High Silver Member
Registered: 1392047543 Posts: 213
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When your studio is teaching competition choreo how is it taught? Do the teachers come in with choreo prepared and ready to teach? How long does it take teach choreo for groups typically? I am trying to see how this is typically done! All I know is how our staff does this. Only one comes in with choreo prepared and ready to teach. Her dances are always the most clean and finished quickly.
High Platinum Member
Registered: 1291511068 Posts: 3,513
Reply with quote #2
Each teacher is different, and each age group is different. Our contemporary teacher never came from the comp world; she didn't start dancing until she was an adult. So she choreographs like an adult working with adult pro dancers-she uses their ideas and movement for her dances. And got 2 choreo awards at the last comp, FWIW.
We have one teacher who works with the littles and she knocks out the choreo in 3-4 hours and never changes it. And we have a few teachers that change it frequently, up to and including the few days before they compete it.
Registered: 1312248519 Posts: 1,464
Reply with quote #3
I think you'll find every studio does this differently.
At our studio, each team is its own class. That class meets for an hour a week from September to June. Usually, the first month or so is spent purely on technique. Then choreography begins. The teacher has an idea, but at our studio the dances are largely learned in chunks. And then sometimes those chunks are changed. Some weeks, they don't learn anything new but simply clean what they already have. The dances generally finish in late February and then cleaned until the first comp in march.
After the choreography is done, the teachers will flip back and forth from running the dances and working on technique. You can only run a dance so many times.
Registered: 1235479981 Posts: 1,292
Reply with quote #4
At DD's home studio they would have a couple of dances with outside choreographers and a couple with their team director. For the outside choreographers they would come in for a few hours on the weekend and learn all the choreography at once. How this is handled is largely dependent on the outside choreographer. I don't think any come with the entire dance pre-choreographed, but they may have a very clear concept in their head that they then build around the dancers they select for their piece. After the choreography is set the team director will work with the team on cleaning during weekly comp classes.
For the choreography done by the team director, she would come in with an idea or a story that she wants to tell, but she very much lets the choreography come naturally during the choreography classes. The choreography is usually done within a few classes, then it's cleaned during those classes for the rest of the season. For her choreography, though, it does change throughout the year. Last year one of her pieces was different every time it hit the stage. All that said, the team does have an assigned choreography class that runs the entire season (September - June) that is dedicated to all things competition. The first competition they do every year is in December. So the choreography is usually done by October and then they're cleaning. The outside choreographers typically come in in August to choreograph their pieces.
Registered: 1456082944 Posts: 23
Reply with quote #5
Ours is generally done the same as Melissa745. Each teacher is different but generally the choreography is done January-February. Even after the comps and all the way up through nationals, some of the choreography changes. They'll add more difficulty or change a few formations after seeing certain things not working on stage at comp.
High Platinum Member
Registered: 1266453713 Posts: 3,990
Reply with quote #6
We have a choreo week in August where most groups are taught that week, usually in 2-3 days. Some solos are done that week too. In general comp choreo is learned in 2-3 days then once dance year starts back up in Sept it is run and cleaned once a week then also Saturdays come December. We usually start competing beginning of Feb.
Registered: 1332216704 Posts: 1,011
Reply with quote #7
The way our choreo is taught varies by teacher. Usually dances are learned in the early fall, some choreographers come with the dance fully envisioned, other choreographers seem to work through the piece as the dance progresses, most choreographers alter the routines throughout the year to improve the dance. They usually learn the dances in longer rehearsals scheduled out for block choreo.
Registered: 1452462134 Posts: 251
Reply with quote #8
At DD's current studio, it generally takes 1-2 months to learn a full new dance. They meet for 30-60 minutes weekly. They usually start most dances in August-October months and are almost always finished by December, usually before. The rest of the time is spent cleaning the choreography and adjusting as necessary and working on skills for next season. Her main teacher usually comes with a general idea of what she wants to do and collaborates with the students to make the finished product. She likes having their input on the choreo since they'll be the ones performing it, not her. DD just started her solos 3-4 weeks ago due to an injury she had early in the season and she's doing wonderful. Her first comp of the season is the weekend of March 31-April 2. Her current team did some other comps earlier in the season but as I mentioned before, she was injured.
High Silver Member
Registered: 1432239628 Posts: 116
Reply with quote #9
We have summer tech classes and sometimes they'll start choreo in August during one or two of those classes. Generally things start in September with dances complete for cleaning by end of January in time for the in studio tech/dress rehearsal. My DD's three teachers seem to do the choreo the same - they know the music and the beginning and then slowly figure out/teach the rest. I notice it especially with their ballet teacher - she'll send them out on a water break and I'll hear the music start and see her on the monitor working on the next steps in the dance. The other teachers seem to come to class prepared with the new bits of the choreo. Things can change though throughout if any of the teachers feel the dancers aren't mastering certain steps to their satisfaction or if something just isn't coming together they way they like it. Last year DD's jazz routine had to be changed a bit a few months into choreo after she injured herself and couldn't do a move that the DT had put in the dance (her Dr. didn't clear her to do it and DT didn't want to risk reinjuring her). DD's duet this year started out using one piece of music but about a month in her DT wasn't happy and changed the music and the routine turned out fantastic.
Double Diamond Member
Registered: 1184694329 Posts: 13,326
Reply with quote #10
Our studio has separate classes for choreo for each dance from October to March. Most of the DT will come in with a song and a concept but they choreograph as they go. Once a certain amount is done they will start cleaning that section before moving on. Sometimes they will change things once the routine is completed if they are not happy with it.
Registered: 1362422620 Posts: 1,600
Reply with quote #11
Most of our comp choreo is taught during the last week in August. Unless it's a guest choreographer, then they usually get two days in the summer to learn the dance. Then each dance gets a half an hour a week to rehearse and clean. Technique is taught in separate classes. We usually start competing in early February.
High Platinum Member
Registered: 1273927307 Posts: 4,639
Reply with quote #12
My daughter's (one) group dance that they did at ASH had five one hour rehearsals, it was a hard pointe piece. They'll have a couple more rehearsals (after having no rehearsals since January) before their spring show. They had about four weeks of rehearsals before nutcracker. It's super stressful. . .
There's a lot of "watch the video" with ballet because they do a lot of traditional and repeated choreography.