Whether you are at a convention or learning another competition dance, picking up choreography is very important for dancers. For some, picking up choreography comes easy and for others, it can often be difficult. Here are some of MTD tips on picking up choreography quickly.
Tip #1: Calm Down
It is completely normal to get overwhelmed while learning choreography especially if it is more difficult than what you are used to. Instead of becoming overwhelmed take a deep breath and try to reset your mind with positive thoughts. Remember that you are talented and that dance shouldn’t be easy because challenges make you grow. Pro-tip: after you have gathered your thoughts, if you can, move near someone who seems to be grasping the choreography. Having another reference will help in the learning process.
Tip #2: Chunk It Off
Instead of viewing the dance as a whole, imagine the dance functioning in pieces. By separating the dance into sections, it will make the dance much easier to learn. To separate the dance into pieces, determine if there are any music changes or style changes that would indicate a change in section.
Tip #3: Big Picture First
When you are learning material quickly, it can often be difficult to pick up the details. Before you attempt to pick up all of the small movements focus on the big picture of the dance. By focusing on the big picture, it means you are picking out the major movements such as leaps and turns and transitions. Once you understand the big picture, you can then start incorporating in the details.
Tip #4: Watch Before Questioning
Dancers often struggle most with picking up choreography when they try to do it as it is being demonstrated. By doing this, you are unable to fully concentrate on the instructions being given which often can lead to a lack of understanding. Before attempting any of the movements, watch the instructor several times. Additionally, do not ask questions until you have been able to physically run through it multiple times. Pro-tip: If you can’t see the instructor fully, try to spot a student who seems to have the accurate choreography and learn off of them until you can move to a spot where the instructor is visible.
Tip #5: Repeat in Your Mind
The best way to learn choreography quickly is by reviewing it over and over in your mind. Sometimes the moves may be in your body, but not in your mind. Thus, by reviewing it in your mind you are connecting the movements both physically and psychologically. So, if you ever have to stand on the side while others are rehearsing go through the combination in your mind.