In some dance recitals, this is the dominating category. Many programs do not offer adequate training to produce dance much beyond the beginner level. For this category of dancers, editing can make a huge difference in the apparent quality of the performance.
- If the dance looks a little disorganized, cutting to the music helps. Make the cut at the end of a verbal phrase, as most choreography is designed around the words.
- High energy, driving music calls for more cuts. Don’t make the mistake of holding wide shots for too long — this will rob the dance of its energy. If there isn’t a good alternate wide shot, use short close-ups to highlight then cut back to the wide shot.
- Highlight good, dramatic and/or impressive dance moves with short close-ups to emphasize when dancers do something well. Keep these shots short, and they won’t obscure other parts of the choreography. The close-up should begin just as the dancer is starting the move and end toward its finish or after it is completed. Cutting in the middle of a move can make it seem to “disappear”.
- Avoid close-ups (CUs) where the dancer is appearing confused or doing the wrong thing. Some things that are cute for tots are negative for older beginners.
- If a dancer falls or makes an obvious mistake, try to find a shot where the mistake doesn’t show. If this is not possible, a wide shot is a last resort. It’s OK to make it look like a camera glitch to hide the mistake, especially if it’s short.
- Try to avoid the use of longer CUs that leave only one dancer out; e.g. a CU of 4 dancers in a group when only 5 are in the piece.