A dance concept video, or concept video for short, is a video that shows a story or a concept through the art of dance and choreography. This form of art and expression is very popular among dancers. The idea is to record a story or a concept through a desired angle or perspective.
This instructable will go through the general steps for creating your very own concept video. It will also include some advice and tips to help you along the way.
Step 1: Select a Song
Most dancers get inspiration through listening to songs. They will often lose their self and end up telling a story through dance. That is why the song selection process is a fundamental step for creating your concept video. It’s difficult to create a concept video using a song that holds no meaning to you.
There are many ways to search for song ideas. One way is to watch well-known dancers and choreographers through YouTube. You can easily find the inspiration to dance to a certain song after watching an experienced dancer dance to it. Also, they tend to have a good-taste or similar-taste in music.
Another way to search for song ideas is to narrow down your song list to a specific genre, and then down to a specific artist. Think about what kind of story you want to tell. A love story tends to fall in the R&B category while a story full of rage tends to fall in the Rap category. When looking for a specific artist, it helps to stick with a popular artist or an artist you normally follow. But don’t be afraid to listen to artists you’ve never heard of before. You can still find some inspiration from them.
Step 2: Decide on a Story or a Concept
When deciding on a story or a concept, remember the reason why you selected the song you’ve chosen. What kind of feeling did it make you want to express? Did it remind you of a past memory or experience that you want to retell?
After deciding on your idea, begin to create your storyline or concept, and be creative with it. Some things to consider include: Are you just going to show choreography in your video? Do you want any dialogue? Do you want to utilize muted dialogue? Do you want to provide an introductory slide with quotes? The list goes on and on and it’s up to you how you want to tell your story.
Step 3: Making the Choreography
For those new to making choreography, here are some simple steps to follow. The first step is to listen to your song a lot. And I mean a lot! This is to familiarize yourself with the song and choose which parts you want to choreograph to. It’s also to think of any edits or “cuts” you want done to your song. If you don’t already have one, below is a link to a list of the 13 best free audio editing apps:
And if needed, you can easily find music editing tutorials in online websites like YouTube.
The second step is start freestyling to your song. This is to see how your body responds to the music. Think about how your body “grooves” to certain sounds. This is also the time to think of possible moves or combinations that you can use for your choreography.
The third step is to start making “chunks” of your choreography and then piece them all together. For certain sections of the song, you may have already thought up of a move or combination to use. Start with making those “chunks” first. You don’t necessarily have to start from beginning to end. Then after that, start building the sections around it and then eventually, piece them all together.
The fourth step is to polish and “clean” your moves. Sometimes, what you envisioned in your mind may not be the same as what you actually look like. This is what this step is for. This is the time to fix and “clean” your moves. Having a big mirror helps greatly, but you could also improvise by using door-size mirrors, glass reflections, or better yet, improvise by recording yourself.
Another thing to remember is to remember that how you practice is how you will execute. So when you’re going over your choreography, execute them with full extensions and energy, or “full-out”. This is so to gain the muscle memory to perform 100%. Although, you don’t have to execute with full energy all the time. If you’re just going over a specific move, just work on getting the full extension.
The fifth and last step is to make edits in your choreography. What you completed in this step is only just a rough draft. Perfect it by trying out different variations. You don’t have to focus on the sections that already seem perfect to you. Just focus on the ones that make you say, “This is good, but it could definitely be better.”
Also, don’t forget about formations and blocking if you plan on having other dancers in your choreography. Again, be creative! Try out various formations, utilize different blocking, think of any creative choreography tactics, etc. If you’re having trouble thinking of anything, watch choreography videos on YouTube. You’re more than likely to find some blocking inspiration from watching known dance crew competitions.
Step 4: Make Any Other Preparations Needed to Record Your Concept Video
One vital equipment needed is a video recording device. You can use either a phone or a digital camera. Although, it would be best to have a video recording device, phone or camera, that has high resolution capabilities, along with a stabilizer to keep the device stable from camera movements. You also need someone to record the video. This can be either an experienced videographer or anybody else, as long as you have the necessary equipment to record the video.
Start going over your story and finalize it. Plan out the dialogues and scenes. Gather any props you might need for your video. Think about how many dancers or actors you need (if needed) and contact them. Note, the dancers can be actors as well. Think about outfit ideas for everyone.
Once you’ve gathered your dancers (if needed), teach them your choreography. Teach the moves, teach the blocking involved, and drill them to perfection. Preferably, you want to do this the day before so that your dancers have a day to review the choreography, a night to rest, and then feel renewed the next day. Although, this is dependent upon your dancer’s schedule. So try to find a date that works with everybody, or make any schedule adjustments so that everybody has a chance to learn the choreography.
Step 5: Record Your Concept Video
Start with the scene that will take the longest to complete and go down from there. The scene that usually takes the longest to complete is the choreography scene. That is because you want to get as many shots and record from many angles to get that perfect clip.
Step 6: Edit Your Concept Video and Share It
Bring all the recorded clips together and piece them together using video editing software. If you don’t have any, below is a link to a list of the top 5 free video editing software programs:
Again, you can look up tutorial videos online.
Using whatever video editing software you chose, review all your recorded clips and select the ones that piece together well. Also, choose the choreography clip that best suits the storyline or concept. Don’t forget to add credit slides because this couldn’t have been done without those that helped. Include a slide of the names of the dancers, actors, videographer, video editor, and anybody else that helped. Also, don’t forget to credit yourself for a job well done.
And once you’ve finalized your concept video, share it to the world. You can post it in social media or post it in video-watching websites like YouTube and Vimeo.