Here are some tips to help you learn choreography faster so you don’t fall behind.
Did your dance instructor just announce that you’re starting a new dance routine? Putting unique step combinations to new music is fun, but the trick is to keep pace with the rest of the class. Here are some tips to help you learn choreography faster so you don’t fall behind.
Watch and Do Before Asking Questions
When your teacher stands in front of the class to demonstrate a new step, watch carefully, mark it slowly and gradually speed it up. If your teacher starts to move on before you grasp the step, ask for clarification.
Learn Choreography in Chunks
It’s much easier to remember three sentences consisting of 30 words than a list of 30 random words. Choreography is much the same, with footwork and arm movements put together to form four- or eight-count steps. Combine these steps to create “phrases” that connect logically and tell a story, making them easier to remember.
Practice at Home
When you get home after dance class, immediately review any new steps you learned that day. Take a 10-minute break and go over them again. Take a shower, and then mark the steps or repeat them in your mind once more. Review the choreography yet again the following day, and at least one more time before your next lesson. This repetition outside of class helps new steps sink in so you can move on to new material faster.
Don’t Rely on External Cues
During class, you may associate certain steps with your position in the room or a vocal cue from your teacher. The problem is once you’re on stage, these cues don’t exist. That’s why you must create personal reminders. If you tend to forget the same transition every time you run a dance, practice associating the final steps of one phrase with the start of the next. Then, you’ll have an easier time recalling the sequence no matter where you’re dancing.
Get a Copy of the Music
Assuming your routine isn’t a cappella, you can listen to the song while running steps at home. This helps you find music cues to learn the choreography faster. It’s important to get a copy of the song from your instructor to ensure you have the right cut and speed for practicing.
Take Notes and Videos
Write down step names and sequences for each new routine you’re learning to help you practice correctly. Also, if dance class ends before you fully grasp a new step, ask your teacher to perform it once slowly and again at full speed. Take a recording on your phone so you can view and practice the move later.
The bottom line is to never give up! Each time you start a new dance routine, it becomes easier to learn more and increasingly complex choreography.
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