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Editing Ballet & Lyrical Dances

These dances typically present fluid movement, attractive body line, and posed patterns on the stage, but they may also include grand leaps and other dramatic moves.


  • Use wide shots to capture the positions and poses of the corps, unless the group is tight.
  • Come in to close-ups (CUs) once patterns are established for the viewer.
  • Look for opportunities to cut to a CU of a focal point in the dance – like an obvious important solo.
  • Most clips will be longer in duration than more driving music, but some cuts can be brief for dramatic moves.
  • Choose angles that show the best lines of the body.
  • For solos, OK to use fewer cuts — even just the close-up if there is no need to cut to the other camera.
  • Use dissolve transitions if cuts seem abrupt and shifting them does not help.
  • Typically, more realistic straight-on angles and flattering images work best with this type of dance. GoPro is often not as useful. High angles shorten the body line and should be used primarily to positioning on the stage.


  • Be careful not to cut during dramatic dance steps — a cut like this will make this important movement seem to disappear.
  • Avoid CUs of dancers’ mistakes — look or a CU is there that totally avoids it or, if this isn’t possible, cut to a wide shot.
  • For pointe dances, lower the stage mic to minimize the sound of pointe shoes pounding the floor.
  • Watch for distractions in the wings, e.g., dancers waiting to come out for the next dance, and try to avoid if possible.