These Dancers Prove There's No One Right Way to Do Social Media
When Instagram launched in 2010, few would have predicted it would become the identity-defining, I-can-make-a-living-off-this-thing behemoth that it is today. For dancers in particular, Instagram comes with a host of possibilities. Three dancers share how they translate double taps into career advancements—while thousands of people follow along.
What she posts: Klock first joined Instagram to share her paintings, which she sells. A few years ago, she also started posting clips of her choreography for Hubbard Street Dance Chicago and other companies. "I never wanted it to become an egotistical, surface-level thing. I wanted it to be about the work," says Klock, now co-director of FLOCK.
Why she's posting: "We have this whole idea that you can only see dance if you buy a ticket and go to a theater and have money," she says. "It feels limited. Instagram is a great way to share with everyone, and I feel the point of art is to give it to the people." She's received requests from followers to create custom tattoos based on her visual-art work.
The strategy: Klock posts almost every day, which helps her stay in her followers' feeds. "I never go out and construct my next post," she says. "It's always what I'm up to at that time."
Most-viewed post: A short solo from February has more than 32K views.
What he posts: Imagine you're walking down a New York City street when suddenly a super-athletic, super-unassuming passerby erupts into a series of grands jetés and then continues down the crosswalk, unfazed. That's Alex Wong. His delightful "spontaneous acts of dance" videos are equal parts impressive and hilarious.
Why he's posting: "It all started with comedy-slash-dance videos, and the reactions were so great that it just snowballed."
The strategy: Though Wong's videos are polished, they're not rehearsed. "It's more spur-of-the-moment," he says. "As much as I love Instagram, I try not to let it consume my life." Wong has made some money off his account, through campaigns for Walmart, LG, Kenneth Cole, Pandora, Volvo and Under Armour. But it's also grown his personal brand. "It's a live business card."
Most-viewed post: "The one with me walking across the street in pointe shoes." It has more than 1.9M views.
What she posts: Grace's two accounts have very different purposes: Her @marleegrace profile shares her personal projects, and is more business-minded, while her @personalpractice feed is a series of daily improv videos.
Why she's posting: The @personalpractice account started as a video documentation process and transitioned into a daily practice while Grace went through a divorce, came out and started dating women. "The goal has always only ever been for me," she says. "It's an accountability process, but it's also my little playground." Meanwhile, she uses @marleegrace to talk about her work and promote her books or upcoming classes. "It's a promotional tool where I share vulnerably about my experiences as a queer person, as a woman, an artist, a teacher."
The strategy: While Grace balances self-promotion and creative work, she isn't trying to appease anyone. Her growth happened organically and fast, she says, and in large part because she kept her posts honest.
Most-viewed post: An Instagram story of Grace dancing in a cabin in California, rocking out to Sheryl Crow in a white T-shirt and a leotard. "I'm barely even dancing," she says, but it earned more than 94K views.
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Capezio, Bloch, So Dança, Gaynor Minden.
At the top of the line, dancers have plenty of quality footwear options to choose from, and in most metropolitan areas, stores to go try them on. But for many of North America's most economically disadvantaged dance students, there has often been just one option for purchasing footwear in person: Payless ShoeSource.
When Sonya Tayeh saw Moulin Rouge! for the first time, on opening night at a movie theater in Detroit, she remembers not only being inspired by the story, but noticing the way it was filmed.
"What struck me the most was the pace, and the erratic feeling it had," she says. The camera's quick shifts and angles reminded her of bodies in motion. "I was like, 'What is this movie? This is so insane and marvelous and excessive,' " she says. "And excessive is I think how I approach dance. I enjoy the challenge of swiftness, and the pushing of the body. I love piling on a lot of vocabulary and seeing what comes out."
Back when Robbie Fairchild graced the cover of the May 2018 issue of Dance Magazine, he mentioned an idea for a short dance film he was toying around with. That idea has now come to fruition: In This Life, starring Fairchild and directed by dance filmmaker Bat-Sheva Guez, is being screened at this year's Dance on Camera Festival.
While the film itself covers heavy material—specifically, how we deal with grief and loss—the making of it was anything but: "It was really weird to have so much fun filming a piece about grief!" Fairchild laughs. We caught up with him, Guez and Christopher Wheeldon (one of In This Life's five choreographers) to find out what went into creating the 11-minute short film.
When Hollywood needs to build a fantasy world populated with extraordinary creatures, they call Terry Notary.
The former gymnast and circus performer got his start in film in 2000 when Ron Howard asked him to teach the actors how to move like Whos for How the Grinch Stole Christmas. Notary has since served as a movement choreographer, stunt coordinator and performer via motion capture technology for everything from the Planet of the Apes series to The Hobbit trilogy, Avatar, Avengers: Endgame and this summer's The Lion King.
Since opening the Industry Dance Academy with his wife, Rhonda, and partners Maia and Richard Suckle, Notary also offers movement workshops for actors in Los Angeles.