Indepth #2

One month in and we are all well on our way (hopefully). I’ve had quite a few practice times with my mentor Ms. Lindsay Mckay. It was great to start talking with her about  choreographing a solo, choreographing in general, and her experiences with choreographing.

Ms. Lindsay has been choreographing since she was about 15. She started off by choreographing her own solos, which she performed in competitions. She felt that this gave her a new appreciation and respect for all her teachers after seeing the amount of work it took. It also caused her passion and love of dance to grow. When she was 19, Ms. Lindsay started dancing professionally. Though she didn’t choreograph her own pieces, she tried to retain a lot of techniques and styles she saw when working with the choreographers and teachers. When she was 22, Ms. Lindsay returned to Encore and started teaching solos/duos/trios and intro groups. Intro groups were a whole new way of choreographing as she had to keep the choreography simple yet entertaining, and she had to “dig deep into [her] creative side.”

As I said in my last post, I am asking all my teachers for some “Tips and Tricks” to choreographing, but as Ms. Kelsey said to me, “Everyone choreographs differently.” Still, my list has grown.  Hopefully I don’t repeat any but hey, if it’s repeated, it’s valuable!

– Use the whole stage

– Have a gimmick that that catches people’s attention

– Use a dancer’s strength but don’t make it obvious (add jumps to a turner’s solo)

– Levels!!

– Have movements match the song’s sound

– Listen to the music a lot

– WHEN STUCK: choreograph a bunch of different things and pick one

–  Map out your route around the stage to help with travelling

This last one I did:

I don’t know how up to date that is. Maybe I’ll do another next post.


So far I have learned a lot about how sometimes you want to act out a story to get the best choreography. Also, you might just need to film an improvisation, look it over and piece the solo together from what you do naturally. Sometimes parts of the song will speak to you and choreography will be easy to come by. Other times, the song is stubborn and un-inspirational and just plain difficult to work with. At this point, improvising is probably the best way to fix it, at least until you figure out something to do.

Look, a wild link has appeared (because I still can’t do hyperlinks properly):

This links to a video of my incomplete, I repeat INCOMPLETE, dance. The chorus has yet to be done as well as some connections so please excuse the random time-filling hops and fiddles.

I’d LOVE some feedback on how it’s looking, and, if a dancer reads this, maybe some ideas on what this chorus could contain.

Well,  later everyone! I hope everyone’s projects are coming along nicely!

2 thoughts on “Indepth #2”

  1. Your link does not work, possibly because I do not use Facebook. What teaching strategies is your mentor using with you? You are on the right track.

    1. Ms Lindsey teaches me a lot just by answering questions of mine. She also will give me feedback as I add to the dance. Because I been doing dances since I was 5 and improvisations since I was 11, I already had a basic understanding to the structure and construction of a dance. Questions that I have asked are: What moves should I add in? What should I do when I’m stuck? What should connections look like? How can I make sure I’m not being repetitive? These questions help as she knows my strengths well and has the answers that best fit me. Once the dance is finished and in the tweeking stage, I hope to ask her a lot more on how to improve the movements, connections and overall dance.

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