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Ballet Talk for Dancers

"Remember Your Steps!"


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Hi Everybody!

After watching a few veryyy long ballets I began to wonder if there are any tricks ballet dancers use to remember choreography. What are your specific ways? I usually have no problem remembering choreography; but I ask myself could I do it if I had to remember two or three hours worth of choreography? :D

Well, I thought it might be interesting to see the different techniques people use when remembering choreography :D



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I get the music the dance is being performed to, and then put it on my ipod, then keep the headphones in my ears and put the song on repeat and listen to it whilst I sleep, and as I am drefiting off to sleep, I say the steps in my head when they come in the music, then when I wake up taaadaa! I find I know the steps and the music and how they combine perfectly!! :D Subliminal Learning, I suppose!! It does work though!! It's also good because when you come to class or rehearsals, you subconciously just DO the steps with your legs and arms, so can stop worrying about them, and instead devote yourself to trully DANCING the piece, with emotion (finding the right emotion is easier too, because you find you know every note and chord inside out, and can really interpret it and begin to understand what it means! :D )

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There really are no tricks to it. You just have this vocabulary of steps that you know from class, and you put them together. Then you rehearse it over and over and over again, so that you get the choreography "into your body" and do it almost like a reflex. I've been known to wake from a sound sleep when music from a variation I've danced is played. Want to learn whole ballets? Learn and rehearse everybody's part. Then you become the "swing girl" and suddenly, you may find yourself dancing a solo just because you know it. Now, I never got to do any of these parts, but I have "blocked in" Bayadere #2 or Wili #15 or Swan #8 in rehearsals when those dancers were out and no understudies were available.


(Now, Lilballetdancer, can you do something about that signature line? ONE sentiment, or haiku is fine, but eight or nine is stretching it somewhat!)

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Yeah, you just have to DO IT till your body knows the steps without having to think about it. I guess our (muscle-)memory often has more capacity than we think! :innocent:


I also find going through choreography while going to sleep helps. In fact, I do it involuntarily. Often while dozing off or even when I'm wide awake some music piece to which I am currently dancing will pop into my head and I'll find myself going through the steps in my imagination. It does make a difference.


Mr Johnson, that's pretty cool to be cast for a role just because you learned it. :sweating: It just gets difficult when more people are missing....

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  • 2 months later...

i just do it over and over again in the studio. and away from the studio i listen to the music on my i-pod and go through the steps in my head, saying them helps too.

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Hi there,


Your post content was deleted because you are a parent. Young Dancers' forums are only for the age groups titled, and the teacher/moderators.

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