be difficult to keep up with everything. You might be in class and get stuck on this one section, or just can’t seem to pick up that one move, this is completely normal! We have a tendency to be fixated on trying to properly execute that one move and we get distracted and don’t pay attention to the rest of the piece. Don’t overthink it, just go for it, give it your best shot and keep dancing. Over time your body will pick up what you need and you will execute it. You can always go over it in between instructions.
3. Go full out
One thing I want to emphasize is that by practicing the choreo full out each time with music, you will be able to pick it up faster than by just marking it. If you go about marking each move, you are underestimating how much energy you’re going to need in addition to your body’s placement to complete the piece. You will find yourself falling behind, lost on the timing and not knowing where to go next. So each time your teacher plays the music, go full out, you will remember the moves a lot better and by the end you will look like a pro!
4. Listen to your teacher
This. This is the one. This is the one I will always say when asked about anything choreography related, listen to your teacher! Your teacher is here to help you, let you know what you need to work on, what works, or how to go about a certain move. They will teach you about rhythm, the counting and what to do to make your life easier in class. They are there to help, so next time your teacher gives you (the collective class or you personally) a tip, take it into consideration. You will pick up choreo a lot faster with their personal tips and tricks in class! 😃😃
5. Don’t Dance and just watch.
Now this may sound a little counter-intuitive, but I saved this one for last because I think it’s important to keep in mind. Don’t dance and just watch. I get it; don’t dance in a dance class??? I’m sorry—what?? Understandable, that’s confusing. However, sometimes the details your eyes catch are better watched than explained to you. For example, doing the same piece of choreography to one song (ex. Woman by Doja Cat) would be differently executed than by doing it to another song (ex. Brutal by Olivia Rodrigo) You would notice the differences by watching your teacher execute each piece differently and inevitably you will pick up the differences. So take a moment to catch your breath and really watch what the choreographer is doing. Not only will you pick up the choreography fast, you’ll learn to emulate the mood, timing, and perform accordingly!!
Picking up choreography fast can feel impossible at first, but over time with practicing and keeping these tips in mind you will be picking up each move like a pro! Next time you are in class try one of these out and see how it works for you! Though this blog was helpful? Be sure to share it with friends and family, I’m sure they will love it! 😎 🤙. If you are starting your dancing journey be sure to do it with STU Arts Dance, we have some pretty cool absolute beginner & beginner Dance classes for you to check out here, and check us out on how to get registered here!!
See ya out there jamming with us!
The STU Arts Dance Team.