The Choreography Conundrum

So I just took a look in my “CHOREOGRAPHIES” folder on my laptop and over the last 15 years I have personally created more than 80 choreographies… that’s more than 5 each year (or one about every 2 months!)

Honestly, that surprised the heck out of me. But it also helped me understand the complete choreographic rut I found myself in about 6 years ago.

I am a belly dance instructor and director of two professional dance troupes. At one point in my career I taught five weekly classes. I was solely responsible for generating unique material for each of these classes as well as choreographies for my professional troupes.  

About six years ago I hit a creative wall.

I’m sure many of you can relate. Whether or not you teach, creating dances for yourself or others is a huge creative effort – exciting and enjoyable, yes, but an effort nonetheless.

My realization that something needed to change came one day in my Intermediate class… I was about halfway through teaching them my newest choreography when I realized I couldn’t distinguish this dance from the one I had just been teaching in my beginner class… the combinations began to blur and merge in my brain and I found myself totally lost in my movement.

I realized three hugely important things that day:

  1. Massive creative output without enough input to refuel you will end in a state of being creatively tapped out.
  2. Choreographing through my default “shot-gun” approach wasn’t working anymore.
  3. Something needed to change.

I am happy to say that six years (and about 30 choreographies) later, I have a new way of approaching my choreography creating that has helped me organize and strategize my work as well as avoid the repetition caused by my previous choreography by intuition approach.

Is this story familiar to you?  Have you found yourself creatively tapped out at some point in your artistic life? Or maybe your dancing has started to feel too repetitive or lacking of growth and change? I totally get it!

Tell me where you’ve gotten stuck and I’ll tell you what’s helped me pull myself out of my creative rut. Together we can rev up our creative engines to work in new and exciting ways!

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