How to Choreograph a Hula Hoop Dance

Many people get into hula hooping with the intention of learning how to hoop dance. While many people love to learn choreographed routines, others prefer to design their own dances. Choreography is not easy in any medium, but least of all with a constantly moving prop added into the mix. Below are some tips to keep in mind as you begin learning to choreograph your own hula hoop dance routine.


Music Basics


If you have never taken a music class, you are going to need a crash course before you begin choreographing your routine. You cannot take any routine and put it to any song — the count matters. You need to learn, at the very least, about music counts and timing. A dance choreographed to a ¾ song is not going to translate well to a song whose beats fall into the more popular 4/4 count. For many people, hearing the difference in the two comes naturally, but if that is not you, no worries. Take the time to read up on the different count types, then listen to some examples and try to hear the differences.


Keep it Simple


When you are first starting out, it is best to limit the number of moves you have to remember. Focus on moves that you know for sure that you can do with minimal struggle, and figure out how they can fit into the counts you learned about. Try to incorporate moves that have the hula hoop at all heights on your body, so that your routine will be dynamic and interesting despite it’s relatively simple number of steps. Watch some videos of choreographed routines for inspiration, but be careful that you do not accidentally take someone else’s ideas without any changes.


Performance Art


If you are choreographing a hula hoop dance for your own enjoyment or workout, you can skip this step. However, if you are choreographing a dance to be performed on stage, you must remember that dance is a performance art, so presentation is key. Try to find out where you will be performing; choosing contrasting colored hoops from your surroundings will make their movements seem more dynamic. If you will be performing on a dark stage, consider glow in the dark hula hoops, or even some that flash or light up with battery powered LED lights. If your dance group is advanced (and your venue allows it) you may want to consider something a little more impressive, like fire hoops.


Group Numbers


If you are choreographing a hula hoop dance number for a group, keep your numbers in mind and consider taking advantage of them. You can toss the hoops to each other or turn a pass-around move to a pass to a teammate. You may want to consider letting each dancer have a moment of solo dancing while the rest of the dancers pause for a rest, letting each dancer have a chance to showcase a move that they are particularly proud or fond of.

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