Freestyle or Pre-choreographed; What’s Best for You?

Whether you’re a dance instructor yourself or just looking to find the best classes in terms of quality and fun, you may be torn between going down the freestyle or pre-choreographed route. Today, we look at the pros and cons of both approaches and, as always, we invite you to weigh into the debate over on our Facebook page.

Freestyle: Creativity and Control

In many ways, freestyle epitomises the hip-hop spirit. After all, isn’t street dance supposed to be about spontaneity, invention and a disregard for the rules? Doesn’t the idea of choreographed street dance seem a little bit of a contradiction in terms – like organised anarchy?

A freestyle instructor doesn’t know exactly what their class is going to be like until they get there. They may rehearse a few basic moves, but apart from that, they will tailor their routine to their class members, both in terms of their training needs and the energy and mood of the day. Good freestyle dance instructors emphasise the responsiveness of their classes. If they pick up on something that their members need work on they can ‘turn on a dime’ (as the Americans say), and react to that need.

Freestyle instructors tend to be experienced and self-taught. The confidence and ability to assume creative control of a dance class can only come after putting in hours upon hours of work.

The risk, from a student’s point of view, is that the freestyle class you attend will turn out to be run by someone who enjoys the freedom and artistic control but hasn’t actually got the skills and experience to pull it off. It’s one thing to disregard rules of form, but what about technique? Poor technique can lead to injury and a poor freestyle class can do more harm than good. Even if your dance instructor has flawless technique and impeccable style that’s no guarantee they have the charisma or teaching ability to pass that gift on to you.

Sadly, this is one reason why freelance classes are treated suspiciously by clubs and customers alike and can be difficult to promote. In fact, quality control is one reason behind the meteoric rise of pre-choreographed dance packages.


The impetus behind the creation of many of the dance fitness systems on the market was the demand for classes that could be trusted and provided a sense of community. Customers knew that if they joined a club in Aberdeen they would be getting the same product as they would be getting in a club in Bristol. What was lost in spontaneity and responsiveness was gained in quality and consistency.

Dance fitness packages also tap into the human need for connection, enabling dancers all over the country – and indeed the world – to network and share their experiences.

From an Instructor’s point of view, here was an opportunity to quickly enter the dance fitness market at a competitive level, without needing to establish their individual credentials to every club or dance studio they approached. With their choreography done for them, they no longer had to invest time in creating something unique. As soon as they had mastered the routines, they could concentrate on the performance aspects of their craft – teaching delivery and creating a fun and lively atmosphere.

A Third Way

We believe Street Fit® strikes just the right balance between the consumer appeal and consistency of a pre-choreographed dance package, and the artistic control and innovation of freestyle dance. Members of a Street Fit® class know they can expect a high standard of tuition, safely delivered with an emphasis on correct technique. On the other hand, they also know that each instructor will be different and will add his or her own twist to the basic model, keeping things fresh and alive.

Those who are looking to become dance instructors know that they neither have to attend months or years of training in specific routines nor painstakingly grind their way to a decent lifestyle in the face of public scepticism. At the end of our one-day Instructors’ Course, you will be required to demonstrate to us that you can safely and effectively teach a Hip Hop Workout®. After receiving your certification you can benefit from the credibility of the Street Fit® name, while using your initial classes as a springboard to creating a unique class that has all the benefits of freestyle hip-hop dance.

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