When Nat and I first watched the music video for Sia’s song "Chandelier," we were blown away by both the music and Maddie Ziegler’s dancing. In the video, she’s bouncing off of the walls and rolling around on the floor to Sia’s distraught lyrics. “Is she just moving and kicking randomly?” I asked about Maddie’s moves. That's how it looked to me.
Nataly was surprised by my question. “Are you serious? The moves aren’t random at all,” she said. “The movement is supposed to look crazy because it fits with the song, and the choreography wanted the dance to look and feel a certain way.”
She and I have been trying to choreograph a routine for two weeks. I wanted to see first-hand how choreography works. I knew Nat had created dances for her high-school dance team before, and I wanted to be a part of the creative process.
“First we have to pick song,” she said. “And it can’t be any song. We have to be able to dance to it. It’s got to have the right hits so we can put moves to the beats.” I pretended to understand what she was saying. I knew our main genre was hip-hop, so I decided to rattle off some famous artists.
“What about something by Drake?” I suggested. She shot me down.
According to my sister, we needed new material. We listened to some R&B songs and whenever we came to one we liked, there was always the same issue.
“Do you think the swear words are a problem?” I asked reluctantly. We listened to the “clean” versions of the songs, but they sounded so weak.
We decided on a song and started thinking about the moves. I had no experience in putting together dance moves (obviously) and initially left everything up to Nat. I sat back and watched her develop the beginning of a routine. She stepped and turned and dropped to the bass, and I just sat in wonder. She listened to the song once through. She played the chorus a couple of times.
“How do you remember it all?” I asked.
“Well, I’m not just moving randomly,” she said. "I'm planning."
I’ve been helping with the routine by suggesting moves and letting Nat know if the moves she suggests are doable. I’ve also been watching several how-to videos on choreography. Here’s one that I thought was pretty good:
Stephanie Dor is a student, barista, and athlete. She divides her time between homework, serving coffee at Bridgehead, and going on long-distance runs. One of her goals is to publish a novel, but in the meantime she is content with hanging with family and cuddling with her dog.