“To dance is to be out of yourself. Larger, more beautiful, more powerful… This is power, it is glory on earth and it is yours for the taking” - Agnes De Mille

If you are an aspiring dancer, regardless of the type of dancing you want to do, it’s only a matter of time until you are good enough to create a dance routine.

You may be wondering how to make your own dance choreography, if so, keep reading for our guide on where to start as well as tips from famous choreographers on how to make the most of it.

The best Dance tutors available
Kelly
5
5 (12 review/s)
Kelly
R280
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson free!
Danae
5
5 (12 review/s)
Danae
R150
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson free!
Sandile
5
5 (3 review/s)
Sandile
R350
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson free!
Chris
5
5 (3 review/s)
Chris
R350
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson free!
Lauri
5
5 (2 review/s)
Lauri
R160
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson free!
Niveshan
Niveshan
R260
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson free!
Suné-lee
5
5 (5 review/s)
Suné-lee
R350
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson free!
Emile
5
5 (7 review/s)
Emile
R150
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson free!
Kelly
5
5 (12 review/s)
Kelly
R280
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson free!
Danae
5
5 (12 review/s)
Danae
R150
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson free!
Sandile
5
5 (3 review/s)
Sandile
R350
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson free!
Chris
5
5 (3 review/s)
Chris
R350
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson free!
Lauri
5
5 (2 review/s)
Lauri
R160
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson free!
Niveshan
Niveshan
R260
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson free!
Suné-lee
5
5 (5 review/s)
Suné-lee
R350
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson free!
Emile
5
5 (7 review/s)
Emile
R150
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson free!
Let's go!

Create a Dance Routine: Choose a Dance Style

Your first step is to decide on the style of dancing you want to learn how to choreograph. Choosing a style that you are already familiar with will make things easier

  • Ballroom, the waltz, the tango, rock ‘n’ roll
  • Latin, salsa, samba, rumba
  • Modern jazz dance
  • Folk dance
  • Flamenco
  • African
  • The Lindy hop, foxtrot
  • Latin dance
  • Bachata
  • Kizomba
  • Quickstep
  • Contemporary or modern dance
  • West coast swing dance
  • Classical ballet
  • Tap
  • Charleston
  • Oriental dance
Which are the best dance styles for creating choreography?
Before you can start creating dance routines, you need to choose a style first. (Source: marcianofab)

Of course, you could blend more than one style of dance. However, bear in mind that you will need to master two types. If you are up to the challenge, you could try fusing jazz and oriental to create a dance routine that is truly unique.

Discover more about learning choreography.

How to Create Choreography: Choosing Music

If you want to know how to create your own choreography, you need to pick music that suits your style of dance and means something to you. Even famous choreographers will tell you that you can’t just randomly pick any song to create a dance routine.

When it comes to how to create choreography with music, remember that certain genres are made for dancing.

Of course, there is also room to fuse styles and even break some rules when you create a dance routine.

If you’re wondering how to make your own dance choreography, you could even add hip hop to classical, the rule is to be creative within certain guidelines.

How to Make Your Own Dance Choreography: Study the Music

If you want to know how to create choreography, follow the advice of famous choreographers and study the music you want to use. You should listen to it until you know it off by heart if you want to dance to it.

Why not make a list of the emotions that are evoked in you as you listen to it?

When it comes to how to make your own choreography, even the lyrics of a song are important especially if they tell a story or have significance to you.

Focusing on the lyrics will help you immensely if you are looking for how to create choreography.

One method that famous choreographers use to do this is to analyse the song structure and break it down. Here’s an example of a typical pop-rock combination to consider if you want to know how to make your own dance choreography.

  • Intro: 2 beats of 8.
  • Verse 1: 4 beats of 8.
  • Chorus: 2 beats of 8.
  • Verse 2: 4 beats of 8.
  • Chorus: 2 beats of 8.
  • Bridge: 3 beats of 8.
  • Chorus x 2: 4 beats of 8.
  • Outro: 1 beat of 8

When it comes to how to create choreography, focusing on the stresses in the music, is an important stage in the process.

The best Dance tutors available
Kelly
5
5 (12 review/s)
Kelly
R280
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson free!
Danae
5
5 (12 review/s)
Danae
R150
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson free!
Sandile
5
5 (3 review/s)
Sandile
R350
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson free!
Chris
5
5 (3 review/s)
Chris
R350
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson free!
Lauri
5
5 (2 review/s)
Lauri
R160
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson free!
Niveshan
Niveshan
R260
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson free!
Suné-lee
5
5 (5 review/s)
Suné-lee
R350
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson free!
Emile
5
5 (7 review/s)
Emile
R150
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson free!
Kelly
5
5 (12 review/s)
Kelly
R280
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson free!
Danae
5
5 (12 review/s)
Danae
R150
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson free!
Sandile
5
5 (3 review/s)
Sandile
R350
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson free!
Chris
5
5 (3 review/s)
Chris
R350
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson free!
Lauri
5
5 (2 review/s)
Lauri
R160
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson free!
Niveshan
Niveshan
R260
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson free!
Suné-lee
5
5 (5 review/s)
Suné-lee
R350
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson free!
Emile
5
5 (7 review/s)
Emile
R150
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson free!
Let's go!

How to Create Your Own Choreography with Improvisation

If you want to know how to create your own choreography, then knowing how to improvise will be key.

Can you improvise choreography?
You can always improvise, but it helps to have an arsenal of dance moves at your disposal. (Source: Pexels)

In oriental dance, for instance, it is common to form a circle at the end of a session for improvisation.

The wonderful thing about practising how to create your own choreography is that you can allow your unique expression to flow especially when you are improvising. Famous photographers will tell you to follow both your rhythm and your emotions without feeling trapped in any one technique.

Something else that all famous choreographers emphasise is to film yourself dancing.

When reviewing your videos, highlight the parts that you like and note the time of the piece in the video that you want to use.

Write down your ideas to help you remember them, and consider using visual aids to help you.

If you’re looking for simple choreography routines, you could find them here.

Put the Steps Together

Remember that there will be gaps while you are still learning how to create your own choreography, but don’t worry about those for the time being.

Instead, practise the parts that you already have, perfect those moments and then film them to help you remember them.

There are many tips and tricks to memorise your dance routines.

Fill in the Gaps

As you practise your routines, you should improvise during your gaps. If you are struggling with ideas on how to fill them, check out your original video footage in case you missed any moves that you could still use.

Keep filming and reviewing your improvisation as there could be bits that you could use in your transitions.   parts.

If you need more help with your dance routines, consider online choreography tutorials.

Advice for Creating Choreography

How can you learn to dance?
A private tutor can help you put your dance moves into a dance routine. (Source: Skitterphoto)

Whether it’s hip hop, modern jazz, hip hop, or ballroom, if you want to know how to create your own choreography, here are further tips to keep in mind:

  • Warm-up properly: warming up is essential to prevent injury.
  • Focus on both the beginning and the end. In the beginning, make sure you grab the audience’s attention immediately. To conclude, make sure you leave a good (and lasting) impression.
  • Make sure you vary your quick and calm movements. This is pleasing to the audience and will also save your energy for moves like jumps and spins.
  • Use the music and keep it simple. There is no need to show off everything you can do at once. Only include technical sections that go with the music. Similar to the rests that you find in music, moments of calm or pause in a dance routine can sometimes express more than the mid-air splits or multiple spins.
  • You can also use the same sequence many times: just like music always has a chorus, you can duplicate sections or sequences multiple times. This gives the audience an opportunity to get familiar with the routine. There are many famous choreographers who like to bookend their performances with a matching introduction and finish.
  • There should be no half-hearted movements included in your routine. Before you include anything and everything, make sure that each movement is considered and has a good reason for being included.
  • Don’t ever mime the lyrics: there’s nothing more distracting and unprofessional than a dancer who lip syncs or sings to the music.
  • Use the space: regardless of the size of your space, make sure that you make the most of it, especially if you are the only dancer on the floor. When you use every inch of the space that you can, it will ensure a dynamic routine and keep the audience captive. Don’t forget to use the right steps to get around.

Remember that dance is a performing art, so make sure that everything you practise is not only for your benefit, but also for the enjoyment of the audience.  

If you're interested in studying more about dancing, there are many talented, private dance tutors on Superprof worth considering.

You could benefit from in-person or online tutorials and even group classes. Each type of teaching has its own pros and cons, but when you carefully consider your preferred style, budget, and schedule, you will know which one is right for you.

Private in-person tutorials and just between you and your tutor. Lessons are tailored to your unique needs which is why they are the most expensive classes.

While online lessons are usually better suited to academic teaching, they are also available for more practical subjects like dancing, too. Online tutorial rates can be much more competitive.

Group lessons are also less costly per hour because everyone is contributing to the tutor’s time. Of course, you will not benefit from the same individual attention, you will gain when it comes to dancing in sync with a company and perfecting your duets and timing. You could always consider a group class and take a few private in-person lessons to help you through any sticky bits where you require more focused attention.   

If you are serious about dancing, creating your own routines will be extremely rewarding, just remember not to give up when things are difficult. When it comes to dancing, practice makes perfect.

>

The platform that connects private tutors and students

1st lesson free

Enjoyed this article? Leave a rating!

5.00 (1 rating/s)
Loading...

Niki

Niki is a content writer from Cape Town, South Africa, who is passionate about words, strategic communication and using words to help create and maintain brand personas. Niki has a PR and marketing background, but her happiest place is when she is bringing a story to life on a page.