Want a Great Dance Routine? Use These 3 Consultants
There were the three wise men, the three ships that sailed the Atlantic, and plenty of other powerful or important things that come in threes.
Like three consultants.
You may not know it, but every great routine you've ever watched has had these three consultants. Use them, and it will always show. Leave them out... and it will always show.
Truth be told, we are not referring to three specific people. Sorry.
Instead we are talking about roles a coach can have. In fact, the clearer the role, the easier it is for everyone to be satisfied with the objective.
Below you'll see a breakdown of the three types of consultants you can utilize to take your dance routine to the next level, and also some variations on how to add this strategy right away.
Consultant 1: The Choreographer
Bringing in an Arthur Murray consultant to choreograph your routine is like hiring Gordon Ramsey to cater your next dinner party. This allows you and your instructor to consume the (delicious) choreography at a rapid pace.
Think of this stage like - The screenwriter for a movie. Before anyone can begin acting, there must be a script. Your routine must start in script form, and the sooner you learn "your lines", the sooner you can begin adding in style, technique. and dramatic flair.
Q: Why not just have my teacher do the choreography? Your teacher is absolutely capable at creating choreography. The only problem, is that creating something that you, yourself, will be dancing can make even the most capable teachers a little less decisive. A consultant, on the other hand, will not be performing the finished work. So they can create free of any subjective second guessing.
Consultant 2: The Technician
Once your choreography is in place, or at least a good portion of it, it's time for your second consultant: The Technician. This coach in brought in to add the bulk of the technique and style to your routine. Cuban Motion, Rhythm, Rise and Fall, or Arm Styling - the technician will install based on the type of dance you are doing, and the type of dancer you want to become.
Think of this like - The Director of a movie. A director's job is to draw out the skills of the actor. To place the talent in the best light, and to deliver the maximum dramatic return on the words constructed by the writer.
Q: Why not do all of my technique while I'm learning the choreography? There will be times when both the choreography and the technique are introduced simultaneously, but in the end, you are much better served taking them in stages.
Consultant 3: The Finisher
Your routine can have the choreography. Your routine can have the technique. Yet, even with those two main hurdles down, there can still be unfinished areas in your execution. Why? Sometimes it takes pressure and fine tuning to expose what needs to be addressed. The Finisher is a consultant with the sole purpose of making sure you are performance ready. They will cover everything from your entrance to your exit, and everything in between.
By design, they will add simulated performance pressure to ensure that on the night of the actual show - you're ready.
Think of this like - a Movie Editor. Their job is to take the footage from the director and edit. Often times, this means changing the pace of a scene to fit the story. An editor is truly one of the unsung heroes in the movie industry, and they are the final touch point before the movie is shown to the public.
Q: What's the difference between the Technician and the Finisher? In general, the technician will introduce the technique, and the Finisher will fine tune it for the performance.
Some Common Variations
Maybe you've already started your Foxtrot routine, or you've already knocked out the choreography for your Rumba - here are some variations for how you can utilize the Big 3 Consultants.
1. Your Teacher Started Your Choreography - Do not panic. Your teacher is a professional. In some cases, you may not have access to a lot of consultants on your studio calendar, or your teacher didn't want to wait on a hot new idea.
Suggested Approach: Schedule permitting, add one lesson with a choreographer, up to 3 lessons with the technician, and 2-3 lessons with the finisher.
2. Your Performance is This Month - Remember that part about "do not panic"? Same thing. Oh, and sometimes, panic and caring about a great result can result in wanting to make major adjustments to choreography.
Suggested Approach: Do not, under any circumstances, add any choreography. Instead, this is a textbook scenario for a Finisher. It's time to pressure test, add refinement, and prepare what you have for your performance.
3. The Consultant is Available the Day of Your Performance - Believe it or not, you can have a coaching lesson 45 minutes before you are scheduled to perform.
Suggested Approach: Why not start your next batch of choreography or work on the technique of a routine you haven't done in a while.
The bottom line is that consultants are a wonderful, but scarce, resource for your dance development - so don't let your performance stand in the way of utilizing them.
Imagine that your dance routine was a person, and good old Dance Routine is having some serious health trouble.
So you call the ambulance.
From there, it's like clockwork. The ambulance driver knows his role, the EMT knows her role, and each and every person has a job that all works toward the greatest purpose of them all - a clean bill of health.
There are times when we give a coach all the jobs, and all at once.
That would be like expecting the world class surgeon to also drive the ambulance, check your medical insurance at the front desk, and so on and so fourth.
Identifying specific roles for each coach allows the coach to shine in that task, and for your dancing to shine as a result of it.
We hope you enjoyed this article. If so, we'd love to have you become an Arthur Murray Live subscriber! You'll receive one email, once a week, with all of our best Dance Advice.