Monday, March 28, 2011

Adding the "Dance" into Hoop Dance?

I have been thinking a lot about choreography lately. There comes a point in your practice when you think, "okay, I have the moves - now how do I put them together?"  I want to floooooow, dangit!

I thought that I would solve this problem by asking the computer for some choreography tips. What I found were possibly the worst instructions for "How to Choreograph a Hoop Dance Routine" ever:


things you'll need:

  • Hoops
    • 1
      Use colorful hoops so that they can be easily seen by the audience. You can even get glow-in-the-dark hoops or light up hoops for a special effect.(okay, cool. Use pretty hoops. Will do. Thanks.)
    • 2
      Have dancers use the hoops to create various shapes. Pair the dancers with one dancer standing behind another dancer with her hoop held high. The dancer in front can hold her hoop low. Play with different shapes such as a vertical and horizontal figure 8.(Dancers? As in more than just me in my house? Uhhh...)
    • 3
      Create a large circle. Have dancers hold each other's hoops instead of holding hands. They can also do a ripple bringing the hoops in and out of the circle.  (This isn't a group routine. What's a "ripple" sounds...funny. Come on #4 and #5 - bring me the knowledge!)
    • 4
      Do tricks in the hoop dance routine such as hula hooping around the neck, waist, arms and feet. Have dancers jump over the hoops or dive roll through the hoops. Spin or twirl the hoops on the floor for a different level in your dance routine. (Yeah, a dive roll seems like something I would naturally progress into. And, I am definitely going to set my hoop on the ground and hop over it. Yes. This will be impressive.)
    • 5
      End the hoop dance routine in a large but tightly packed group.Have each dancer hit a pose utilizing the hoop.(Have a lot of people stand next to each other and pose. So, recreate a "on our way to prom" photo.) This creates an interesting shape and also makes for a great picture.

Add hoops for an awesome show
stopping finish!

So, it wasn't quite the eye opener for which I was hoping. Today I am going to try and break down a routine for a song approximately 3 minutes long. Will I have any idea what I am doing? Not really! But I plan to keep going until I figure it out! There are a few things that I know I'll need to do before getting started:

1) Understand Counts: at what consistent tempo do I want to perform? How long should I move into and hold each move. Usually moves are done in a 4 or 8 count pattern. I'll need to know the count of the song to move fluidly with it. Here is a bit more info on explaining counts, here

2) Plan out a few moves to include.
In the beginning I want to keep it simple. Overly complicated moves can break my flow, and be more difficult to appropriately transition into. I am going to try no more than 10 moves, with several repeated to create a look of grace an intention. (I hope.)
I know I want some off the body, and to hit each level on my body at which I am comfortable hooping (legs, hips, waist, etc.)

3) Think about the transitions from move to move
To do this, I will need to think of where my hoop is in space when I finish one move, and what move would then begin with the hoop in that position. For example, the booty bump is a great move to transition into vertical chest hooping, because the hoop is at the correct angle.

I have my work cut out for me. It will take some planning, and trial and error - but, I will keep you updated on how it works out and what steps I needed to take to get where I want. Hopefully, I can get a comprehensive 'how-to' for choreographing a routine as a total beginner. If someone has one - pass it along.

And hey, if it doesn't work out - who wants to join me to create an awesome ripple ring? Oh yeaaaah.


Myster said...

sounds fun! :D You're going to do AWESOME! I hope you have some fun just practicing different portions of the song with different techniques!! I can't do a lot with hooping, since I just started, but I LOVE doing choreography to songs with my hoop. It adds a whole new thrilling element! YAY have fun!! :D :D :D

I'll definitely join in for a ripple ring! hahahaha.... that was a funny article to say the least. It sounded like they had some real intention there, but weren't able to portray it into those 5 steps.

Anonymous said...

Hahahahaha this was hilarious.