What These Choreographers Have To Say About Their Iconic Music Video Moves for Beyoncé, Lady Gaga, and More

A great music video comes into play with several factors. From emotional close-ups and all-out performances to the use of CGI, these music videos can either make or break an artist’s career. Billboard’s list of 100 Greatest Music Videos clearly shows that having an impeccable dance routine is the main element in creating an eye-catching music video.
Billboard once conducted an interview with choreographers working for famous musicians or pop stars about how they create an elaborate choreography and put those moves together. Below, we will get to know more about the process of creating dance-heavy videos, from the initial meeting with artists and getting them to dance on the flooring to working with directors.

1. Sorry by Justin Bieber (2015)

Parris Goebel got a phone call from Scooter Braun, Justin Bieber’s manager, and offered her to choreograph 13 music videos for the pop star’s new album. The first one Braun wanted to be done was Sorry. Goebel then booked a white room and brought a set of clothes that were ’90s inspired. She headed out into her studio, played the song, and started moving to the beat. The music video was shot in New Zealand, and it became a fan favorite to the degree that it got many people from around the globe dancing.

2. 7/11 by Beyoncé (2014)

Chris Grant has been working with Beyoncé since 2008 as one of her lead choreographers. Queen Bey noted that she didn’t want 7/11 to be typical and requested the choreography to be fun and organic, with different movements that would make people want to do and repeat the steps. Grant shared that when he creates the dance moves, he always thinks of the authenticity. He said that his investments in choreography are founded in a “marriage of movement and expression.”

3. Promise by Ciara (2006)

Promise was the first project Jamaica Craft had with Ciara and director Diane Martel. For inspiration, they looked at Bob Fosse’s choreography and other iconic visuals. They also visualized Ciara with tight jeans, heels, and silhouettes. Craft wanted to create a modern-jazz-meets-hip-hop routine.
The microphone scenes were Tina Landon’s idea, another choreographer. With the dancers’ love for Michael and Janet Jackson, they wanted to take the music video to another level. To Ciara’s credit, she made the choreography look effortless. Craft said Ciara trained for two weeks to master the routine.

4. Bad Romance by Lady Gaga (2009)

Laurieann Gibson has worked with Lady Gaga before Bad Romance as her creative director and choreographer. Gibson said she already had a diary of movements throughout their collaboration, and creating Bad Romance was out of Gaga’s particular language of dance and style of performing. Her rhythm patterns are both aggressive and offbeat.
The “walk, walk, fashion baby” part was inspired by Naomi Campbell’s catwalk in Tommy Hilfiger’s show. The 51-year-old choreographer also praised director Francis Lawrence for fulfilling the entire creative process and bringing electricity on screen.

5. New Rules by Dua Lipa (2017)

Teresa Toogie Barcelo said that Dua Lipa had the original idea and wanted to shoot in Miami. She requested that flamingos be a part of the music video and include women supporting each other. Director Henry Scholfield brought ideas about using a hotel room and creating a scene that can be repeated. As for the choreography, the body positions and head movement were indeed a flamingo inspiration.

6. Chandelier by Sia (2014)

Ryan Heffington and Sia landed on the idea of making Maddie Ziegler the star of Chandelier. They met and discussed specific details that the singer envisioned for the song’s video. According to Heffington, Sia requested repetitive movements and physical glitching. Beyond that, however, she wanted to create a scenario about a young girl in a room that was abandoned, dilapidated, and probably needed roof repair. At the end of the shooting day, the entire team was happy with the results of all the elements: choreography, set, and performance.