By: Dulce Altamirano.
What is dance choreography you might ask? Dance choreography is the art of creating and combining movements into dances to be performed. The word choreographing is derived from Greek for “dance” and “write”. In the 17th and 18th century, choreography meant to be the written record of dances. As the years passed by, the meaning changed into the creation of movements.
Some of the styles that choreographers work with are ballet, jazz, hip-hop, and tap. Although ballet is a well-known type of dance, hip-hop is the most performed dance in the world. In almost every city and country, numerous dance companies specialize in hip-hop and compete with other dance crews.
At Heritage Academy, dance is offered from beginning to dance company. In pre-advanced dance, Heritage dancers are given the opportunity to choreograph dances for each semester’s dance concert. Every dancer choreographs a dance that is at least one minute long either by themselves or with a partner. After performing, the dancers get to choose six choreographers based on their favorite dance pieces. The chosen choreographers then get to teach the dancers their dance choreography for the end of the semester dance concert.
I asked some of the dance choreographers what they like about choreographing their own dance and what it means to them on a personal level. I also asked them how it makes them feel. Emeri Johnson replied with “I love being able to express my emotions through dance and having a vision to be able to go through with it. Choreographing makes me feel empowered and confident because I’m showing other people my content and my passion. It’s so special to me…”
Addison Brinkerhoff answered with, “I like how I can envision the dance and then be able to make it come alive. When watching others perform my dance piece, I get a rewarding feeling. I never really get to fully express myself, but when I dance, I get to tell any story and share my emotions with others.” Lastly, Caitlin Laidig responded with “I get to choose what to put in my dance piece, for example like the costumes and the theme. Although it makes me feel stressed, choreographing is really fun and means a lot to me because you get to express yourself and your also in charge of your own dance.”
These amazing dancers responses all had a similarity, which was that they are able to express themselves throughout choreography.
There are no rules to dance or choreographing, which makes dancing unique. Choreographing is a type of art that will never go out of fashion and that will keep evolving throughout the centuries.