As a choreographer I have to come up with new and interesting ideas for dances year after year. People often wonder where I come up with ideas for all of the routines I choreograph so I thought I would share a little bit about that process.
The process has changed over the 15 years I have been teaching. When I first started teaching dance, iTunes and YouTube were not around so the ease in which I can find music now was not available to me at the time. I would often just purchase several CD’s (at approximately $15-$20 a piece) and listen through them all crossing my fingers in hopes that one song on the CD would be a good song to create a routine too. I would often be left with a pile of CD’s that didn’t have any good songs to dance to.
As iTunes became popular I would then use the search feature on iTunes and type in words that I thought could inspire a good dance routine. By typing in the words “pots and pans” (I am also inspired by the possibility of using props in a routine) I found a song called “Pots and Pans” which resulted in me creating a routine that was highly successful the entire year of competition that season. My students at the time were 9 years old, just entering the junior age division, which at the time was 9-12 years old and they won 1st place overall that year at most competitions we attended even though they were at the bottom of the age division.
I am often inspired by props as I said and will sometimes think of a prop and then search for music to accompany the prop. Two years ago I thought of using a carousel in a routine and then began to search for music that would relate. I found a song that I really liked, and the creepy undertone to the music then inspired the choreography and costuming.
Sometimes I will hear a song on the radio or in a commercial and be inspired to use it. The app “Sound Hound” has become quite useful to me when I am in a store or hear a song somewhere and I want to know what it is. This app will just listen to the song that is playing and then tell you the title, the artist, and even offer the option to purchase it on iTunes.
I openly take suggestions from others. This past year a few dance dads recommended songs to me that I really liked and we used them for a couple pieces. One routine that we did last year “Mind Games” had a really successful season and the idea for the song and the prop came from two of the dance dads on our senior level team.
Creating new pieces is a really exciting process. The students are always so excited to hear what song they will be dancing to and can’t wait to jump into the process of learning new routines. They get so excited about what they accomplish each week and can’t wait to ask if they can invite people in to the classroom to watch what they have learned so far. It is a really fun process for both the students and I.
We can’t wait to share with you what we have been working on for Season 3!
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