As a dancer and choreographer myself, I’m knee-deep in dance videos anytime I open my social media. They overwhelm my Instagram feed and YouTube suggestions, and I’m all the better for it. Because of this, I know that whenever alt-pop singer Billie Eilish releases new music, I will inevitably scroll past choreography videos for said music as soon as a week later. Something about Eilish’s style and sound sets the dance community aflame, scurrying to create choreography to her songs.
With the release of Eilish’s debut album, “WHEN WE ALL FALL ASLEEP, WHERE DO WE GO?” just three weeks past, there is an overabundance of incredible choreography videos to wade through. If you’re a dance enthusiast and Billie Eilish fan like me, enjoy this ranked compilation of my favorite pieces that have been created so far.
Out of all of Eilish’s new music, “bad guy” seems to be one of the most popular opportunities for choreography in the dance community. Many dancers across styles, from heels to hip hop, have choreographed to this song, but my favorite was Nika Kljun’s contemporary take on the dark, gritty number. Her musicality and clever expression of the lyrics is original and striking.
Lots of big names in the dance community took Kljun’s class: if you’ve kept up with NBC’s “World of Dance,” you’ll recognize some familiar faces, namely Sean & Kaycee as well as Michael Dameski from Season 2. My favorite performance from the class, however, comes from Erica Klein, who begins dancing center in the video at 3:16.
Tim Milgram’s hip hop choreography is sharp, bouncy and flowy all at once, flexible enough to shift and change as the song demands. It all comes together to create a fantastic combination that makes me wish I had taken the class myself.
The first soloist, Trinity Inay, dances to this choreography beautifully. Her movements are so clean, hitting every beat while properly alternating between sharpness and fluidity to show off her insane musicality. Another noteworthy duo in this class are Alysa Gutierrez and Ayden Nguyen, two kids who have to be under 12 (skip to 5:21 if you want to watch them crush the combination).
To be honest, it takes a lot to impress me within the heels style. From what I’ve seen, the typical heels piece usually consists of sexiness alone with little technique or skill, besides being able to balance on stilettos while dancing (which in and of itself is a noteworthy achievement).
However, Galen Hooks’s choreography to “bury a friend” is so ingenious, so perfect for the song, that I’ve seen it enough to almost have it memorized and I’m still not sick of it. It’s simple but masterful, combining original expression of the lyrics and strong musicality to create a killer piece.
Hooks herself, who performs center with the first trio, dances it the best: Something you might think would be unsurprising as she is the choreographer, but usually there is at least one or more dancers in the class that dances it better than the choreographer does. In this case, however, Hooks’s performance is the most stunning, and I can’t take my eyes off of her.
This is another example where the choreographer dances it the best, even in the likes of the prodigious Kaycee Rice (half of Sean & Kaycee from “World of Dance” Season 2) and hip hopper Bailey Sok, who is also a “World of Dance” alum. Everything about Jojo Gomez’s performance, center in the first trio, rings of powerful expression and clarity of movement.
You can tell Gomez was feeling every moment of her hip hop piece, and that, along the cleverness of her choreography, makes this piece stand out among other dance adaptations of “you should see me in a crown,” or Eilish choreography in general. Plus, her choreography and use of facial expression is, frankly, the creepiest on this list, which stays true to the tone of Eilish’s album.
Despite being a hip-hop combination, this is radically different from every other video on this list. On a sonar level, “xanny” is a slower, gentler song with the beats and bass not harsh or strong but rather soft, nudging, intense and subliminally mesmerizing, combined with Eilish’s delicate vocals.
Kodish tackles this fragile song (and its bleaker subject matter) with grace unusual for a hip-hop piece. The movements are fluid yet sharp and complicated, gut-wrenchingly expressing the lyrics through unique choreography. It’s gritty yet visually stunning.
Sean Lew (the other half of “World of Dance’s” Sean & Kaycee) and Kaycee Rice, like with most videos on this list, comprise the other two soloists in this video. Each of them brings such a unique yet beautiful twist to the choreography that I genuinely don’t know which I like best.
What is most noteworthy about this video is surprisingly not Kodish’s choreography, though it leaves me speechless. His choreography ends with the chorus of “xanny,” but you’ll notice that the dancers keep dancing as Eilish continues singing. This is called improv, and it is what it sounds like — the dancers come up with choreography on the spot, letting the song and their subconscious control their movements.
Improv is a must in classes like this, but Kodish, Rice, and Lew’s respective improvs are more breathtaking, more moving, than any improv I have ever seen. Even finding the words to describe this piece is difficult — it’s too beautiful. Beside the elegance and excellent exposition of the choreography, the passion and meaning each dancer brings to the choreography gives me goosebumps every time.