HOW TO CREATE DANCE FORMATIONS
LAI RUPE'S CHOREOGRAPHY
"Dancing is all about bringing people together, and changing the world, even if for but a second."
As a choreographer, you will always have dance routines choreographed for larger groups. Especially when choreographing for dance studios and companies, formations are needed to create complete and dynamic dance routines.
Lai Rupe's Choreography will outline some of our great dance formations to help you create better and more intriguing dance routines.
1. OUTLINE NUMBER OF DANCERS
To begin creating formations with your dance choreography, you will want to first outline the number of dancers you will have in each specific routine. Once you know how many dancers you have, you can just play around with different basic formations, we have posted some below to help give you some formation ideas.
Lai Rupe's Formations with 10 Dancers
2. MARK TRANSITION CHOREOGRAPHY
After you know where you want your dancers to be for each section of the routine, know you need to plan out HOW they are going to get there. Personally, I find this the easiest to do by using numbers for each dancer on the formation outline.
This will allow you to simply re-arrange the numbers in your new formation. You will also want to outline transition lines directing the path that the dancer would take.
Outlining your transitions for formation changes will also help you be able to verify that your formation will or will not actually work in real life. Below are some examples to help you draw formation transitions.
Formation Transition Examples by Lai Rupe's Choreography
What are your favorite formations to use when choreographing?
3. HAVE AT LEAST 1 FORMATION CHANGE PER MINUTE OF CHOREOGRAPHY
Unfortunately, many dancers and choreographers tend to underestimate the importance of having good and frequent formation changes in their routines.
Not only do formation changes benefit the dynamics of a routine, they also create a larger entertainment factor, and please parents of dancers too. Someone always has to be on the back row of a dance routine, and formation changes allow for all dancers to have a change to move around, making it seem more fair to those dance moms.
Of course as a coach or studio owner, you always want to spotlight your best dancers, but it is also important not to leave anyone out. Positive reinforcements that can come through formation changes, can help dancers really push themselves to improve more and more.
"Tsunami" Halloween Skeleton Routine, Choreographed for 10 dancers with black lights. ~Lai Rupe's Choreography
4. DANCE IT OUT
After your choreography is set in place and your multiple formations are created, it then just comes down to the teaching of routine and formations. When you actually teach the choreographed routine, you will find that some things that may have worked in your head and on paper, may not actually play out the way they should. This gives you room for improvement and adjustments to finalize the routine.
As a choreographer,
You should never be embarrassed if things don't work out exactly as you imagined they would, this will happen often. It is simply a part of the choreography process. However as you follow these dance formation tips for outlining and transitioning, it will help you be better prepared to avoid those instances.
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If you have any additional questions or concerns, please don't hesitate to reach out to Lai Rupe's Choreography. You can visit our website, or comment below. Also, Check out some of my other dance articles like "How to Write Choreography Notes."