Making the Routine Perfect–The First Time

Choreographers (usually the captains) always make the same mistake when it comes to choreography. They follow these steps: 1. Make up moves; 2. Find music that matches these moves, 3. Find someone to mix the music. The first flaw in this is that it is hard to find music that matches the choreography that you have made. All music is different, and you might be searching for a long time before you find the right music. The second flaw is that sometimes the choreographers make up counts that are almost impossible to do. They might make up many &-counts and after teaching the team, realized that the music is way too fast. Choreographers think that just because the choreography is already made up, they don’t have to practice it with music and can go straight to teaching. After realizing that the moves just won’t work with the music, choreographers will make changes to accommodate. This just leads to frustration and confusion in the team members.

The right way to choreograph is to follow these steps:
1. Find music
2. Get the music mixed
3. Start choreographing (including formations)
4. PRACTICE the choreography to the music
5. Check to see if it “works out”

Choreographers sometimes skip steps 4 and 5, and will end up making changes to the routine due to this. You need to practice the choreography to the music to see if it is too fast/slow. Sometimes moves without music may be great, but once the music is on, they’re not so hot. That’s why you have to practice with the music–to experiment with the tempo and see how the overall feel of the moves & music is. Step number five is a little confusing. If you choreograph, you need to reasonably see if it is possible to move from one formation to another in the number of counts given. Sometimes you might think that an 8-count of marching is enough, but you soon realize that you actually need four 8-counts. That’s a huge difference and will force you to edit the routine. Make sure you logically see how the formations will fit togther and where each individual will march. You need to know if it’s possible to march from one place to another in the number of counts given. If you’re not able to estimate, you should experiment using team members. Ask them to get in one formation and march to the next, and see how many counts they need. There will be no mistakes this way. Mainly, as a choreographer, you want to make sure you yourself can perform the routine to the music by practicing and making sure it’s not too fast or slow, and also provide enough time to move to formations.

Changing choreography is really frustrating to everyone and wastes time. If you make your routine perfect the first time, you won’t have to waste time changing it and you can spend more time working on other things.


  1. Rebecca

    I totally agree. Im actually making that mistake at the moment. I was given a task from my coach to create a routine..and I have no found any music for it..yet I have all the moves. This is very true and it has happened with my team whenever we make up routines.

  2. well imma have to use this site to improve my dance moves 🙂 this site might work for me 2 and i hope it does

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