I started to make dance videos in 2009 on my iPod mini. As someone who was dabbling with the idea of getting back into dance, the video platform was a fun outlet to play with.
To make dance videos alone in my room… it gave me the creative freedom I never had in my past traditional dance environments.
Since I wasn’t up for the mental anguish that a dance classroom setting might cause (i.e. the risk of putting myself in a competitive environment where all the “real dancers” would judge me and I wouldn’t be able to keep up), I liked the idea of dancing on my own, but also having the option of an audience through whoever might see the dance video.
Dancing alone in my room on a Friday night suddenly could become a film shoot. My bedside lamp: the stage lights. My teddy bear: the partner.
Being alone suddenly didn’t have to be so lonely.
2010, one of my very first dance videos
From a personal standpoint, to make dance videos was a liberating act of creative expression.
It was my way of rebelling against the ballet establishment that I grew up in, the one who told me my body was not ideal for ballet, the one who had such strict rules that it turned something I loved into something I worked so hard to control, which ultimately led me to leave it for good.
It also came in handy when things in my personal life got turned upside down. When my dad had a debilitating stroke and spent weeks in the hospital or nursing home, when my mom was going through cancer treatment, I was able to make dance videos in the small moments I had to myself. It helped me to stay centered in myself and express the pain and anguish that words couldn’t.
2018, from a recent hospital visit with my mom
From a creative standpoint, I felt like I was finally becoming an artist.
Something I had pen-palled to my Great Aunt Marianne about as a teenager. At the time I didn’t see my ballerina self as being a true artist, like my Aunt was with her painting, but I so wished I was. Now, to make a dance video could give an otherwise ethereal art form some kind of lasting impression. It also allowed me to use more than just dance to express myself.
2011, feeling artsy alone in my room
From a professional standpoint, I didn’t realize it at the time, but making dance videos was a catalyst for the gradual transition of my entire career.
At the time I started making them, I was working full time as a holistic women’s health coach. Outing myself as a dancer felt crazy at the time - what would my clients think of me? Would I be considered unprofessional? - but something in me knew I had to. The reclaiming of my identity as a dancer led me to incorporate dance and creativity into my work with people, both in groups and one-on-one. I branched off from women’s health and focused on another vital aspect of human health: creative expression.
Little did I know at the time that I’d be talking about my dance video story on a TEDx stage years later, that my DIY videos would be screened at Lincoln Center, that I’d see my student get hired to share her own homemade dance video-making in a commercial for Dove Chocolate.
2014, my first TEDx talk
I’m still making videos and still very much in process with my whole personal and professional life so I’m not here to tell you that I have all the answers or that this is another “before & after” story you should strive to be like.
What I do know is how to make dance videos.
After doing it for almost a decade, I’ve gotten many direct messages from friends and social media followers asking me, “what program did you use to edit that video?” And other questions like it about how I make the videos I post.
It’s been on my mind for years to offer this and finally it feels like the right time.
So I welcome you to join me for The Art of the D.I.Y. Dance Video.
In this online training series, I'm revealing all the secrets on how I make my D.I.Y. (Do It Yourself) dance videos that make an impact.
Learn the technical basics of shooting and editing your own videos - no experience necessary! - and get inspired with artistic direction and guidance for turning your basic video into a work of art that you’re proud of. All so that you can post videos, share yourself with confidence and charisma, and reach more people authentically.
If you’ve been curious about expanding your dance video making vocabulary...
If you’ve ever wanted personal guidance or feedback on your videos or Instagram...
If you’re looking for a fun creative outlet to boost your art or business or personal expression...
It would be an honor to share it with you.
2018, from my annual project, Dance-a-Day in the Month of May