How to Approach a Crew Video

Crew videos don’t just make your class prep easier, they also train you to be a better instructor! By watching and copying how Oreet and the master instructors count, cue, and breakdown moves, you’ll build valuable teaching skills. 

Because there’s so much information packed into these videos, learning the choreography and breakdowns can feel intimidating. Don’t worry, this is normal at first! As you get more experience as an instructor, you’ll find that the SSI will become second nature to you and you’ll learn these choreographies very quickly. 

Here are a few strategies to help you tackle these crew choreographies, especially when you’re just starting out. 

Three approaches for learning Crew choreographies 

Method 1: Break it up into chunks 

Are you an analytical, logical thinker? Do you get easily caught up in the details when you’re given too much information at once? Try this method to cut down the overwhelm and cater to your strengths. 

Breaking class choreography up into blocks helps your students learn, but it can also help you learn too! Try learning one block of breakdown and buildup at a time. 

  1. Watch Oreet or the master instructor teach only that block.
  2. Try to teach along with the video, saying the cues out loud at the same time they do.
  3. Play SharQui music and practice teaching the block as many times as you need to feel comfortable. 

Method 2: Reverse engineer it 

Are you someone who learns best by just “figuring shit out”? Do you lose focus when you can’t be hands-on? This method lets you try it for yourself first and make corrections later.  

You learned the SharQui System of Instruction in your instructor training. Sometimes the best way to learn how to break down a choreography is just to try applying the SSI yourself. 

  1. Fast-forward in the video to where Oreet or the master instructor teaches a full block of choreography.
  2. Try to figure out for yourself how you would break it down using the SSI. Refer to your SIA materials if needed. 
  3. Play SharQui music and practice teaching the block.
  4. Go back to the video and watch how the instructor broke down the block, making a note of how your breakdown differed. Make corrections as needed, and don’t be afraid of asking Oreet or in the Crew Facebook group why they break down blocks the way they do! 20+ years of dance and fitness experience went into the SharQui breakdowns, and we’re always happy to share that expertise or hear new ideas.

Method 3: Take the classes as a student 

Are you someone who learns best through repetition, practice, and muscle memory? Do you feel most comfortable when you’ve practiced something so thoroughly you can’t get it wrong? Here’s a method you’ll excel at. 

Following along with the class as if you were a student builds muscle memory, takes the pressure off mental memorization, and helps deepen your understanding of the SSI. If you haven’t been taking SharQui classes as a participant in the Virtual Studio or from another local instructor, we recommend taking every Crew choreo available as if you were a student at least once.

To get the most out of this method when learning a specific choreography, do the class as a student at least 3-4 times. Afterwards, test your memory as if it were a game. Once you’ve acquired some memory, start consciously applying focus to small chunks to get the rest. 

Some other tips 

Regardless of how you best learn Crew choreography, here are some bonus tips that might help you along. 

Taking notes can help your memory, but avoid referring to notes while teaching. Looking down at your notes too often can break the flow of your class and make you look unprofessional. However, note-taking can be a valuable memory tool. 

Be consistent with your practice. Teaching is a separate skill from dance performance. Just like you’d practice regularly to prepare for your performances, you need to practice consistently to be an amazing instructor. Your practice sessions don’t have to be long – try spending 5-15 minutes daily teaching a block or two. 

Think in layers. If remembering everything Oreet or a master instructor does feels overwhelming, try thinking about it in layers. As you watch for each layer, don’t just think about WHAT they are doing, think about WHY they are doing it. 

  1. First, pay attention to the order in which they make changes to the initial footwork and add nuances.
  2. Next, listen to how and when they cue. 
  3. Next, pay attention to how and when they insert posture and technique reminders. 
  4. Finally, see how they show their enthusiasm and personality through their instruction. 

Angelina and I would love to know if any of these tools resonated with you and which method you’ll be trying or using going forward!

Oreet & The SharQui Team

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