How to make a dance video

How to Make a Dance Video: Essential Guide

During the filming of our dance commercial, we came to realize that making a dance video presented its own set of challenges. The whole process is different, and certain elements that generally stay in the background become the main focus. That’s why we thought it would be a perfect opportunity to talk about how to plan and shoot your own choreographed video and deal with all the issues that tend to arise in this type of project. Shall we?

Work with references

Making dance videos can be done in many styles, so make sure to browse the web and watch different videos and ads that are made with choreography. That will help you get a clear view of the style you need, like whether to make a one-shot video or with different takes and cuts.

Get inspiration from the many dance videos out there

Music is the core

The next step is choosing a song. A dance video revolves around music, so you need to choose your music in the pre-production stage.

You can check out our amazing catalog at Whether it’s funk, hip hop, Pop or other genres, you will find plenty of great songs for dancing.

Frame blocking & staging

Shooting a choreographed video is like a dance between the character and the camera. In this dance, the lead is the movement of your characters through the scene, aka blocking. The ‘follow’ is the movement of the camera in relation to blocking, also called staging.

For example, in our production, as the dancer moves across the apartment, we follow him with a tracking shot to match his fluid movements and add excitement to the shot.

For our production, we used a Steadicam operator with a full Steadicam rig, but if you’re on a budget, you can go DIY and use a gimbal.

Your staging should also take into consideration the camera angle since it has a lot of impact on the final result. If you shoot from a higher angle, you can catch the excitement of the movements, while a low camera position lengthens the legs and makes elevation look higher.

If you decide you’re going to film in several locations, you should figure out which parts of the song your dancer switches locations. You can do it with a simple cut, a practical transition, an in-camera transition like a whip pan or with your actor stepping in and out of frame.

Set action points

Now that you have your song and you know your frame blocking, it’s time to plan out your shots. Listen to the music and try to find “action points”, moments where there’s a change in tempo, instruments or vocals.

Think about the action or dance moves that you want your dancer to perform at that moment. Utilize the different rooms, structures and furniture in the space to motivate the dance. Play around with the environment to really bring everything to life. This process is better done together with your dancer or choreographer (or both) because they can give you excellent ideas that could improve the choreography.

Rehearsals, rehearsals and more rehearsals

It’s essential to take the time to sit down with your dancer and communicate your vision. Talk about the general feeling you want to convey through the dance, the energy, the mood and the pace. Go over the marks and action points you’ve planned and start building and rehearsing the choreography together. A choreographed video should be meticulously planned.

rehearsing at home

Stay flexible

Take some cutaway shots of the dancing to have more flexibility when editing. You never know when you’ll need to cut away from your planned shot.

A good creator is always flexible, so try to be open for changes on set, listen to your dancer and fellow creators to get the best results when things don’t go as planned.

That’s a wrap

Hope you found these tips for shooting choreographed videos useful. Join us for more advice and helpful suggestions that could improve your filmmaking skills. Until then, stay creative!

How To Make A Dance Video

Wanna make a dance video?

What is a dance video / concept video?

I suppose the simplest definition would just be a video with dancing that has a concept. A one-shot of you and your homies doing choreography in a studio or garage is not necessarily a concept video (not that there’s anything wrong with these videos). A concept video has some kind of unifying theme, whether that comes in the form of a storyline, aesthetic, allegory, whatever. The choreography should be in line with whatever idea you’re trying to portray. Let’s take this video for example:

Notice how there’s no discernible storyline here. But the video as a whole presents a coherent picture.The videography, special effects, choreography, and general aesthetic all work together really nicely.It’s abstract and beautiful and we need more of it.

So, how do you make a dance video?

Give a damn about your art. Push your creativity in ways that could end terribly. Real art is neither produced nor consumed at tedious lukewarm temperatures and at least when you fail spectacularly, you learn something from it. You grow your ability to tell stories, to connect with an audience, to think abstractly, and generally to access those parts of yourself that art allows you to access. If that sounds like something you’re interested in, then read on for some tips.

Still insecure? Here: Overcome Your Dance Fears And Live A Creative Life

Your first dance video idea will suck

It’s painful, but don’t be married to your ideas. Scrap your first idea, then your second, and then your third. It may seem counter-intuitive, but constraints breed creativity. If you force yourself to throw the typical ideas out the window, then you leave yourself open to coming up with truly original concepts. By the time you get to your tenth idea, you’ll have something that nobody else has done before.

Take ownership of your dance video

As a videographer, not only is it extremely frustrating when a choreographer gives really vague noncommittal direction, it's also bad for the product. If you want to make a dance video that you'll be proud of, take ownership of it.

More advice: How To Set And Achieve Your Dance Goals

If you were to stage a piece, would you let a random person walk in and block it for you? No, because 9 times out of 10 it won't turn out well. They don’t have the kind of insight that you have as the sole creator of the work. Shooting a video is no different. A videographer is not the same as a director, and certainly not the same as a mind-reader.

If you want your message to be coherent and reflective of your unique point of view, you have to be a director, choreographer, and editor. Sit down and visualize how you want the entire video to look, shot by shot. Explain this very clearly to your videographer. And then sit next to your editor during the post-production process. Nobody is going to work as hard as you on this, so you should be willing to bust your ass to make sure the final product comes out the way you want it.

Plan out your dance video

This might sound fairly obvious, but it needs to be said. Failing to plan is planning to fail. More than once I’ve shown up at a shoot only for the choreographer to realize that whoops, there’s not enough time to teach, block, clean, and film the dance.

Technical tips from the experts: Behind The Dance Lens With Gerald Nonato And Jon Shih

Filming ALWAYS takes longer than you think. Lock down your filming days. Create a loose schedule, make sure your cast is available the entire time, bring your props/equipment and it helps to have a shot list (list of specific shots you want). You want to have all this stuff planned out so you can…

Improvise as you go

There’s a lot of love for the run-and-gun style of guerrilla filming that a lot of amateur DSLR-users employ. Plan out how your want your day to generally go, but don’t be afraid to deviate from that structure if you happen to be struck by inspiration. The less you’re worrying about mundane, operational details, the more you leave your mind open to spontaneity. And remember... Sometimes your best ideas will come on the fly, so be prepared to roll with them!

Balance what you want to make vs. What people want to see

Ultimately, you are in charge of what you want to film and how you wish to portray yourself and your art. But at the same time, viewers are in charge of what they decide to sit through. Don’t shoot a 10-minute-long homage to your ego that creates a wave of eyes rolling back into people’s skulls. Be true to yourself and your message but respect your audience.


Steve Jobs often told the Macintosh team that “real artists ship.”In the context of the tech industry, to “ship” means to deliver your product to customers. When you make a dance video, it means that you have to get off your ass and film something. The most important step to creating art is to actually create it. If you spend hours in the studio or garage finely glossing your piece but never get around to finishing it, blocking it, or filming it, then you will never realize your potential.

Accept that your piece will never be perfect. Grab a few buddies and a camera. .. and get to shooting!Concept videos are still a relatively new genre, and there’s still a lot of experimentation and progress to be made. Nobody’s asking you to be perfect or become the next Youtube sensation—that’s missing the point. Make great videos for your own growth. Laugh and learn from your horrendous failures. We’ll all be better for it.

Our STEEZY Studio classes all have a concept video of the piece that's taught – check 'em out on our YouTube channel!

Have you ever made a dance video? Or have a favorite concept video? Share them in the comments below!

8 tips on how to make a decent dance video yourself.

Today I want to give some advice on how to make yourself a decent dance video. Why is it important? Dance is a visual art form, which means that you must and must be able to do it well. Many dancers have become famous only thanks to their videos on YouTube. Isn't it time to join their ranks?

Listed below are 8 top tips for making your own dance video.

1. Musical composition. The track determines what and how you will dance. Based on it, you create your image, look for a suitable location for shooting. A couple of tips for choosing music. It should motivate and inspire you. This is the main thing. By duration. Dance videos are best done within 2-2.5 minutes. Then the viewer will watch to the end and like.

2. The main character of in the frame is you. And that means you have to take your appearance seriously. Choose clothes that look beautiful on the one hand, and are comfortable to dance in on the other. If you have an idea in your video, then the costume can emphasize it. The same applies to hair, make-up (if you are a girl), shaving / unshaven (if you are a guy). Be smart and in style. nine0003

3. Choosing a location for filming . The location should reflect the general idea and reinforce it. For example, you decided to make a downhole hip-hop video to the “rocking track”. Suitable city, busy streets, underground courtyards, graffiti, etc. This will create the right atmosphere. Now imagine that you, so cool and pretentious, will shoot your video against the backdrop of a dull village courtyard, where a cow grazes in the background and the wind sways the nettles. Feel the difference?

4. Scenario . Every good film has a premise, a plot, and a climax. It's the same with your dance. He must develop. Otherwise, the video will turn out to be monotonous and the viewer will become bored. As a rule, I do not prepare all the movements for filming, but simply outline that here I dance with a small amplitude, then I start to diverge, then I pause, and here I burn, and so on. Videos are greatly enhanced by original ideas, tricks, etc.

5. Camera and light. Now it's easier to make a high-quality picture on video than before. Even shooting on the phone, you can get a very decent quality. The main thing is more light in the video. It can be natural light on the street, light from windows if you are indoors, special light from spotlights, etc. The main thing is that it should be, then the picture will come out bright, with rich colors. nine0003

6. Operator. If possible, call the operator. Hire or find a free one. Now enough people are addicted to video shooting, so it will be great practice for them to work with you. If there is no one at all, then use a tripod. The main thing is to pre-build the frame so that you look beautiful in it and there is nothing superfluous. And click on record.

7. Shoot more. The more practice you have, the better the result will be. You will begin to “see the frame”, understand how to fully reveal the dance on the video. More practice, more success. nine0003

8. Something always goes wrong . I have shot about 500 dance lessons and videos. And almost always something went wrong. Either people walk in the background, then the rain starts to drizzle, then the operator is late, then you forgot to do something, and so on. This is normal, be prepared for jambs, without them there is no filming. Therefore, if something deviates from the planned plan, react and adapt to the situation. I ran through the "tops" and gave basic advice.

Recently I had to shoot my own dance for "Dances on TNT". Yesterday I posted a video on YouTube. What worked and what didn't is up to you to judge. Here is the video:

By the way, if you are looking for a dance school, try the Dragon School. 1 lesson as a gift.

How to make a DANCE Video: interview with director and videographer

Dance. ru has repeatedly paid attention to such a bright phenomenon as DANCE VIDEO - professional clips, the main character in which is Dance. There are more and more of them and it seems that every dancer has got either a video presentation or his own dance video. nine0003

Recently, by the way, a dance-music video "SHIRO feat SAM ZI - Without brakes" was released - a joint project of Sam Zakharov and Sharif. And we, taking this opportunity, decided to find out from the creators how dance videos are born, how they differ from music videos, what difficulties one has to face on the set and why all this, in fact, is needed.

And they told us everything about it the video director Sergey Borisov and videographer Daria Grafova .

- Guys, who, in general, starts this process, who comes up with the bright thought “We need to shoot a dance video”, when does the team suddenly gather and how do you distribute responsibilities?

Sergey Borisov: The idea of ​​this video was born, of course, by Sam. We have known him since 2011 and during this time we have become best friends - I say this with pride!) My task was to organize the filming process: how objects are located in the frame, what they are doing at the moment, how they are moving, and so on. nine0003

Daria Grafova: I've known Sam for about half a year. She immediately agreed to take part in the filming of the video for the track, which he created together with Sharif. Helped in organizational matters, selected locations, and filmed, of course.

stills from the filming of the video

- Daria, I know that it is quite difficult for photographers to learn how to shoot motions - you need a lot of experience. Probably, with video filming in this regard is even more difficult? Have you had to do this before?

Daria Grafova: Yes, I had to. Initially, my videography began with a chance meeting on the set with electro dancers - Eddy Electro and Yarus. This happened in July 2013. I then shot my first video in this vein - and the guys liked it. Gradually, my development in this direction began, the dancers began to ask for filming.

As for the difficulties, yes, of course there are. Both complexities and peculiarities. The main thing is to be able to see a suitable shooting angle, where and from which side the dancer will look as impressive as possible, while hiding small jambs of the entire choreography. nine0003

It is also necessary to reach an understanding between the operator and the dancer - for a more harmonious work with each other. And for the dynamics of the video itself, you need to find, as I think, each one has its own zest, which will distinguish the video of a certain operator.

- Just like dancing...

Daria Grafova: Exactly! In my case, for frame dynamics, I use steadicam so that the frame is not completely static.

- Sergey, what experience do you have in shooting dance videos? nine0062

Sergey Borisov: We filmed a lot of freestyle on the streets. But if we talk about purely professional dance videos, then there was work again with Sam - they shot a "business card" for Anzhelika Glukhova. Here I acted as a choreographer:

- What do you think, Dance Video - can it be considered a separate genre, a kind, a special kind of art?

Sergey Borisov: Yes! I consider it a special genre! It's like any music video, or just creativity, but here people are interested in dance, choreography, harmony of music and pictures in the frame! So far, both foreign and Russian dancers-choreographers shoot videos according to certain clichés and rules, but you can rarely stumble upon something interesting. nine0003

- What cliches?

Sergey Borisov: Most often you can see one general shot and a couple of close-ups. Or - which is even more common - the entire choreography is filmed in one shot. But you want to observe dynamics, development. ..

- But we often observe how frequent frame changes are abused in clips... do you think this is such a naive semblance of dynamics or is it the right move?

Sergey Borisov: More like. In my purely subjective opinion, with which one may disagree, development and dynamics should be in the very plot of the video, in the change of locations, images! nine0003

- Daria, you mentioned steadicam. Expensive pleasure? And tell me, if you had immense financial resources, what kind of equipment would you use to shoot dances in order to get such a perfect dance video?

Daria Grafova: Yes, earlier, when I was a minor, it was an expensive pleasure for me personally - therefore, I could not provide for myself. Immeasurable financial opportunities? Perhaps, I have been dreaming for a long time to start shooting with large cameras - those that are used in cinema, but so far there is no such possibility ... To it, respectively, and my own equipment, such as: rails, lighting, my own studio, my own space in which you can easily create. The same team with which you can constantly create something interesting. I hope all of this will be. nine0003

clip shots

- Let's get back to the clip. Were there any difficulties during filming? Moreover, you were filming on the street...

Daria Grafova: We filmed for 9-10 hours. Everything was done in 1 day. Fortunately, there were no problems at all, except to organize everyone. The place was chosen quite deserted, so there were no extra people who could interfere. Although there was one trouble: the day before filming, it turned out that the cars that were supposed to take part in the filming would not arrive. Arriving at the filming location, they did not hang up their noses and began to work with what was. But after 2 hours they called us and said that the cars still arrived. Everything that was originally planned, in the end turned out. Many thanks for this OPC-club! nine0003

Sergey Borisov: Well, it turned out to be not such a big problem to organize adult children, everyone was imbued with the situation, picked up our wave and began to work with us. I also wanted to mention Opc-club - a community of people who are passionate about one thing - love for cars, and in particular for Opel Astra)

complete team

- And the last question: since we found out that dance videos are a special kind of art, then who do you think will develop it and will it develop at all in our country? Recently, a lot of dancers and teams have started making dance videos. In general, will quantity turn into quality? nine0062

Daria Grafova: Based on my filming experience, I can say this: there is development, many are trying to create something, bringing in new ideas that they want to convey through the same dance videos. But as for the transition from quantity to quality, I’m not sure, I judge by my own criteria, although I don’t dance myself. It's like a person who recently picked up a camera, says that he is a photographer. There are many of those. For some, commerce is important, for others, pure creativity. I like the fact that most of the people around me don't stop dancing, thus giving an example of what can be achieved in life, no matter what.

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