How to Choreograph a Contemporary Dance Routine

Choreograph a Contemporary Dance Routine

How to Choreograph a Contemporary Dance Routine. Choreographing a dance routine can be a fun and exciting experience. The various forms of dance are as diverse as the dancers who perform them. Contemporary dance routines are typically intricate and physically demanding. With the right knowledge and a concise process of creation, choreography can be much easier. Use these steps to help you create the contemporary dance routine you've always wanted to make.

Determine what kind of venue your dance will be performed in. Many contemporary dance routines are performed in talent competitions, sport venues and festival settings.

Watch music videos you enjoy from artists who have dance routines in their performances. Watching contemporary music videos can be a good start to coming up with ideas to suit your performance needs.

Write down ideas from the videos you have watched, and indicate which artists and videos you liked so you can go back to review what you enjoyed. This list will help to structure your choreography time.

Choose music for your routine. You may choose to use music from the videos you observed or to mix and match various songs from your or your group's favorite artists. Contemporary dance usually encompasses a wide array of styles, including funk and hip hop. So be creative in your selection.

Make a rough tape of the music you are going to use. Often dance routines will cut out a verse or an extra chorus for times sake, so go through your song(s) to ensure that your routine won't be too redundant.

Choreograph your routine. Start with simple 8 count sections, building until you have enough 8 counts to cover the music you have chosen.

Teach your routine one 8 count at a time to your group. You should only go as fast as the slowest person in your team can go. Be willing to take suggestions for modification from your group because this personalization will make your routine special for your talent.

Drill your routine after teaching the basics over and over again to your group. This practice will give you an idea of trouble spots and modifications that need to be made to your routine.


Choreograph your routine in front of a mirror as this helps visualize what you and your dancers will look like while performing the routine. Schedule as many rehearsals as possible in a mirrored area with your group so they too can benefit from seeing themselves do the moves. Borrowing moves from your favorite music videos are great, but make sure you modify or tweak them to your skill level and to suit your performance needs. If you are performing your routine for an audience, brainstorm ideas for funky costumes that give your dance a contemporary feel. Watch MTV and VH1 for fashion ideas to help modernize your routine.

About the Author

This article was written by a professional writer, copy edited and fact checked through a multi-point auditing system, in efforts to ensure our readers only receive the best information. To submit your questions or ideas, or to simply learn more, see our about us page: link below.