You can learn and train to get better at picking up choreography! Don't lose hope or feel deflated falling behind in a dance class or not being able to keep up. Use these tips every time you're in a dance class and you'll notice over time you'll pick up choreography fast without trying so hard.
1. DON'T watch the choreographerI know this sounds crazy but you want to learn with your eyes and practice with your body. Is your habit to stare at your instructor, mirroring their moves every time they demonstrate? Ever find yourself completely lost when it's time to dance without them?
In order to pick up choreography fast, you have to get your body used to the movement. Study the choreographer/instructor first to understand the movement, execution, and timing but don't rely on them to regurgitate the piece.
Push yourself to reduce the amount of times you watch the choreographer/instructor before you try it without watching them.
Take the training wheels off (not watching your instructor/choreographer)!
2. Mess up, then move onYou'll hear us saying the following phrase a lot at our studio: There are no mistakes. Just solos!
Maybe there's a particular move or combo that keeps messing you up. You review it and review it but then you miss the next move and the next . . .
If you find yourself with the tendency to be fixated on trying to execute every move perfectly, work on settling for close enough and moving on. You can always come back and improve it later.
Go over what you need during the gaps in instruction but don't let it stop you from learning the rest of the piece.
3. Don't dance. Just watch!Sounds counterintuitive right? Don't dance??? But it's a dance class!
Sometimes there are details your eyes can catch that maybe the choreographer/instructor isn't explicitly teaching. If they were to explain every single tiny detail classes might take days. Take a deep breath and watch what the choreographer is doing.
This way you'll not only pick up the choreography faster, you'll learn to embody the mood, timing, and character of the piece better. That's way more important than the exact body placements.