Arts & Entertainment

Fundamental Dance Formations

Parris Goebel

Lesson time 05:56 min

Parris demonstrates how she comes up with basic formations that dictate where her dancers should stand and walks you through how she uses shapes and symmetry to inspire her.

Students give MasterClass an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars

Topics include: Fundamental Dance Formations


[00:00:00.00] [ELECTRONIC MUSIC PLAYING] [00:00:06.23] [MUSIC PLAYING] [00:00:08.15] PARRIS GOEBEL: When choreographing a group of dancers, you can arrange them into a series of formations to create dimension and order. A formation is basically the shape your dancers move within. You can bring to life interesting and powerful pictures by exploring the use of formations in a creative way. [00:00:28.94] When it comes to formation in your choreography, again, it's about doing what feels right for you as a creative and a choreographer. For me, I'm really obsessed with symmetry and shapes. And you'll see that in my work. [00:00:42.56] [MUSIC PLAYING] [00:00:46.72] OK, guys, we're just going to do, like, basic formations, not dance. So let's start with the just the girls V. [00:00:56.90] - Cool. [00:00:57.46] - Yeah. Well, we're going to add more girls, too, so it's a bigger V, so the varsity girls. Cool. [00:01:03.77] PARRIS GOEBEL (VOICEOVER): In my process, I like to just play the music. And I just kind of close my eyes, or I'll daydream. And I just visualize, and just challenge myself, and see what comes to mind. If I can see something, if I can see a formation-- [00:01:19.27] - Are you coming out, Taddie? [00:01:20.49] - Yes. [00:01:20.86] - Yeah. [00:01:21.59] PARRIS GOEBEL (VOICEOVER): --then I'll create it. But there are times where I feel it feels stuck, and I'm like, I'm not sure what to do. I have the movement. I don't know where to put my dancers. But I just kind of have a vocabulary for myself of just basic formations that get me out of that stuck space of, like, what's next. [00:01:40.88] So it might be a V. It might be a straight line. It could be a diagonal line. It could be a clump or a cluster. Whatever feels right for that movement, just start with that. And then you can build on that. [00:01:51.77] [MUSIC PLAYING] [00:01:59.58] - So I'll head it, diagnix girls. So you girls just wait on the sides, and then you guys that are just come-- come down. Cool. Teisha, replace Maya for me, just for your height. [00:02:13.84] PARRIS GOEBEL (VOICEOVER): And whether it is a V or a straight line, I just have my go-tos that feel good to me and kind of get me out of that space of what I do here, because we all feel that. [00:02:28.43] PARRIS GOEBEL: Just from Izzy onwards, just cheat and go out a touch. Renee, you were good, actually. Cool. [00:02:36.66] PARRIS GOEBEL (VOICEOVER): And I always find it will change. There'll be so many versions. But if you can just start and get yourself out of that space of, like, what's the right thing to do, then go for it-- [00:02:46.98] - Cool. And then Chris and Jan center. Create a circle, girls, around her. [00:02:52.12] PARRIS GOEBEL (VOICEOVER): But if you can visualize it, you know, you might end up seeing something straightaway and then you can be like, I got it. [00:02:58.96] - Keep moving around, girls. So you're going to go opposite. 2, 2, 2, 2, 2. Cool. [00:03:07.36]...

About the Instructor

The creative force behind Justin Bieber’s “Sorry” video and Jennifer Lopez’s Super Bowl halftime show, Parris Goebel is a dance powerhouse. Now the award-winning choreographer breaks down her approach so you can harness your own creativity. Learn how iconic performances are made—and how to develop and polish routines, direct videos, and exude confidence every step of the way—as Parris opens up like never before.

Featured Masterclass Instructor

Parris Goebel

Award-winning choreographer Parris Goebel teaches you her techniques for bringing a vision to life and her approach to owning your creativity.

Explore the Class
Sign Up