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Choreography Tips

Choreography Tips: Overcoming Choreographer’s Block

Just like writers and painters, dance choreographers hit artistic blocks once in a while. If you’ve experienced this lack of inspiration while creating a performance, you know how frustrating it is! It can be especially stressful to have choreographer’s block if you’re on a tight schedule with a recital or competition coming up.¬†However, there are a number of ways that you can get those creative juices flowing and start planning plies and box turns again. Here are a few choreography tips and tricks to help you create newly inspired choreography.

Find New Beats

If your jazz students do a final number to “All That Jazz” every year at the recital, chances are you’re going to lose momentum while choreographing after a few seasons. After all, how many different routines can one person come up with for the same song?

When this type of block hits, the easiest way to overcome it is to simply pick new music. Try not to choose a song that you’ve done before. Instead, look for something fresh that you’ve never worked with. You’ll be amazed at how naturally the steps flow when the music inspires you.

Get a Fresh Pair of Eyes

Sometimes the moves seem disjointed because you’ve spent too much time in your own head. When this happens, ask someone to give you feedback on your progress.

“I have people come in throughout the process. Friends, colleagues, some who aren’t even dancers,” Amy O’Neal, a dancer and choreographer, explained to Dance magazine. “It helps you get out of your own head, whether you agree with their opinions or not.”

You may want to turn to other dance teachers or even advanced students. A fresh pair of eyes can help you see why the steps aren’t working and get you back on the right track.

Clear Your Mind

Sometimes you just need to step away from the studio, especially if you’ve been working for a long time.

“Take personal time, even if it’s just 20 minutes,” teacher and choreographer Rhonda Miller suggested to Dance Teacher magazine. “Have dinner, read a book, get a cup of coffee – anything that has nothing to do with dance.”

Don’t think about what you’re working on while you take a break. After you’ve relaxed a bit, return to the studio with your fresh mindset and jump back into choreographing with a new perspective.