Filming in dance class

With the rise of social media, filming and posting what goes on in the studio have become ever more popular. It’s not just about a final onstage performance—dance classes have become, in a sense, virtual performances. Teachers are constantly creating new routines for their online content and dancers are competing to be the chosen on-camera few.

On the one hand, social media—specifically the posting of class videos—has helped teachers to market their classes in their home cities and also to audiences across the globe. But the trend has gotten somewhat out of hand. Students dress up in showy outfits with fully done hair and makeup.  Teachers audition the room and select a small group of dancers to perform the routine for his or her social media page.  It’s an honor, sure.  But it’s also a problem.  Class should certainly always be a professional, hard-working environment. But class is nota formal performance.  It should be a safe and supportive space to explore, mess up, try new things, and improve your skills.

Furthermore, if a teacher frequently films his or her dance class, that message is passed on to their students.  You often see dancers taking out their own cell phones in class to film their friends from the side of the room.  How can you recognize your vulnerability and truly investigate and explore your ability in class if you’re anxious to make a mistake, worried that it might show up on social media?

If you want to film yourself as a dancer or your work as a choreographer, that’s fantastic!  But make sure to get proper permission (from the studio, teacher, and all of your fellow dancers) and simply keep it out of the classroom.

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