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DANCE CHOREOGRAPHY 101 HOW TO: Show off all the RIGHT moves

Updated on November 19, 2014
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How to know what Judges are looking for.

When you are out performing and competing with your incredible dance routines, are you showing off the right moves?

In this article we will be breaking down the top 4 things that Judges look for when they are critiquing your dance routines.


First: Level of difficulty, without becoming sloppy.

- Naturally, when competing, you always want to ensure the difficulty level of your dance routine is competitive. However, you also don't want to do anything that looks sloppy, immature, or unclean. If a dance move doesn't feel right, it probably doesn't look right either.


- Be sure when you are outsourcing a choreographer, you are hiring one that will push and challenge your dancers, while still enabling them to perform clean and solid routines. Lai Rupe's Choreography will do just this, as you can see from the Dance Review below:

November 4, 2014

My name is Jenna and I am the director if Avidity Dance Company. I have been working with the amazing Alaina Rupe for a little over 3 years now and the choreography she comes up with, no matter what the style or ability, always amazes me and my dancers. We are never bored and we are always learning new and challenging things. That's the thing about Alaina. She always knows how to push you and make you work hard without making it overwhelming. Although she is an advanced dancer, she can come up with choreography for any age or ability and ROCK IT! We have our Christmas performances coming up and I can't wait to see what she has in store for us! Alaina will always be welcome and loved at ADC. We wish her the best!

Jenna C.


- As a dance teacher or coach, it is your job to do the final evaluation of the routine to see how clean it really looks. For more assistance making your dance routines clean, check out some of Lai Rupe's other articles like, "WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO "CLEAN" A DANCE ROUTINE?"

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Clean, solid Turns - Stay in place, hold your posture, high relivae

- A part of difficulty of course is including turns in your routines. Turns are a part of all styles of dance and add a level of difficulty to routines. Within all turns, it is important to execute them correctly.

One main part of this, primarily concerning Pirouettes and Fuette Turns, is to stay in place, about your standing foot. You shouldn't be moving from your position on the floor. If you begin to hop or slide in your formation while turning, this means you are not keeping a strong core, try lessening the amount of turns to see if this will help.

Proper Technique Pointed Toes, Elongated Legs.

- Technique is the foundation of dance. Without the right technique a dancer will never be able to correctly increase difficulty. In order to improve your technique, I would suggest taking Ballet Classes. No matter what dance style you prefer and want to perform, Ballet will provide you with the basic and necessary technique hidden within all dance styles.

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Dynamics - Formation Changes, Level Changes.

- Formation Changes and Level changes are an easy way to score extra points with the judges. These aspects make routines more entertaining. By moving around the dance floor, going low to the ground and high in the air, these contrasts add dynamics to your routine that Competition Judges recognize and prefer. For every 1 minute of dancing, we suggest two formation changes, at least.

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Showing off the RIGHT moves in dance competitions isn't going to be the same for every dancer. Every dancer has different strengths and different preferences, at the end of the day you just want to make sure you are highlighting your strengths. As a dancer, be sure to push yourself to try new and harder things. When it comes to competing though, keep it clean, tight, and perfected.

1st Place Competition Routine - "Seven Nation Army."

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Have any dance questions, concerns, or topics to discuss? Don't hesitate to reach out to Lai Rupe's Choreography. I am here to spread the beauty of dance.


To Improve your dance-self more and more each day, please follow me and check out some of my other great articles like, "What Dance Genre are you?"

Thanks for your LOVE and Support!

Alaina Rupe

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    • abrodech profile image

      Anya Brodech 3 years ago from 130 Linden St, Oakland, California, 94607

      I agree with you, it's super ridiculously important to have good technique!! Especially for girls, it's important to remember to point your feet and have stylized fingers and graceful arms, so you don't look stiff and awkward.

      No matter how many cool dance moves you know, they'll only be as good as your technique is!

      Anya