It seems like Nel Shelby Productions is constantly uncovering more ways to help dancers and choreographers through excellent quality dance video. Recently, we’ve found high demand for filming and editing audition videos for dancers looking to attend summer dance intensives, enroll in college dance departments and conservatories and even send video samples of their dancing to professional performing companies.
Pointe Magazine published this article in 2018, but we wanted to provide some of our professional tips of how to audition by video.
1. Don’t get too fancy with your audition video. Most dance schools, programs and companies would prefer to see a one-camera video shoot rather than two-cameras, because two-camera edits involve putting together multiple angles, and the choices made about showing your dancing from certain angles may seem suspicious… Why did they cut to a close-up of her torso there? Was she off-balance on releve? Etc. You don’t want to look like you’re hiding something.
2. Film the audition material in a relatively clean space with great light. We bring our own lighting equipment to every studio we film auditions in, because you never know if you’ll have enough natural light, and it’s very important the dance program can see you!
3. Bring a coach! We always try to remind our clients who are creating audition reels that in order to get the most out of their session with Nel Shelby Productions, it’s great to bring a teacher or coach who knows the material. This is just because we can make sure you look great on camera, but we don’t know the choreography or variations.
4. Practice makes perfect video. Dancers should come fully prepared with all variations, exercises and choreography set and well-rehearsed for their audition video shoot. Warming up and setting hair and make-up before the session is also important.
5. Most of all, talk to your videographer about the application requirements and deadlines before you film your dancing. We’re very sensitive to the fact that many dancers need a quick turnaround in video delivery for auditions and other applications. We can work with you to deliver your dance video as fast as possible, but we can only work to do that if we know ahead of time and plan accordingly. Talk over the dance audition guidelines with your video team, too. How should the variations be ordered on the video? How should the variations be ordered on the video? Do you need to show one side or both if barre work is requested? Do you need titles to introduce each section of the video?
Watch an excerpt of Brittany Shinay’s dance audition video for a glance at how we handle the audition taping process. Enjoy!