15 awesome quotes from choreographers that teach us about life and dancing

19th June 2019

At Newcastle Dance Academy, it’s no secret that we love dance. It’s as much an athletic pursuit as it is artistic, and we know that a love for dance can teach so many valuable life lessons. Behind every beautiful dance you’ve seen on-stage, be it a professional production or a performance from students in a dance studio like ours, much thought and inspiration has gone in to the choreography. It’s not surprising to note that many famous choreographers have shared quotes that not only motivate dancers, but explain the importance of choreography in the world of dance.


Here are 15 of our favourite quotes from well-known choreographers:


  1. “Choreography is writing on your feet.” – Bob Fosse


  1. “Dancers are instruments, like a piano the choreographer plays.” – George Balanchine


  1. “Great dancers are not great because of their technique, they are great because of their passion.” – Martha Graham


  1. “I had certain physical limitations that made me change the choreography for myself or made me more interested in choreography only rather than dancing. I have never been a person who wanted to just dance. I have always been interested in developing for other people.” – Katherine Dunham


  1. “When you start with an idea or something hits you, then you have to follow that through to the end, and it’s the following through to the end that makes the pattern. That, for me, is choreography.” – Martha Graham


  1. “Dancing is like bank robbery. It takes split second timing!” – Twyla Tharp


  1. “If the dance is right, there shouldn’t be a single superfluous movement.” – Fred Astaire


  1. “Choreography is mentally draining but there’s a pleasure in getting into the studio with the dancers and the music.” – Alvin Ailey


  1. “Dance is the hidden language of the soul.” – Martha Graham


  1. “To tend, unfailingly, unflinchingly, towards a goal is the secret of success.” – Anna Pavlova


  1. “When a dancer comes on stage, he is not just a blank slate that the choreographer has written on. Behind him he has all the decisions he has made in life. Each time, he has chosen, and in what he is onstage, you see the result of those choices. You are looking at the person he is, and the person who, at this point, he cannot help but be. Exceptional dancers, in my experience, are also exceptional people, people with an attitude toward life, a kind of quest, and an internal quality. They know who they are, and they show this to you, willingly.” – Mikhail Baryshnikov


  1. “Dancing is so great because there are all the little details, and the little movements, and the little muscles that are working without you even realising.” – Julianne Hough


  1. “Some people seem to think that good dancers are born, but all the good dancers I have known are taught or trained.” – Fred Astaire


  1. “Art is the only way to run away without leaving home.” – Twyla Tharp


  1. “I actually build my dreams around the dancers I’ve got in my company.” – Graeme Murphy


It would seem that choreographic works are ideas that start as dreams and become reality, through the talent and training of the dancers involved. From inspiration, to persistence, to hard work and timing, there’s a lot of life lessons we can learn from choreography and dancing in general.


At Newcastle Dance Academy, we believe in strong choreography crafted with our students in mind.  We give them every opportunity to let their natural talent and hard work shine. If you’re looking for a dance studio for your young dancer, we have over 200 years of combined industry experience among our team, and we would love to welcome you in to our dance family. For all enquiries, please feel free to phone our friendly team on 4961 6233.


<< Previous | Next >>


Dream - Believe - Encourage - Achieve