There is currently a huge issue with viral dance videos and social media ‘memes’ not crediting choreographers or dancers in the correct format.
- If a photographer had taken a photo to be used in an art gallery, the photographer would be credited.
- If a designer was noticed for their recent runway section in the latest Vogue magazine, the designer would be credited.
- If an outfit was tagged in a ‘who wore it better?’ article, the brand would be credited.
- If an advert was promoting a company, the company would be credited.
Why is it then so hard for choreographers and dancers to be recognised for their movement?
If a dance video has been carefully filmed and edited it should be encouraged for an extra 2-3 seconds max to be added in order to credit both the choreographers and dancers. If you watched a movie sometimes actors can be credited at both the end and the beginning, so why are choreographers and dancers not credited at least once?
For the majority of people involved in these ‘viral videos’, the footage has been taken from inside a dance studio, where the dancer has taken class and learns from a well known worldwide choreographer. 9 times out of 10, you will find yourself watching extremely small 30 second snippets of dance classes, where the students have been selected at the end to showcase (in small groups) the choreography which had been taught. Viral views tend to go crazy and shared on all social media platforms, especially if the well known choreographer also features in the video.
By crediting a dancer/choreographer correctly in a viral video via their name, social media usernames or stage name you are allowing for the person to be fully recognised. For any up and coming or current professional dancer, if they are being talked about globally ‘did you see so and so in the dance video with…’ this could result in them being noticed and booked for professional works, master classes or worldwide tours as an alternative for just attending auditions and booking works through their agents. More and more choreographers/dancers are being recognised from their recent viral dance videos which has such a positive outlook for the arts but if they aren’t being credited in the correct manner and the viewer doesn’t know who they are when watching then what is the point in all that time spent in or out of the studio creating their visions to share with others?
Music artist labels are constantly taking down YouTube dance viral videos as they ‘disagree’ their songs are being used without their ‘permission’, personally I believe any choreography accompanied by a song and shared worldwide further promotes the artist and would hypothetically encourage music sales? Why they then take these dance videos down absolutely baffles me as it seems those choreographers and dancers are the ones who then get booked to choreograph or dance for those music artists.
Random people pop out of the woodwork all the time and sue music artists if they believe a ‘beat’ has been ‘copied’, so why can social media pages/accounts create memes or share viral dance videos and get away with not crediting the people who feature in them? If social media pages/accounts do not know who the choreographers/dancers are in a video they should educate themselves and find out who they are and credit them accordingly before posting or sharing.
To ensure credit is added where credit is due more choreographers/teachers really need to spend a little more time before posting a video to include a credit section in their YouTube bios or Instagram posts if they are to film a dance class or share concept videos. Students need to credit the choreographer if they film them or themselves dancing to their choreography in class and all dancers need to connect together to encourage creditation more than ever before. We shouldn’t allow for others to rip off somebody’s hard work, vision and creations by allowing random social media pages/accounts to place their logos onto another persons video.
If you are reading this and you are a dancer personally, if you go to share a dance video and you know who the person within the video is, please please please credit the absolute shit out of them so all those non-educated, social media meme sharers can finally begin to put a name to a face at the very least.
Creditation is not about having an amazing view count or a large following on your social media pages/accounts but about principles, education and respect.