How to Create Your Own Dance Routine

All you need is music, creativity, and the will to do it

Young modern dancing couple performing in a run down dancing studio

Getty Images/Tom Werner

The beauty of dance is that if you enjoy music and movement, you can do it. You can create your own dance routines as simply or as elaborately as you like. You can collaborate with a partner or if you don't feel confident in your dancing abilities just yet, you can do it alone. All you need is music, some creativity, your body and the will to do it.

Getting Started

Once you've learned a few dance steps, try putting a few of them together to music. It's fun to be your own choreographer, which means you can get your creative juices flowing and piece together your own dance routines.

Inventing your own choreography is a great way to practice new steps you've learned and to stay or get into shape at the same time. It usually helps to have an inspiration for your dance routine. Think about the following questions: Why do you dance? What is it about the song? Does it make you feel a certain way?

What You Need

There are a few things that define a dance routine, such as the music, and having a beginning, middle, and end to your routine.

Music Selection

Choose music you want to dance to and that you enjoy, as you'll be playing it over and over again! Pick out a song that has a strong beat. For starting choreographers, a song with a well-defined rhythm will make your dance easier to set to music. It might be best to choose music with a simple count built in, such as a song that lends itself to an eight-count. Songs that have an eight-count are easiest to set to choreography in the beginning.

Or, if a song with a strong up-tempo is not what you're in the mood for, then pick a piece that you love even if it makes you feel emotional, as long as it inspires you to want to move. Finally, don't worry about how long a song is — you can always edit it to lengthen or shorten it.

Opening the Dance

Just as you plan out writing a story with the first words you write, you would do the same with a dance routine. Choose the way you will be standing when the music begins. The intro of the song usually sets the tone for the rest of the song.

Think about ways to transition between the intro into the chorus and into the ending. Another thing to think about when composing a dance routine is finding a way to unify the dance, by having a common feeling or thread through the song.

Plan the Steps for the Chorus

Your best bet is to perform the same sequence of steps each time the chorus is played. Choose your best, most striking moves. Repetition is a key element to any piece of choreography. In fact, audiences identify with repetition, it gives an audience (and performers) a sense of familiarity and comfort. 

Nail the Ending

Plan out your grand finale. You might want to consider striking a strong pose on the last notes of the song. Hold the end pose for a few seconds.

Continue to Practice

As you repeat the dance, your steps should be committed to memory. Then, through continuous practice, your dance will become more natural. You may find as you dance that your routine may even evolve. The more you practice, the better your routine will be.

Performing for an Audience

Once you've put in the work, if you're ready and feel you have choreographed a complete dance, then it's time to show it off. For even more excitement, you can even dress up in a costume or leotard and make your own mini-recital at home for family or friends.