Dance Educators

“One of the benefits of applying to a program like YoungArts is that the audition preparation and video submission requirement is similar to requirements of college and summer programs.  An important aspect of working with the students to prepare their audition material is to learn what looks good on film.  And specifically, which solo in the student’s repertoire should be filmed to demonstrate the student’s artistry to best advantage.    We ask students to perform the solo of their choice which we film.  We then sit with the student and watch their performance, analyzing and reviewing the work.  The student begins to learn how some solos, which are very beautiful when performed in-person, do not translate well to film.  For high school age dancers, this may be the first time that they have ever been asked to think about their performance in a context other than live performance.  It is a learning moment to for both the teacher and the student as it provides the opportunity to evaluate the performance and ask:  ‘How does my solo read on the camera?’ ‘How is the experience of watching my performance on a small video screen different than viewing a live performance on stage?   And ‘How is it similar?” and ‘How do I have to perform or dance differently when performing to film to fully demonstrate my abilities and creativity voice?"

Brian Devine
Dance Instructor, Assistant Dance Coordinator, Ballet/Jazz/Composition
Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, Dallas, Texas

"That device in your hand, that can take great footage. Just film and film and film and film and film and rehearse it to be filmed. We tell the kids all the time to get in the studio, set up your phone, film it. What does it look like? Is it dynamic? Is it one note? What do you see? Do you only go back and forth and never come down to actually be seen? Are there weird angles? Are you doing all this floor work that you can’t see? Think about the angle of where the camera is with the dancer and how much does the camera see. Be educated on how much you can pan with each part because you want camera movement to be helpful to the piece. You have to think about the person that’s behind the camera as well and how they are seeing through that lens. So looking at how it’s being shot is important too."

Katherine Walker
Dance Instructor, Dance Cluster Coordinator, Ballet/Kinesiology/Modern
Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, Dallas, Texas