1. Know Your Steps
Every dance routine can be broken down into a series of familiar steps and combinations. Good dance instructors make an effort to instill core skills in introductory classes, urging students to learn both the step as well as the name of the step. If you are familiar with the steps in the routine, the faster you will be able to combine them together to memorize a routine.
2. Watch Your Dance Instructor Closely
Choreography is generally taught in series of step combinations. Watch your dance instructor closely as he or she demonstrates the steps. Good dance teachers will stand in front of the class and demonstrate each step slowly. (If your instructor only teaches verbally without actually performing the steps, you may want to look for a new instructor.)
Wait until the teacher has completely finished demonstrating before trying the steps yourself. Some dancers follow right along with the instructor, mimicking the steps as they are demonstrated. If you fail to watch first, you risk missing part of the step. It is better to watch first, then try.
3. Understand the Music
Dance usually combines movements with music. When a choreographer creates a dance routine, the chosen music selection is vital to the success of the dance. A piece of music is often selected because it possesses certain beats and tempo changes. Listen closely to the music. Try to mentally associate certain steps with strong beats or lyrics of the song. Remember that step combinations are often repeated each time the chorus of a song is played.
As with any new skill, practice makes perfect. Don't be too hard on yourself if it seems to take you a little longer than others to learn the choreography of a dance routine. Your ability to learn routines quickly will improve over time, as your mind will grow accustomed to forming associations. Practice will bring about improvements in all areas of your dancing, which will make it easier to learn complicated step combinations. The more comfortable you are with the steps, the easier it will be to link them together in your mind.