Creating Dance Reels I - Fundamentals

with Lea Bethke



    If you want to pursue a professional dance career, it is important to know how to create a dance reel. The dance reel is one of the most important marketing tools to make yourself visible as a dancer. It can be used for any situation where you need to present your skills and experience quickly and easily.

    In the first part of the webinar, you will learn:

    • What a dance reel is and what you need it for
    • How to create a professional dance reel
    • How to present your personality as a dancer
    • How to select and edit dance videos
    • How to find the right (royalty-free) music
    • How to upload and share the dance reel
    • And how to prepare for a dance reel shoot.



    • Define “dance reel” in one sentence.
    • Why do you need a dance reel?


    Clip Selection

    • What is your most relevant work?
    • What defines you as a dancer? Name three characteristics that define your personality as a dancer. Then think about which clips that you already have reflect those characteristics the most.
    • What are your strength and best features? What can you do best?
    • What do you want to do in future projects? And how can you make that obvious in your reel?


    Creating Extra Footage

    • Where and how would you shoot extra footage to have your personality shine through?
    • What do you need to take care of while shooting extra footage?


    Reel for an Audition

    • How do you create a reel for an audition? Name the steps that are necessary to create a good audition dance reel.



    • What dramaturgy, pasting and choice of music makes sense for you in terms of letting your personality radiate throughout the whole reel?



    • How can you make the most of your dance reel in terms of using it as a self-promotion tool?


  • FAQ


    What is a generic video?

    A generic video refers to a video that is not specific to any particular brand, product, or message. It usually contains content that is broadly applicable or general in nature, often used for educational, informational, or entertainment purposes.

    How old can the footage for the dance reel be at most?

    The footage for a dance reel should not be older than 2-3 years. However, if you no longer feel connected to the old videos, it is not recommended to include them. It's advisable to feature current footage that accurately reflects your current appearance and dancing style.

    Are there legal consequences if I use music in a video that isn't officially listed (f.ex. in YouTube, Vimeo)?

    Even if the video is unlisted*, using music without the proper rights can lead to legal issues. It is advisable to ensure that you have obtained all the necessary rights for the music used in your reel.

    *Unlisted means your video will not come up in search results or on your channel either. Only those who know the link can view it, and you can share the link with anyone.

    German Copyright Law for Dancers

    Would you recommend returning to the setting or filming situation that was previously shown at the beginning of the video?

    That depends entirely on your desired dramaturgical and narrative structure. In general, both can work: an edit that returns to locations that have already been used and one that constantly strings together new situations. Maintaining smooth and dynamic transitions, along consistent background music, is crucial.

    What is the recommended pace for video cuts?

    The speed of cuts varies depending on the purpose. In the case of a generic showreel, faster cuts are preferred. However, when submitting your material for a specific audition, longer sequences can be used to demonstrate movement over a longer duration. Always check out the requirements.

    How can vertically formatted videos be effectively integrated into the showreel?

    A split screen can be utilized, but it is crucial to ensure that it does not cause any distractions. This layout is more suitable for a generic video, but it is not advisable for audition purposes. If the quality remains satisfactory, you can opt to zoom in. Additionally, you have the option to employ the same image as the background and blur it.

    Is it advisable to merge my improvisation show reel with footage from my stage performances into a single video?

    It depends on the intended target group/ recipient. For a dance theater setting, it's preferable to showcase the stage performance separately. However, for online platforms, consolidating both into a single video is recommended to streamline the viewing experience and avoid requiring viewers to watch multiple videos.

    What should I do if I don’t have professional footage?

    I recommend capturing footage both outdoors and indoors. This will enable you to showcase your unique personality, versatility, diversity, and the range of dance styles or qualities you possess. Embrace the fact that you are at the beginning of your dance journey; there is no need to hide it.




    In the video some examples of different dance reels are shown. We would like to thank for providing the material:

    Edith Buttingsrud Pedersen
    Maria Kobzeva
    Joy Alpuerto Ritter
    Dassy Lee