In previous posts I’ve focused on the challenges dancers face with social media. In this post I want to focus on three dancers who have not just overcome the challenges, but are thriving in the world of social media.
Glyn Gray, Anh Dillon and Adam Parson have created the dancer’s dream website, DancePlug. This website serves as a one-stop-shop for dancers to stay current in the industry and propel their career. According to DancePlug’s website, they founded this site “with the sole purpose, to raise the awareness of dance through media with the help of the Internet.” How perfect, right?
Why These Dancers Are Unique
Talent: Glyn, Anh and Adam are not just dancers, they have more talent in their pinky finger than any dancer could hope for. Oh wait, there’s more. These dancers are some of the most inspiring teachers that you could have the honor to take a class from.
Although I haven’t had the pleasure of studying under Glyn and Anh, I have been fortunate to have had the opportunity to study under Adam. My first class with Adam was when he was on tour with LA Dance Force eight years ago—and I still remember the routine he taught to this day. With each class I have taken from him (or even observed) I have become stronger, physically and mentally. He has personally shaped me into a better dancer and I will always be grateful to him for his inspiration.
OK—personal ramble over.
How DancePlug Is Changing The Industry
Educational accessibility: Universities are now offering online programs and classes for students for continuing education. Well, bravo to DancePlug’s creators for mimicking this movement.
Through this website, dancers can “attend” a dance class without leaving home. Starting at $1.85, dancers can purchase a video of a prominent choreographer teaching a combination. No longer do you have to go to LA or NYC to get inspiration from these well-respected choreographers in the industry.
All of the videos are HD and filmed with a crisp white background making body lines more visible. Additionally, these choreographers make the learning process easy by demonstrating routines at half and full tempo.
Beginners can take advantage of the free videos on the site that walk the viewer through very basic dance steps. As basic as they are, we all need a brush up sometimes so they are still valuable to dancers at every level.
Why It Works
Visual appeal: The website has a clean interface and consistent colors that subtly reinforces the DancePlug brand. The tabs along the top of the page allow for easy navigation and the vast content is broken into logical sections.
One of the most impressive features, in my opinion, is the way in which the choreographers have been categorized and displayed. Some may think this is a no brainer but if you view other major studio website’s (ahem, Millennium and BDC) their faculty pages are complete chaos and displeasing to the eyes.
What They Do Differently
Integration: In addition to online dance classes, the site features demo reels, interviews, events and auditions. In a previous post I made a blanket statement that dancers had a case of blogaphobia. I need to take a moment to eat my words right now because this site also contains a blog—and a good one.
This blog isn’t a typical blog it’s actually a vlog, a video blog. The posts are referred to as “episodes” but in essence it is still a post.
Why It Will Succeed
Integrity: The site also has a strong presence on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube that alerts dancers of the site’s new offerings; however, that isn’t the main focus. They actually provide educational content and industry insight.
The site has even produced its own commercial. No, it’s not on TV but who watches commercials on TV anyways? In the day of the DVR it’s best to save the dough.
Thank you DancePlug for a much needed face lift for the dance industry and raising the bar for others. Time for the rest of us to catch up.
The Dancers Behind DancePlug
Bios courtesy of DancePlug.com
Glyn has been involved in the arts for the past 25 years. He has performed on London’s “West End”, in Baz Luhrmann’s movie “Moulin Rouge” as a featured dancer, and in numerous musicals, commercials and industrials. He has taught in New Zealand, Australia, Europe and the United States. Glyn is co-creator/examiner for the AJDA tap syllabus and co-creator/director/choreographer to his show BPM beatsperminute which has seen a national tour of Australia and 3 sold out seasons at the Sydney Opera House.
Glyn teaches weekly at Debbie Reynolds Dance Studio and over the past 2 years has dedicated his talents to DancePlug as media designer, videographer, developer and director to which he is co-creator and co-founder.
To learn more about Glyn’s career, visit Glyn’s career profile page.
Anh was classically trained at the Conservatoire in Paris France, then at the Dance Academy in Belgium where she discovered jazz. She extended her training with modern, salsa and flamenco. Pursuing her career, she arrived in Los Angeles in 2000.
She has taught and performed around the world (US, Belgium, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, S. Korea, New Zealand) for the past 12 years. Anh’s professional career covers various types of work including music videos (Usher), industrials (Aveda, Peugeot), commercials (PBS), print ads and dance companies (LA Contemporary Ballet Co, Commonality Dance Co). She has also choreographed for several industrials (L’Oreal, Schwarzkopf) and artists (Prince).
In 2009, Anh received the Lester Horton Award for Best Performance in a small group for “Duet” choreographed by Terri Best.
Aside from dance, she graduated in graphic design, and is co-owner/co-director of StirStudios. True to her artistic heart, she also does costume design and jewelry making.
To learn more about Anh’s career, visit Anh’s career profile page.
Adam Parson was born in Nairobi, Kenya. He discovered dance at age 26, when his sister asked him to take her friend to his dance studio. Before this he was a systems analyst and bookeeper in Georgetown, Washington D.C. After watching people at that studio jump, kick, turn, run, hit the rhythms he was hooked. Now, he a respected teacher and choreographer. He is also the Artistic Director for the Commonality Dance Company(C. DANCE Co.), choreographed for So You Think You Can Dance (Australia) and has been featured in Pepsi commercials.
To learn more about Adam’s career, visit Adam’s career profile page.