How to Remember your Dance Moves

You learn them just to lose them. Here’s a tip on how to keep them all.

I have been dancing for several years now and done a lot of classes. To be fair, I do the classes more for social reasons than to learn moves. Because I know that without the proper focus, I will often forget the new moves as soon as the night is over.

On occasion, one will stick for a while, but then I go back to the usual suspects. The octopus-man spin combo followed by a cleaver and repeat. :-(

At which point, the fact that so many moves have disappear into the ether and the repertoire is reduced to a mere few means I need to up my game.

Doing and learning a move is one thing, remembering to use it mid flow while concentrating on your partner, and the music and the space around you is another.

There is an event called the World Memory Championships.

To take part, you need to have the skills to try and remember things like binary code, random faces, abstract art. There are a ton of disciplines, and it’s all about how to recall what you have seen or heard, all within a brief amount of time with perfect recall.

The numbers they can get to are staggering, 4000+ on binary code numbers. That’s a lot of 10010101010010’s. They aim to remember a sequence of over 4000 in half hour.

Learn and recall 95 names in 5 minutes. Or 603 Abstract images in 15 mins etc.

Are all these people in Mensa with I.Q’s of several hundred?

NO, just normal individuals who have trained hard in a skill set. How to remember and recall.


So, here is a brief understanding of what they do. Check these words out;
• Monkey
• Sausage
• Phone

We would read these words, and if asked to remember them we would think, monkey, sausage, phone.

But they would think, look at that, there’s a monkey with big fat fingers that look like sausages trying to make a phone call. It looks hysterical. Ha haha ha :-)


They change the words into a visual, and they create a sequenced story. These are called Hooks. And the more hooks you can attach, the more likely you are to be able to recall the right information in the correct order.

We had just one, the words. They made three, the words, a mental image and a story.

So, that’s the plan. We have to change the moves into more than just moves.

Note that this is a project, it’s not going to come together in 1 single two minutes read, job done, Bob’s your uncle, and everything is all hunky dory. You need to use your brain to create the hooks.

Idea’s for your Hooks.

OK, the plan is I can give you some concepts, but you need to implement them. The reason I cannot be specific is that what works for me might be meaningless to you. This is your mind, and you need to figure out what works and doesn’t for you.

Move + Person

If you’re in a class and get taught a new move, then link the move to someone else in the class. First, you get to practise the move in reality and then you imagine the pair of you doing it.

Now, if you can add humour or sex or something outstanding into your imagery, then the memory hooks hold stronger. Even the smallest classes will still have 10-12 people. So, one whole night of classes could be dealt without breaking a sweat.

The next time you walk into the club, every face will fire images that relate to dance moves.

Move + Event + Teacher

I would tilt this one towards workshops as the teacher-venue combination probably won’t be overused. Think big, completely over the top. You could make the Teachers god-like figures with the knowledge of the ages. The venue covered in banners clearly saying what it is.

The unique feel has to be hammered home so when you leave, and two months later when you see an advert for the next workshop your mind springs back to this moment, and you recall the moves.

Music + Move Combination + Story + Person

Create a small dance routine to your fav dancing track with your fav dancer. Run over it in your mind again and again as if you are a proper choreographer creating the story that goes with the moves. Hopefully, the track helps with that part of the process.

Once you have the routine, do not change it. Hammer those hooks into the pattern so you don’t lose anything.

Two weeks later when you’re at a freestyle and your tune comes on, Boom!!! It’s Story time boys and girls.

Make it Memorable

With this kind of mental exercise, the sillier, sexier, dramatic, over the top you go, the more likely you are to remember it. The more connections you can make then the higher your success rate.


However, there is a catch.

Isn’t there always.

You have to go over the information a couple of times before it stays there and can be recalled. If you don’t, then it just disappears into the night along with all your hopes and dreams.

According to Dominic O’Brian, the eight times world memory champion. The best way to make sure you never forget is to review your work repeatedly.

•1st time after 5-10 mins
•2nd time after a day
•3rd time after one week
•4th time after one month
•5th time after six months.

That is my problem; I’m good for the first day or so. Then I forget that I was suppose to try and remember to remember so I don’t forget what I wanted to remember.


Hopefully you will have better luck than I.

If you have any tips please let us know in the comments.

If you want to check out the web site for more posts then please click here The Jivey Blues Blog

If you want to check out the Facebook page where there are Jive and Bluesy dance clips, then please click here Zorro the Dancer for stuff like this.



4 thoughts on “How to Remember your Dance Moves

Add yours

  1. Sit out one dance look at all the other dancers on the floor and there moves will tend to bring back to your moves the you have used in past but forgotten.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is a great idea. I’ve never got on with the image thing in general memory, I just have to keep repeating until it sticks, or write everything down.

    When I used to lead in classes a lot, I used to have to do the class, then write down the moves, along with obviously practising them in freestyle later.. Most stuck quite well, but after 5 years off, I can only really remember beginners moves, most classic and a couple of variations. Even reading my notes I struggle to understand them. I rarely lead any more, so there’s little chance of the memories coming back.

    For me it’s all about practice, and that’s a lot of the problem. Most people don’t have a regular partner to practice the moves, especially not on a weekly basis, so they’re easily forgotten. It would be interesting to see someone test this memory linking idea to dance moves and hear about the results.

    Liked by 1 person

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