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Editing Jazz/Hip Hop/Tap/African/Celtic

These dance forms focus more on energy of the dance than the beauty of line, although line is still a factor. Jazz and hip hop use movements in isolated parts of the body to dramatize. Tap is mostly about the feet.


  • More cuts are anticipated, as the rhythm of the music and power of the motion drives it.
  • Cut to phrasing of the music.
  • Cut to close-ups (CUs) to dramatize the power of a leap or jump. However, if the whole group is leaping in sync, make sure the shot you choose captures them performing that beautiful, solidly rehearsed bit.
  • Find opportunities to highlight perfectly executed turns by a dancer for several seconds, then cut back to show the whole group.
  • Cutting when the dancers are down in preparation for the next turn in a series will distract and make this seem less obvious.
  • Use funky angles to exaggerate dramatic movement. For example, a GoPro often dramatizes the movement of whole group coming toward or away from the camera. In Celtic dance, a high-placed camera, such as a balcony shot, shows intricate figures on the stage that are sometimes hidden when viewed by audience-level cameras.
  • Use CUs to highlight solos if good shots are available.
  • For tap numbers — use short CUs of feet if the feet are placed well in the frame and the dancers are well synchronized. If necessary, zoom the shot so the feet are positioned better.
  • For tap, raise the audio of the stage mic, particularly for the smaller kids that don’t have much weight on top of the taps.


  • Make sure the use of a CU does not hide parts of the choreography, such as when dancers are intentionally doing different things. There is often value in cutting to a CU, but keep it short.
  • Find ways to minimize the look of errors by the dancers. Cut to a CU of other dancers or pull out to the widest shot.
  • Go back and check the audio alignment to make sure it has not shifted.