6 Things Filmmakers Can Learn From Salsa Dancing - Raindance

What do you do for fun? I was asked this question by a friend of mine right after the Raindance Film Festival and I really didn’t have to think too hard. I am a workaholic, I am sure some of you can relate, but there are two major things that I do for fun: watching movies and dancing. Dancing and film are two huge passions of mine and it turns out they have quite a lot in common! Check out the 6 things I believe filmmakers can learn from Salsa dancing!

1)      Creative Partnership

Salsa dancing is all about partnership! Two people collaborating, staying in tune, communicating, and making lovely art together! True Salsa dancing is impossible without a partner and even if you were to do some Salsa moves on your own, it wouldn’t be much fun and it wouldn’t be very interesting, the same goes for film. Making a film is all about collaboration whether it is between the Director and the Cinematographer, the Producer and the Director, the Editor and the Director, the list goes on and on. What’s for certain is that it takes great collaboration to make a truly great film.

2)      It’s all about the MUSIC

I can’t stress how important music is when it comes to dancing as well as to making a film! Music changes everything! It can quicken the pace, change the mood, foreshadow an event that is about to take place; music can be a wonderful tool when making a movie. Think back to the soundtrack of Jaws, no matter where you go, you hear those two chords, and Jaws pops into your mind.  Music moves you!

3)       Timing

Salsa dancing is all about rhythm and timing. If you are not on the beat, you can feel it, your partner can feel it, and so can your audience. The same definitely goes when you are making a film. Timing is super important when scheduling which scenes you want to shoot each day as well as how you shoot those scenes. Just think back to Captain Hook and the ticking of the clock, beat and rhythm can really add to the intensity of a scene and an entire film.

4)      Unpredictability

Being the woman in Salsa dancing is truly like watching, or even better, experiencing a movie! With a good partner, or in a films case, Film Director, you are led through twists and turns, lifts and falls, it’s totally unpredictable! When making a movie, think of what you would want your dance partner to experience, would you want the same moves for the entire routine, or would you want to change the pace and surprise them?

5)      Passion

If you’re not passionate about your dancing, people can definitely tell and the same goes when making a film.  I am a strong believer in doing things only if you truly love it! Great dancers love what they do and they want to share their passion with their audience. Making a movie takes a lot of work and being passionate about your art will help make it a wonderful experience for not only yourself but for your creative team and audience as well.

6)      Watching is Learning

Whenever I want to learn new moves whether it is with Salsa, Zumba, or any other dances, I make sure to watch before I practice. YouTube is a wonderful source for finding dance routines as well as scenes from films that can truly help you to grow in your art. If you want to make great movies, watch great movies! Learn from some of your favorite Directors and Cinematographers, then go out, come up with your own brilliant ideas, and make some amazing films!

Salsa dancing and film making are two great ways for you to challenge yourself, create art, and to have fun! So put on those dancing shoes and filmmaker hats and go put yourselves and your art out there!

Thanks for reading, here’s a great Salsa clip!