How to devise choreography for children

by Nicky

I would like variation of ideas on how to choreograph solos and groups of children

Comments for How to devise choreography for children

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Apr 23, 2012
Answer from Maria
by: Maria

Dear Nicky,

Up to nine to ten years old, it is always better to make the children dance in groups. Before that age it is hard and boring for them to learn a solo dance, although there are always exceptions and some of them might like to improvise to the music alone... ;)

- Choose simple music that has a beat which is easy to hear or feel. It should fit their ages and ideally you should propose them several options and let them choose what they prefer.

- Choreography should be easy and simple as well.

- Use walking or marching in different ways to create geometrical figures in space. For example: walking till we reach a circle, then marching till we make a line, then walking with big steps to create two lines out of the last one, then walking with arms up till we make a triangle and so on...

- You can also choose a subject like, for example: animals, transportation means, jobs or whatever gives you the possibility to mimic gestures. When choosing topics for kids, it is always good to ask them for ideas. They are usually glad to propose and they will be happier if you work over the topic they like. After you have your subject, create the moves out of it. For example, crawling like a crocodile during eight beats, and then jumping like a rabbit for another eight beats, walking backwards like a crab for another eight beats, etc...

- Always remember to adjust the complexity of the choreography to their ages and learning process. If you ask them for something to difficult they will get bored; if you ask them for something to easy, they will get bored... This is the most difficult part of working with children.

- If you ever get to a point of desperation and still have half of the class to go, ask them to tell you the games they like until they mention one that involves the body. You can put the movements of the game into the rhythm of music and start the choreography with that.

- If your children are older and kind of already inclined to dance, you can also show them videos of the type of dance you will use. Afterwards, ask them to choose the moves they like and arrange a choreography that fit their skills.

- It is always helpful to include them in the creative process because that way you assure that they will like what you choreograph for them. Otherwise you will have a hard time... :)

- We have a related thread that might be useful for you. You can find it through the following link:

Children themes for their contemporary dance

I hope this help somehow. We would be glad to hear how this strategies work for you or to have you share other options you also know.

Best of luck with the kids!


Feb 21, 2013
by: Anonymous

What if your a child cheorographing your own solo ballet dance

Feb 21, 2013
Maria's reply
by: Maria

Hi there...

I guess you're very young, but if you're choreographing a solo dance, it means you're old enough to take charge of the task.

If that is the case, I believe you should follow your intuition and feelings towards movement. Dance as you wish, as you like, as you can, and have a lot of fun doing it.

If you want to create a solo ballet dance, use the moves you already know, watch videos to get ideas or ask someone else to give you a hand. Just avoid copying things that are too difficult. That may discourage you or can be dangerous.

If you're old enough to read about dance composition, you may want to get some ideas from this page:

Dance Composition

I wish you a great dancing future,


Dec 13, 2016
by: Anonymous

what are some of the challenges you face choreographing with children and how do u work around the challenges to bring out the best dance piece for children

Dec 13, 2016
Maria's reply
by: Maria

Hi there,

As I wrote in my first reply in this chat, one of the main challenges you face when choreographing for children is to achieve keeping them motivated or enthusiastic towards the activities you propose.

Each child is unique, as well as each group of children, so one needs to be very open to who they are and what they need. Working circumstances vary a lot too, so one of the ways to work over the challenges is to pay a lot of attention to the context and adapt activities according to it.

A trick that may work very well sometimes: let them propose.

Jul 02, 2018
Sticky Situation
by: Annemarie Skai-Ruosse

I need to choreograph a dance solo for my younger sister in our annual recital. She’s 7 (just turned) and doesn’t know hardly any moves or tricks except a cartwheel. She doesn’t want anything fancy or beautiful like lyrical, she wants jazzy hip hop stuff. I can’t do one for myself, how do I get a child to do this stuff? As a solo? It’s expected I give my sister good choreography and she performs it well.

Jul 05, 2018
Choreography for your sister
by: Maria

Dear Annemarie,

I recommend you to look for videos that have choreographies like the ones your sister like. Take ideas from there.

You can also show the videos to your sister, so she can copy the moves and be inspired by it too.


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