Calling all Choreographers/Artists/Dancers…

Before I get into my project idea, let me open with one simple, incontrovertible fact:

I am an editor.

I worked as an editor at the Writing Center at my college, I interned the campus book publisher, and when I left college, I got a job as a copy editor at the local newspaper. I have edited friends’ books, resumés, poetry, emails, dissertations, application essays. Hell, sometimes I edit people’s comments on Facebook. I can’t help it; it’s just in my blood.

(Side note: I will be looking over this blog post with a fine-toothed comb before I post it, having said all that. I can haz gud gramar).

I bring this quality to my dancing as well, which I find to be an incredibly difficult trait to deal with. I am largely an improvisational dancer because when I sit down to choreograph, my inner commentary goes a little like this:

ME: “Okay, I’m going to start with a chest circle, then an undulation into an ommi. Oooh, and I can add some snake arms with the chest circle… hmmm, if I add those then maybe I should take out the undulation. Ok, chest circle, snake arms, ommi… Wait, that doesn’t flow well… maybe I’ll change the ommi into a figure 8… man, I should add some arms with that… crap, now I don’t like the snake arms…”

I could go on. Before I know it, it’s an hour later and I have an overly complex, stale bit of choreography I now loathe with a passion.

In true Megan form, my solution is just to procrastinate choreographing until I absolutely have to… or just not choreographing at all.

This needs to change. I have reached a point with my dancing where I feel like I cannot just sit back and wait for inspiration to hit. I’m no longer comfortable with just “winging it.” I like parts of my videos, seeing when I lock into the music and connect for a minute or two… but then I lose it. I want more control over my work.

Call me a nerd (it’s certainly appropriate), but I believe that we all need to approach our lives as scientists conducting our own experiments into self-discovery and art. With that being said, I am making myself a guinea pig, and I need your help. Remembering Austin Kleon’s wise post Stealing Like an Artist, I want to hear how you create, what techniques you employ, and give it a try myself. Then, I want to blog about it so that we all can see how other people do their thang and possibly take something that we can use in our own art. I would love to feature you and link to your website/material so we can all see the fruits of your creative process.

Choreographers, artists, and creative people:

1) How do you select your music?
2) How do you create your choreography? On paper, dancing it out, visualization?
3) How long does it take you to create a piece, on average?
4) How much does visualization play into your creative process?
5) What tools (music, books, websites) would you recommend to someone trying to improve their choreographing or creative skills?
6) Send me something you’ve choreographed so I can see you in your element.

Please email it to Thank you!

One response to “Calling all Choreographers/Artists/Dancers…

  1. Pingback: Adventures in Choreographing: Selecting Your Music « Starving Artistry

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