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Editing Beginner Dances

Typically all performers in these numbers do the same moves, and the dancers are often strung across the stage in a line. They often have several phrases of music where the group comes together in a circle.


  • Try to get about 3 to 4 close-ups of each dancer, which can be panning shots or still shots of subsets of dancers.
  • Stay on the close-up (CU) a few seconds (~4 sec.) to establish recognition and show that dancer’s movement; CUs of still dancers are not very valuable, but better than nothing.
  • Use picture in picture edits if a panning shot is good for the whole line of dancers. This allows you to stay on the close-up shot longer without missing the rest of the group. Set the wide shot lower in the frame to minimize reduction in scale of the CU.
  • If the audience reacts vocally to an action on stage, use the closest shot available so viewers can see what is causing the audience to react.
  • Look for opportunities to get the whole group as a CU. This often occurs as the group comes together in a circle.
  • If there are helpers on the sidelines, it’s OK to include them in the opening establishing shot - often these are older dancers who are helping with the class and might want to be recognized.
  • If there is a boy in the group, he may get moments of a unique part. Look for CU opportunities of this.
  • For tap numbers, raise the audio level on the stage mic to increase the sound of the taps.


  • Avoid CUs that have too much bare space to one side or the other. This includes the completion of a panning shot that goes too far beyond the final dancer. Sometimes it’s possible to zoom in to get better framing of the shot.
  • Be careful not to exclude any dancer for more than 10 seconds. They will be missed.
  • Try to avoid CUs that leave just one dancer out. It looks like an obvious omission.
  • When kids are lined up and CU camera is panning, be sure the dancer at the end doesn’t get shorted. They should have as much camera time as the as middle kid.