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Freestyle And Choreography- The Balance
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Freestyle and Choreography

Most hip hop dancers go about dancing in two different ways. They either freestyle, which is being able to pull moves from a certain style all from your mind in an instant, or they do choreography, which is performing a memorized set of moves to a certain song which constitutes what most people call a routine or a set. What I'm going to share with you is why an understanding of these two categories is important, and why it's important to master both of them.

In the world of hip hop dance today, it's extremely important that you are good at both freestyle and choreography, if you want to succeed as a dancer. There is SO much competition out there when it comes to dance, especially in hip hop, and if you want to become a great hip hop dancer then you need to know how to learn and perform under both these categories.

Why Freestyle?

I've been taking dance classes for close to 14 years now and the biggest thing I regret is not practicing as much on my freestyle through out those years. I picked up choreography, which is very important, but didn't hone the ability to dance without a set routine. I have more recently been trying to make up for this mistake, and am practicing much more on my freestyle. Why do I feel compelled to do that? Because I want to be the best dancer I can be, and so should you. And also freestyle is the component that will catch a person's eye, especially those who are hiring dancers. You go to auditions and every dancer there can pick up choreography extremely quick, but what people are looking for is that extra factor that can put you above the competition. Being a great freestyler is that extra factor. People are more impressed by someone who can dance well from what comes off the top of their head, then one who performs a choreographed routine really well.

Why Choreography?

You may have read that last paragraph, and are now thinking, "So why do I need to be good at choreography then?" Well, if you want to get anywhere in hip hop, then you HAVE to be able to pick up choreography. I've known many who have become amazing at freestyle, but when they are taught a routine they can't pick it up or they have a hard time doing the moves the way the choreographer wants to see them. The reason why it's hard for someone who has only done freestyle to pick up choreography is because when a person only dances to what he/she thinks up, it's hard to dance to what has come from the mind of another person. Often times, it just looks awkward. Also the freestyler wouldn't be used to the amount of memorization which is required to pick up choreography. People who are hiring FIRST look at choreography and the dancers ability to pick up and perform routines that are taught at auditions, then comes the sought after extra factor.

The Balance

So my hopes from those who read this article is that you come to understand that there needs to be a balance. If you want to become a great hip hop dancer and don't know how to go about it, then take this advice into consideration. Practice your freestyle and moves wherever you go, but also take classes and learn choreography. By practicing both freestyle and choreography, you will become a much better dancer at a far quicker rate.


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