Class combos, one of our favorite elements of every class! It’s always so much fun to spread out across the dance floor and learn choreography that challenges us, all while having a great time while doing it. However, when you’re the teacher of the class, the creation of that combo relies on you and that is why today we are sharing a few tips on how to structure the perfect class combo that your students will be raving about for weeks to come! Let’s get to it!
- Find The Vibe Of The Song And Roll With It
One of the best starting points of creating a piece is finding the vibe of the song and building on it. Getting intouch with the song’s lyrics and story will always lead you in the right direction. That’s the building block of creating a good piece. Listen to the song your using for your combo. What message is the song relaying to the audience? What type of vibe does it hold? Whatever it may be, take that and use it as inspiration. This creates a combo with meaning and substance.
- Stay Within The Class Level, But Don’t Be Afraid To Push.
I think this may be one of the most important tips here. I have seen a few instances where an instructor choreographed a piece or recycled a class combo that they had used for another class, and the combo was either too easy or too hard for the level of the class. This makes it crucial that whenever you create a class piece, you always keep the technique of the class level in mind when you’re creating. An intermediate combo for an advanced or pre-professional class will not hold the needed challenge for the students, while throwing in intermediate technique for a strictly beginner class will be far too much. However, though you should stick with the given level of the class when creating, it never hurts to throw in a few moves here and there that will challenge them, without being too difficult. Challenge will spawn growth that the students will see towards the end of your class, while difficulty may spawn a feeling of defeat. It’s all about finding the middle technical ground.
- It’s Okay To Reuse And Recycle Moves
Sometimes when creating class combos, it can be easy to feel as though you have to bring brand new stuff to the table every time. However, that is definitely not the case! It’s totally okay to bring back old moves from a past dance and incorporate them into a new piece where you see fit. I”ve seen tons of choreographers have one, two or maybe even three moves that they use quite often and these moves actually become sort of a signature for that choreographer! And that’s the way I like to look at it. Don’t be afraid to bring some of your favorite moves back around and make them staples. It just may be your trademark. 😉
- Keep It At A Decent Length
And lastly, but most certainly not least, keep each combo at a decent length. Timing is so important to keep in mind, not only for the dance itself, but the entire class. You by no means want your combo to be three seconds and then boom, it’s over. However, you also don’t want to present a combo that feels like “this is the dance that never ends”. After all, class combos are short dance snippets, not full blown performance pieces. So how do you find the middle ground you may ask? Refer to your class slot time. You want to make sure that you are able to navigate the entire class without a rush, so when you’re making your class combo, think about everything else you want to get to in your given timeslot. Make sure you have time to warm up properly, do across the floor if desired, take a water break even and then have time to move on to the combo. When it comes to actual combo length, be sure that the combo covers a reasonable amount of ground, but is short enough, not only to be picked up relatively quickly, but leaves enough time to perform it in groups. If you spend all of your time teaching this super long combo, you won’t be able to allow your students to perform and show the fruits of their hard work. I always like to keep my class combos between 1:15 – 1:30, just to make sure I can get everything in and still give everyone their time to shine!
Well that will do it for today’s blog post! We hope you all enjoyed hanging out with us today and we also hope you found some helpful tips to put in practice the next time you’re creating a new class piece. As always, we wish you a happy Friday, a great weekend and remember…