My first experience teaching dance online was in 2007 when I first started teaching at A Global Rhythm Dance Studio in Southern California. These videos were part of launching a new beginner ballroom dance class series at the studio. In each of these videos, we teach a basic step, and then share information about an upcoming class in the studio. The goal was to take a value-added approach to our marketing by providing a free first step lesson to students, and then invite them into the studio to learn more.
The Recording Experience
Recording the videos took some planning. First we chose which step to teach, and which music to use for the demonstration. We did our recordings at night after closing, so there were no students around. In order to maintain a consistent shooting frame throughout the recording process, we marked the floor with tape. One mark for the camera, one for each dancer, and a line to designate the edge of the frame. We did many takes. So many takes. Some nights were very long (see blooper video on the playlist at the end of this post).
The most important lesson I learned throughout this experience was to be aware of how angles and patterns affect the quality of filming, as well as the importance of clear sound. I mentioned doing many takes earlier, and this is because even when you get the script and steps right, there could be some random background noise that obscures the entire lesson. The benefit of pre-recording lessons is that you can edit your lessons and provide more value to students.
Long-Lasting Digital Archives
Another benefit of pre-recorded lessons is that they last. I am fortunate to have started teaching at a studio where one of the owners was a filmmaker and digital marketing expert, and they have kept these videos online. So not only are these videos useful to new dancers for learning a basic step, they are a part of our collective digital dance archive.
And now the moment you’ve all been waiting for… 19 year old Nikki (with bleached blonde hair), teaching you some basic ballroom steps. There are 6 videos on the playlist: Swing, Rumba, Waltz, Foxtrot, Cha Cha, and a blooper reel!