What’s wrong with having your routine professionally choreographed?
It takes an exceptional professional choreographer to be able to choose suitable music and moves for a gymnast whom they have just met. The problem with having your routine choreographed by an outside professional is that they don’t really know anything about your gymnast.
Actually, your own coach unfortunately may not know the gymnast well enough.
Choreographers make music choices one of two ways – the choreographer picks the music or the gymnast picks the music. Just remember, your gymnast will have to listen to and perform to this music hundreds of times over the next year. It better be something that inspires them, or at least something they can identify with.
Make sure you are not just being given the music the choreographer has left over to sell.
The floor routine combinational and other requirements leave limited time for anything original in the routine and that time must be fully utilized if the routine is to look anything but stock.
Gymnasts (at least gymnasts who win floor) have their own style of performance. This is difficult to judge in a short period of time.
It continually amazes me how many coaches, first and most importantly, and second, how many choreographers just start choreographing without seeing what skills that meet the requirements that a gymnast can already do well.
For example, a choreographer may put in a round-off, straddle jump to meet the dance-acro requirement, while the gymnast may have a beautiful ring jump that doesn’t get utilized.
What can you do to prepare to have your routine choreographed? Make sure your coach has tested (not to mention taught) your gymnast for the complete variety of skills they might use in a floor routine that meet the requirements and has prepared a list of the skills that the gymnast does best and that look good on them.
(See the article on Systematic Creativity to go beyond the basics in preparing an original routine)
Begin the search for music early and present the coach/choreographer with a variety of music that your gymnast likes. We tend to go for dramatic, dynamic music that will garner the attention of the whole gym when played and with a routine to match.
There are choreographers that can do all of the above. Find them and use them. Ask other gymnasts whose routines you like who did the choreography. Go to clinics where the choreographer is working to expose your gymnast to them more.
Most of all, make sure you get a routine that is truly yours and that you like and will want to and love to perform and one that will show off your gymnastics talents to best advantage.
Click for our Secrets to Gymnastics Choreography e-Book.