THINGS YOU’VE ALWAYS WANTED TO KNOW ABOUT JUST DANCE’S CHOREOGRAPHY
“Let’s play a game of Just Dance?” Here’s a phrase you’ve heard at least once in your life! Sweating on the iconic “Rasputin,” marveling at the scene in “Rare,” having fun on “Tetris,” development teams always double down on their creativity to expand the game. But who creates this choreography you’re swaying your hips to? Who is behind the coaches we see on the screen?
On International Dance Day, Estelle, Associate Choreograph Director, and Julien, Dancer, answered questions from our fans on Instagram. Their favorite map, their journey, their worst costume, they tell you everything! Embark on a behind-the-scenes tour into the studio’s most colorful license!
Let’s start from the beginning: what was the first map you worked on?
E: Georgia, and it was coooool!
J: Can’t Hold Us by Macklemore on Just Dance 2014
What were the most straightforward and the most challenging choreography to shoot?
J: I would say “Vodovorot” for the most complex one (Editor’s note: we can understand why!), and for the easiest, the kids’ map “Let’s Save Our Planet” comes to mind.
E: Creating during COVID was a big challenge, especially the quad (four person mode). Paradoxically, the most straightforward was the “extreme” maps; when choreographers are inspired, everything is almost validated from the first rehearsal like “Buscando (Alternative)”.
How do you become a Just Dance coach?
J: You must be a good dancer, a good performer with good reactivity, and succeed at the audition!
E: An outstanding performer even!
How many takes of the same choreography are there each time? If there is a mistake, what happens?
E: Even in the case of “a single take,” we must do it at least twice in full to have a backup, and if not, if everything is not perfect, we do it all over again (up to ten times!). If there is a mistake (not necessarily in the choreography, it can be a costume problem, a technical bug, etc.), we start again! We are very demanding and focus on the small details!
Who approves of the choreography?
E: It’s a joint decision of the creative team, the production team, the choreography team, the costume designers and the level designers.
What is your favorite music in the game?
J: The classic “All You Gotta Do Is Just Dance,” which I never tired of!
E: “So Yo”, “Que Tire Pa Lante”, “Old Town Road”, there are too many!
How long does it take to shoot a map?
J: It takes an average of a month and a half between the brainstorm and the shoot!
E: Not to mention all the post-production work behind it!
And when you have a co-worker’s party, do you play Just Dance?
J-E: Of course, but there are none at the moment, and we miss them!
Let’s talk about costumes! Which one was the most difficult to dance in?
J: Without any doubt, the dances as a mascot! Particularly in “Con Calma,” where I was a panda. On top of the heat, it is also more challenging to move than in a more conventional costume.
E: Not to mention that the dancers must exaggerate their movements in the mascot costume and put even more energy into it to play well on the screen!
What does a regular day look like for a dancer?
J: After about an hour and a half of costume fittings, we go to rehearsals for about two hours, and we follow up with technical tests, which can be exceptionally long (we are talking about four hours sometimes!)
And finally, the last question – but not least – do the dancers know in advance all the game tracks?
J-E: And no, some tracks remain secret even until they are released!
* On Just Dance, each music the player can select from the menu to dance is called a map. It encompasses all the elements contributing to the playing experience: music, choreography, decor, costumes, pictograms and advice.