Published: August 21, 2019
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By: Kara Olander, Columbia College Chicago
Category: Creative & Performance
Hashtags: #Choreography #Dance #ensemble #ensemblecast #hairspray #Musical #musicaltheatre
While also playing the role of LouAnn in the musical "Hairspray", I choreographed the number "Cooties".
Choreographing this number was a truly unique experience! Though it wasn't my first time choreographing an ensemble number, it was my first time choreographing a number that I was in. This had some limitations, but also a few special advantages that immensely helped me in learning more about the relationship of choreographer to dancer. By the time I taught this number, we had learned more than half of the show. Therefore, I knew exactly what type of performers and dancers my castmates were, making the process of choosing movements and formations easier than ever. Besides forgetting to include myself when writing down formations, being in the number proved challenging due to not being able to watch and edit the dance without there being a hole. Overall, however, getting the unique experience of both teaching and performing a number allowed me to further my skills both in teaching and learning choreography in an ensemble context.