Choreography - Khandie Khisses - Burlesque, Fire Breather, Underwater Mermaid and more...

Choreography

Choreography

The backbone to any routine be that burlesque or not, isn’t actually sequins or costuming. It is your back bone. Well more specifically the movements you make with that skeleton of yours. The wrong step, a missed moment or a limp leg can sometimes stick out more than a Hannibal Lector in a vegan cafe in a routine. A natural ability to create choreography is not something however, many of us are gifted with. I for one have to work very hard at making it look like I have no set routine and just hit that movements with ease. Yes, I do have choreography. Honest. ‘winging it’ is too much of a gamble, and when you are self employed you choose when to wing it,believe me on stage is not one of those times. For me I want my movements to be natural, high energy and constantly surprising an audience.

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Whether from a dancer background or not going to occasional dance class can be invaluable. I learnt my rather infamous floor drops at a class. I believe they are called Turkish Drops. Done wrong, they can really hurt. Done right, less painful. Scuffed knees are worth it. Audience go mental for it. I try and incorporate it where I can. Without classes I wouldn’t know how to do moves like this. These moves help me stand out amongst the crowds of elegant leg extensions and pretty pointed toes. I will never achieve a flawless ballet move, whilst I am envious of those who can, I learnt my strengths in dance quickly. I have learned to hone me to my advantage.

When it comes to choreography, don’t limit yourself in your influences. Go see performances of all art forms. Look out for moves you can try at home. If something doesn’t feel right, try it again but this time film yourself. See what is going in when you play it back. When I teach routines in classes I like to film the routine at the start of the class, then at the end we film it again. My students can review their progress but all it helps with remembering movement. Muscle memory is key. When you hit a move right, do it again, and again, and again. Your body needs to be able to do that move instinctively.

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Don’t be afraid of putting a routine together. Don’t be put off by your body size either when it comes to moves. Let the music you choose lead you some of the way. Film it, play it back and rework. It takes months to sort a routine. What works in the studio doesn’t necessarily work for a live audience. Do not think you can rework an act once debuted. A good performer will always work on routines no matter how old they are.

The audience want to believe in your performance, they will know if you are holding back or not performing top dollar. Take command of that stage, rip the limelight apart and leave an audience out of breath.

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