The very first video you show a non-dancer can make or break their decision to give your dance a try. If they like it, they may gamble and come out to a social or class. If they don’t, they may write it off as something they don’t want to do.

So, how do you pick the perfect video to show to newbies? Ask yourself five questions:

  1. Do the dancers look good doing it?
  2. Will the person enjoy the music?
  3. Is the videography attractive?
  4. Are the movements accessible and attainable to the person?
  5. Can the person relate to the dancers in the video?

If you keep these things in mind, you’ll be more likely to slam-dunk the dance video promotion.

Question 1: Do the dancers look good doing it?

If someone doesn’t understand the dance, pick a video that makes the dance look good. Your audience has no appreciation for connection, complexity, or technique. They want to see something that looks good.

You may love that ooey-gooey subtle video that showcases connection. A newbie won’t get it. Pick a video that plays to their interests and likes.

Question 2: Will the person enjoy the music?

If you have the advantage of being in a genre with flexible music, showcase a demo video that has generally-liked music. You may like that one demo to that really out-there song, but it may  not be the best music choice to draw someone to the dance.

For example, Xandy and Evelyn did a great Zouk performance to opera music. But, I won’t usually use that as my starting point to illustrate Zouk dancing because the music is not relatable for most people.

If you know the person well, you can also play to their interests. Do they like a tropical vibe? Old school music? Blues or RnB? What about pop? Pick something that speaks to their preferences.

Question 3: Is the videography attractive?

A lot of newbies can’t tell the difference between good dancing and well-filmed dancing. Don’t pick an awesome demo that has a shitty video and terrible music quality. Pick a video that enhances. There’s so many options out there.

For example, I love this demo – but the video is super blurry:

By contrast, this video was filmed beautifully. It still remains one of the go-to Zouk demo’s of all time.

Question 4: Are the movements accessible and attainable for the person?

People don’t like to do things they think they can never do. If you show a person who has never done any sort of sport a video with a girl flying 20 feet into the air and landing in the splits, they may automatically assume that’s what the dance is. They can’t do that, and therefore the dance is out of the question.

For example, Kadu and Larissa have amazing shows. However, I will almost never use their show as an introduction to a non-dancer.

An ex-Salsa performer or Ballroom competitor? Maybe. But, definitely not a non-dancer. It’s just way too technically complex to be accessible.

Newbies don’t usually need crazy complex dance moves. What they need is to see something they can see themselves doing. Good, clean, attractive basics do more to attract dancers than routines with a thousand lifts.

For example, this routine by Freddy and Andressa is a lot more accessible to a newbie:

Question 5: Can the person relate to the dancers in the video?

Pick a dancer who reflects the person you are showing the video to. Is it someone who likes the sexier side of things and does well with sensuality? Show them a more sensual video. Is it a person who is self-conscious about sexy? Pick a video that showcases another aspect of the dance.

For example, I don’t relate well to the super-sensual dancers out there. I find them outside of my comfort zone. But, I relate well to funky, musical, or elegant dancers. So, I gravitate towards videos that reflect this.

This can also apply to other aspects, as well. Someone who is self-conscious about their age or size may respond better to a video of someone with the same characteristics. It can be the key to a new dancer feeling like dancing is for them – not for those other people.

The Big Pitfall

The biggest pitfall when picking a dance video is picking something you like. The thing is, you’re already sold. That’s why you’re recruiting.

Salespeople don’t sell things by saying how they use the product. They sell it by helping the customer understand how to use the product themselves. That’s what you need to do with a dance video.

If you are trying to get a person into dance, put yourself in their shoes. Figure out what is most likely to make them interested in the dance. Once they’re in, their opinions and desires may shift – but the hard part is getting them through the door the very first time.

How do you pick the right demo to showcase your dance? Do you have a go-to video? Leave it in the comments below.