But once you have a song and pick out the section you want to choreograph to, listen to it.
And don’t just listen – listen with intent.
Follow certain sounds in the music to see what you want to dance to. 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.
If you need to cut your music, do that first. Having to wait or skip around to different parts of it can interrupt the flow you are envisioning.
Step 2: Get inspired!
Perhaps this isn’t just a “Step 2,” but something we can be practicing every day.
There is inspiration for movement everywhere.
I don’t just mean in YouTube videos. I mean literally – everywhere.
Notice how leaves sway in the wind.
A stranger’s subtle mannerisms.
The twists in a curly fry or bounciness in boba ball.
How the waves in the ocean swell and crash.
The way your dog stretches in the morning.
The world offers infinite inspiration if you decide to be inspired by it.
You can watch all the videos you want, and piece together your favorite moves from your favorite choreographers… but in order to really make something of your own, try and come up with your own ingredients.
Our Dancer Ranter gives tips on how to create unique movement in freestyle and choreography.
Step 4: Start piecing combos together via chunking
You probably decided to choreograph to the song because you noticed certain sections that you thought would look dope on the body.
Is it a climax? A breakdown? An instrumental interlude? Or even like, a split second bass combo?
Whatever it is, start from the part that you’re super into. You don’t have to choreograph chronologically from beginning, middle, and end.
You can choreograph in chunks that come easier, then build the rest of the piece around it.
If you’ve freestyled to it enough, then you will already have a good idea of how you want to shape the piece.
When you have all the movement down, piece it together by setting those in-between sections.
It’s important to not throw away those sections, either! Just because it’s not a crazy breakbeat doesn’t mean it doesn’t have potential to look amazing. Sometimes it’s those slower moments that are the most memorable. Create those movements with intent!
Step 5: Polish your execution of the moves
A lot of us have the problem of making choreography that looks good in our heads.. But not our bodies.
At that point, it’s a matter of practice. You have to make sure your body is capable of following what your mind envisioned it to do.
Some refer to this as “cleaning” or “setting,” which involves looking at certain pictures of your body, pathways between points, or drilling quick combinations.