“If you look at a dancer in silence, his or her body will be the music. If you turn the music on, that body will become an extension of what you’re hearing.” - Judith Jamison

It takes skill to learn a dance routine. First, you will need to access your kinaesthetic memory to help you with movement and repetition! When you learn dance steps for beginners, you will need to master each movement before you move on to the next.

In a choreographed dance class, it is likely that your teacher will break down your routines into individual steps to make it easier for you, and this is the best way to learn any new dance routine.

In this article, you will find ideas for dancing moves for beginners as well as tips for memorising choreographed dance. You’ll find out more about analysing music, memorising beats, focusing, learning basic steps, associating moves with mental images, and recording choreography in writing.

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Music for Best Dance Choreography  

Regardless of your chosen style of dancing, you should always analyse your music piece before attempting to apply choreographed dance moves to it. This is a good tip for anyone who wants to know how to learn dance steps easily.

So whether it is jazz, ballet, hip hop, or salsa, dancing and music go hand in hand. Even when you learn dance steps for beginners, remember that feeling out your music first is key!

You certainly will not need to be an expert in music theory, but when you listen to the music that goes with your style of dancing, your brain will begin to associate the different rhythms you will need. This is how to learn dance steps easily!

The best dance choreography includes much preparation. To do this, when you are listening to the music beforehand, take note of the stresses in the music and focus on the rhythm. Remember that different types of music have different rhythms. Listen out for the different types of instruments that are used and bear in mind that certain sounds are better suited to certain dance styles.

Even when it comes to dancing moves for beginners, these are best learnt when you are familiar with the music upfront!

Discover other exciting aspects of learning choreography.

Dancing Moves for Beginners

Even those who have the best dance choreography talent in the world had to start somewhere! Regardless of whether they were learning the waltz, tango, or cha-cha, they had to first learn dance steps for beginners. Don’t make the mistake of so many other dancers by trying to advance too quickly. Learning the basic steps slowly will help you to progress with confidence.

How can you learn choreography?
You should always start with the basic steps before moving onto more complex routines. (Source: skeeze)

For instance, try and learn these basic steps first:

  • Right foot back.
  • Left foot back.
  • Right foot out to the side.
  • Left foot in.
  • Right foot back down.
  • Left foot out to the side.
  • Right foot in.
  • Right foot back down.

Remember that if you are dancing with a partner, you will also need to mirror their movements, which is challenging, but also helpful!

When you are learning dancing moves for beginners, it is wise to stick to simple choreography to support your progress until you are ready to advance.

Focus, Focus, Focus

How can you improve your dancing?
When learning a dance routine, you need to focus. (Source: allannyima)

It may seem obvious but there is an important link between the best dance choreography and the ability to focus. In fact, not only will you need to focus, but if you intend to master choreographed dance, you will need to memorise dance steps too.

Another tip to learn dance steps for beginners is to hold back from trying to practise too soon!

This may sound counterintuitive, but when your dance tutor is showing you something, it is better to watch attentively and then break it down in your head before you attempt to try the steps yourself.

At this point, do not be shy to ask your dance tutor to repeat any steps that you do not yet understand.

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Memorise the Beats

If you want help with how to learn dance steps easily, memorise the beats!

In Latin, ballroom, or urban dance classes, you will find that most music is counted over 8 beats. If you are learning dancing moves for beginners, you will certainly benefit from counting beats along with your movement. You can expect that your tutor will count along to help you. When you remember to associate different moves with different beats, it will not take long before you are able to glide across the floor while counting silently to yourself!

Counting beats is one of the best dance choreography practices available to ensure that everyone in a group dance class is synchronised. The good news is that as you keep practising, counting beats will become an automatic skill to assist you.

Focus on One Movement at a Time

Remember that learning in increments is how to learn dance steps easily. Break down your movements and focus on one thing at a time.

When you learn dance steps for beginners, you can expect to have individual lessons on:

  • Arm placement
  • Moving legs and feet
  • Knowing how to direct your head
  • General body orientation

Many tutors will first teach arm and leg movements and then add in arms only once you have the hang of the steps. This is a great way to learn especially if you begin by focusing on your legs.

It may feel like a long-suffering process, to begin with, but if you persevere it will not be too long before you are able to make your own dance routines.

Associate Your Moves with an Image

How can you improve your dancing?
Consider filming yourself when you dance so you can watch the footage back. (Source: Bernard-Verougstraete)

Try to imagine something that your dance move reminds you of as this is memory technique will help you to remember your moves and is one of the best dance choreography tools available.

Film Yourself Dancing

Be it ballet, ballroom, or the foxtrot, having someone film you as you practise will help you enormously to improve upon your style and weaknesses!

A tutor will often use film footage to assist in providing you with feedback. By replaying or slowing down certain segments you will be able to learn a lot from yourself, especially when combined with the expert advice of your tutor.

Even if you do not have enough time to practise at home, try to always make an effort to watch your videos. In fact, try to study the choreography every day so that you can be sure to remember it when it counts – on stage!

If you are unable to meet with your dance tutor face-to-face, check these ideas for learning choreography online.

Writing Down Choreography

Admittedly, this technique is not for everyone but many learners have been known to benefit from actually writing down their choreography to help them remember it. If this sounds like something that could help you, watch your video and write down the steps.

There’s no prescribed way for taking notes, but here are a few shorthand ideas that could help you:

  • R for right
  • L for leg
  • A for arm (LA and RA, for example)
  • F for foot (LF and RF)
How can you become a better dancer?
Make sure that you write down your choreography so you don't forget it. (Source: Mountainbeehive)

You could even write down the names of each step or move or draw stick figures or flow diagrams to help you. Of course, you’ll have to remember the names of the steps too. Whichever way you look at it, dancing is an excellent way to sharpen your memory!

You have heard it before: practice makes perfect!

If you are looking for the best way to memorise your choreography, keep practising. Before long it will be cemented into both your memory and your limbs!  

If you keep at it, you will notice that it will become easier and easier to remember your dance routines, and strangely enough, you could even remember certain ones for years to come. The memory can be funny like that!

One of the best ways to learn anything new, and most certainly dancing is to embark on a one-on-one tutoring journey. Superprof offers dance tutors who specialise in every type of dancing style imaginable. The website is easy to use and will even show you whether there is someone located near to you or not. Not only that, but tutor credentials are pre-verified for your peace of mind and you could also benefit from a free starter lesson.

Also, you have the option of group classes, individual lessons or even learning online. Of course, all of these have their own pros and cons, it’s up to you, your budget, location, and unique goals. It may sound obvious but make sure you find a tutor who is going to teach you the style of dance that you are interested in, there is no point in finding a ballet teacher if you are set on hip hop!

Learning choreographed dance for beginners will take dedication and practice, so choose a tutor who you relate to, as ideally, you will be together for a long, and hopefully happy, time!

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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.