| || || | When choreographing a dance it can be extremely helpful to score your music before you step into rehearsal. Scoring is a way to visually represent rhythm. Follow these steps to make your job that much easier.
- Listen to the music repeatedly. Do not begin scoring until you are familiar with the rhythm and its fluctuations.
- Count the bassline to determine the numerical rhythm
- Mark each beat with a dot. Mark each new measure with a slash.
- Above every 4 measures, make notes about the vocals/instrumentations so you can match sound to rhythm.
- Begin choreographing.
How to Choreograph to Music
Choreography, by definition, is composing a sequence of dance steps, often to music. Starting from your perception and interpretation of a song, choreography can take you anywhere. It can enhance, as well as compliment, the musician's intent with a song. If done a certain, choreography can put a completely different twist on a song. Here you will gather the tools to control the kind of choreography you want to introduce to the world!
To start with, you need to decide which genre of music is for you. If you like to dance fast, choose an upbeat pop song. If you like to do more of a crunk style, choose hip hop. Once you know the genre, pick a favorite song. Make sure to pick one you are inspired to move to! Now that you have your music, you are in motion.
Listen to the song several times in a row. It's important to take into account the message and meaning of a song.
Get a notebook just for choreography. As you are listening to the song, take notes. Then turn the page, and record the results of the next step!
Start moving. Move to the beats of the song, move to how it makes you feel. When you think something is inspiring or particularly good, make sure to write it down in your notebook.
You'll soon find you have written down lots of steps. Try to mix and match the steps, seeing what goes best at a certain point in the song. You will start to feel the story in the movements, and understand how it's all a balancing act.
Make a record and note of how you are combining the steps. To make it easier on yourself, you can number the original steps. On the routines, you can simply jot down the number you've assigned to a particular step. This will make sure you can be constantly in motion at the same time as you are recording your dance art!
Once you have put all the moves together for the full song, rehearse it down until you know it by heart. Make sure your dancers have perfected it as well. Once you have practiced and perfected your dance, share it! Talent shows, showcases, and small clubs are places where you can let your art shine as you start on your journey as a choreographer.
If you've found that you truly have a passion for choreography, you can do it for a living! Choreographers are needed in every town in the country. High schools and universities have needs for choreographers in the form of dance teachers and cheerleader coordinators. Professional sports teams need them for their cheerleading troupes. Corporations often hire corporate choreographers. Production and advertising companies often are in need of your services. Night clubs, resorts, and gyms often find themselves in need as well. If you are willing to travel, try big amusement parks like Disney and Six Flags. Going to Broadway in New York City, or taking a position on a cruise ship...those are just some of the opportunities where choreographers are much in demand. If you have a passion for it,
Step It Up and Dance: Man in the Mirror
Illustration from Clyde Mendes column at Salsa TV, Singapore