How to Choreograph a Dance Routine

How to Choreograph a Dance Routine. Dance is one of the most expressive art forms human beings can create. However, choreographing a routine can be a bit more challenging than it seems. Dance routines range in difficulty from the hokey pokey to advanced ballet technique. But regardless of your skill level, there are a few basics to choreography that can be followed by any choreographer.

Assess the difficulty level of the dance you want to choreograph. If you are choreographing for a group, you might bear in mind their age level and the amount of training they have received.

Determine where your dance will be performed. There are different venues for dancing; a recital, a talent show or a birthday party celebration. Decide if your dance is to be judged or simply for viewing. These concerns will shape how intricate and advanced your dance will have to be.

Choose the music for your dance. Your music should reflect the mood of the performance you are performing in, and it should also be appropriate for the performance venue. Perhaps it is best not to perform a classical ballet routine at a hip hop festival or step show. Be creative in your musical selection and write down choices of music.

Begin choreographing your dance routine. It is best to formulate moves in 8-count steps, as this rhythm is easier to teach. Create 1 8-count that is easy for you to remember, and repeat it several times to ensure your understanding.

Add another 8-count, building on what you have already created. Ideally, you want each 8-count to flow cohesively with the one before it.

Continue adding 8-count steps until you have at least 8 8-count movements. This counting will give you a good grasp on the length of the song. Of course you may have to add more or less counts, depending on the length of your song.


  • Create a mix DVD of songs you enjoy to make the routine more variable. This mix can add variety and creativity to any routine. If you are going to have costumes for your performance, ensure that you give plenty of time to procure and fit the costumes to your dancers. If necessary, hire or enlist the help of a seamstress to help fit your dancers. Whenever possible, practice your routine in a mirrored room. This view helps dancers to visualize their movements and helps you to see from a multi-directional perspective what needs to be fixed.


  • Only make your routine as difficult as the dancers performing it can handle. If you try and make your routine too far above or below your dancers' skill level, it will not have the same appeal.

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