Whether you want to attract more students to your class or improve your own dance technique, there are several reasons why you should love the camera lens and make it your ally. So whether you’re a dance student, teacher or other belly dance professional, read on for tips on how to use video effectively to help you achieve more.
I know most people hate to see themselves on video. The camera adds 10 pounds (or more?), shows you angles of yourself that you may not be that familiar with, and certainly shows you in a different way than what you may be used to. Our brains and eyes have a funny way of focussing on certain bits. Some may be positive, others not so much, but at the end of the day the footage will show a ‘real’ snap shot of you, which you can then choose to interpret and not least utilise to your advantage.
If you are your own worst critic, then take comfort in the fact that you can use this to get better. But please don’t use it as an excuse to beat yourself up over whatever it may be that you don’t like about yourself. That is not the point of using video! Make peace with the fact that you may not look as slim/tanned/young/sharp etc. than you thought and then start focussing on the elements that you want to use the video for.
I used the motto “Reality beats perfection” when I first started filming myself. What will your motto be?
If you’re not already filming yourself to improve your dance technique or performance skills, then you better get started. It’s the ultimate tool to help you grow and develop as a dancer, if you know what to look for. If you’re new to dancing or performing, then do supplement your training with feedback from a qualified dance professional, to ensure you don’t start getting into bad technique habits.
Check out my blog on How to train effectively
It is also excellent for developing choreographies, as you can simply film as you improvise and that way more or less instantly can see what works. As a bonus you also have a record of it, so should you forget, or not be able to interpret your own choreography notes, then simply watch the video back.
You can read more in my article on Three tips to improve your choreographies
If you’re a dance professional you’re probably already using video, either on social media or your website. Both should be ‘media rich’ which means have lots of good quality photos and videos, as these are the ultimate selling tool, and will be worth more than a thousand words.
So how can you get even better and not least use them to reach a bigger audience? You can create inspirational updates or insights to you and/or your dancing, short videos to inspire people to attend your classes, such as the ‘Why we Belly Dance‘ video which I have on my website, or you could include videos of a choreography that you’re planning to teach, or already have taught, to show potential new students what they can expect.
Creating good video is very easy if you have a smartphone and not least something relevant to say. But that doesn’t necessarily make a good video. Consider your set-up including background, lighting and not least sound, before your start recording. Have a clear message, so you’re not waffling on for longer than necessary, and make sure to have a clear beginning, middle and end.
I didn’t mention hair and make up, as I really don’t think it’s necessary. But if it makes you feel better, then by all means make sure to sort these out too. Remember my motto “Reality beats perfection”? On that note, I will soon be doing a new series of inspirational videos, so if you’re not already receiving my weekly updates, then make sure to subscribe here.
If you’re doing a quick video to share on social media, then consider doing a ‘live’ one, as these will rank higher in the social media algorithms, which means it will show up in more people’s feeds. There are also different times of the week and day where these are more likely to attract interest. Think about your perfect student/customer and then imagine that you’re doing the video as a direct message to them, whilst keeping it professional and approachable for those who may not know you. This can also help you determine the best times to post and go ‘live’.
If you’re creating a more complex video, which includes other people such as students, make sure to have consent from all of these before using the video. You may want to add these to public or secret playlists on your video management site such as YouTube or Vimeo. You can check out my YouTube channel here.
Finally, make sure to have a clear call to action (CTA) or a place to send people at the end of the video. Ideally this is where those interested in knowing more can find additional information, such as a website, facebook page etc.
But do avoid having a ‘sale’ at the end of each video. Because more people are using video these days, they are often followed by a ‘trailer’ (additional video and not ad) selling some kind of product, and although effective, it can also be a real turn-off if used all the time. So an option to consider, but not exhaust.
So how will you use video more effectively in the future? Have you already discovered new ways that I haven’t mentioned in the above? There are endless ways of using video to improve both your dancing and your business, and this article only really covers the basics, but I hope you found it useful. Please share with others and don’t forget to leave me a comment below so we can keep the knowledge sharing and dance development going. Happy dancing in front of the camera 🙂
Did you miss my last post? Read it here: Costume collection tips