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How to Remember Choreography

Memory is a necessary skill for dancers, and mastering it takes practice and dedication.

Some people seem to pick up choreography quickly, yet mastering complex dance steps and memorising them can be challenging.

Thankfully, there are numerous methods for quickly and accurately remembering choreography. Here are our top eight tips to ensure you get it right every time!


Counting is an excellent way to remember choreography, particularly when learning a full routine at once. It helps keep track of your movements and ensures you’re on the same page with classmates. Furthermore, numbers can help visualize sequences of moves and match them to music or sound effects.

For instance, if you’re learning an acrobatic jump, you can think about its execution and visualize it in your mind. Additionally, try to recall as many steps as possible from that particular move.

Another effective method for memorizing choreography is to divide it up into smaller, manageable chunks that you can master before moving on to the next section. Get creative and experiment with ways to simplify a complicated routine into simpler steps.

As you can see, the key to memorization is finding what works best for you and then applying those techniques consistently throughout your dance journey. Doing so will make learning a new routine much simpler no matter the circumstances.

Dancers typically work with sets of eight counts, also known as the “dancer’s eight,” for choreography. Contrary to popular belief, eights are actually better suited for choreography due to their natural alignment with music’s structure.

This video illustrates an effective technique of using the C major triad as part of a set of 8 to help dancers memorize a move.

Memorizing choreography can be a breeze with this simple yet effective trick, which I’ve seen work for many of my students. It helps keep you organized and on the same page with classmates – which is essential if you want to have fun in class!

Mnemonic Devices

Memorizing choreography can be done through mnemonic devices, which come in many forms. Songs, acronyms, rhymes and even visualizations can all be great tools for helping you retain important information that might otherwise be difficult to remember.

Mnemonics, from Latin for “memory technica,” are learning techniques designed to help you retain what you’ve learned. These tricks were popular in ancient Greece and remain effective today.

Mnemonic devices offer an effective and effortless way to learn new material, making them particularly helpful for students with learning difficulties who want to enhance their efficiency in the classroom.

Mnemonics come in many forms, but the two most popular are rhyme and acrostics. Rhymes and rhythm are easy for our brains to process, while they also allow us to form connections with what we’re learning – which can be crucial for helping you retain important information.

For instance, if you need to remember the order of 39 books, an acrostic can help. Alternatively, create other mnemonics, acronyms, stories and visualizations for each chunk on your list.

Another useful mnemonic is the method of loci, a visualization technique for memory recall. This involves visualizing yourself passing through a familiar place such as your home.

If you’re a medical student, creating a mnemonic device to remember the different nerves in your body can be helpful. Combine rhyme and acrostics to craft an effective memory aid for this list of nerves.

One effective mnemonic for remembering the steps in a long division equation is to think of each digit as “divide, multiply, subtract, compare, bring down.” This helps you retain the order of operations necessary for solving a division problem.

You can create mnemonic devices for any important facts or vocabulary words that need memorizing. A keyword mnemonic can be especially beneficial when learning words quickly. Plus, adding some humor into the mnemonic will make learning even more enjoyable!

Breaking It Down

If you are a student or instructor, learning how to break down choreography when learning it can be an invaluable asset. Whether it’s at the gym, at a convention, or even just during your commute to work, having this information at your disposal will make remembering the dance routine much smoother!

Learning choreography can be a difficult challenge if you have never attempted it before. But with some practice and some helpful tips, learning any new dance steps should become much simpler for you.

First, observe someone else performing the choreography before you attempt it yourself. This can be an invaluable way to understand how the movement flows and it may also assist in pinpointing any mistakes in your technique.

Another way to remember the choreography is writing it down. Do this by taking notes while practicing at the studio or after class at home. Not only will this help you recall steps, but it may also serve as a reminder of corrections made during class.

When writing down the steps, try to do so in sequential order. This will make it simpler for you to remember the choreography and boosts the likelihood that you’ll actually perform it correctly!

You could even use visual images for some of the movements. For instance, if the dance requires that you move your head five times consecutively, perhaps an image associated with that requirement such as a tragedy mask would come to mind.

Having these images in your mind makes it much simpler to memorize the choreography, as you’ll be able to draw them out mentally. Additionally, having these visuals allows for quicker recall of the sequence when performing it.

One last way to help you remember choreography is to label the movements. While this may not always be possible when there are complex moves included in a dance, you can attempt to label difficult sections or moves with descriptive names.


Learning choreography requires both mental and physical focus; you need to hear all of the cues from the music, choreography, and movements being taught. Listening is key in mastering this art form.

Listening is a key aspect of communication that promotes awareness, comprehension, empathy and relationship satisfaction. When done effectively, listening can also assist you in reaching greater success in both professional and personal pursuits.

A skilled listener is able to decipher verbal and nonverbal cues being conveyed through words, body language, voice tone, and facial expressions. They respond by asking questions when clarification is necessary, paraphrasing when uncertain of an answer, and showing interest in what their speaker is saying through eye contact or head nodding.

The human brain is an intricate system, and its unique ability to remember things. It contains a network of memory cells called the hippocampus which converts information into long-term memories that last more than just a few days.

It’s no shock that the order in which your cells fire is affected by the frequency of sound (like music). This makes memorizing information much simpler for the brain since chunking up information makes it easier for it to retain and recall later.

That is why teachers and choreographers strive to teach movement phrases in a straightforward, easily remembered format. Since we don’t all possess the capacity for memory retention, they break it down into manageable chunks and provide landmarks within the choreography so you can always locate your way back home.

Another way to help you remember a series of steps is by marking them down with music. Doing this creates an internal link between yourself and the choreography; so when it’s time for you to remember something specific, just look up in your music and see exactly where that step needs to be performed, making it much simpler for yourself to recall.