Every pointe you make, every turn you take, you'll be watching yourself grow as a dancer. A performer. An artist. But you can’t track your progress without recorded documentation of every practice and performance. As you grow and develop as a dancer, you should have these memories stored to share with others in the future. Here are tips every dancer needs for documenting and preserving their dance performances.

Store Your Physical Documents in a Safe, Dry Place

Every dancer (and their mother) has a collection of saved dances. Whether it was a rehearsal with the choreographer or it was a soundtrack of the audio you'd use in your performance, these are the things that helped form your best dance memories.

If you have a plethora of videotapes of past performances you want to preserve, then storing them is the best method. Keep everything from photos to recordings of music and videos stored in a dry, cool place.

Document Your Dance Performances With Different Methods

You can document your dance performances in other ways. It doesn't necessarily have to be a dark, cool room. It could be on a hard drive, in the cloud, stored on a social media app, or even kept in a time capsule. There's a good chance your choreographers documented past performances using dance notation—writing down motions and drawing illustrations.

Collaborate with friends and family to preserve your dance routines in different ways. You could create a scrapbook, a journal of your coach's notes from dance sessions, and even save mentions of your dance company on social media to continue building your dance record.

Does Anybody Do Dance Notation Anymore?

How did that dance go again? That’s the first thought many dancers in the past thought when practicing dance notation. This process helped dancers keep track of each turn, footstep, and acrobatic trick that went with their routine. It even reminded them of what dance style the notes belonged to, like hip-hop, contemporary, and lyrical.

This method goes by another name: labanotation. Similar to music sheets, these notes go over the exact steps to match up what an instrument is playing. The dancer learns to hear the music and match each move with the beat. It’s a good idea to hold onto these notes to save for later.

Digitize Your Physical Video Tapes and Photographs

Do you have videotapes you love watching repeatedly because you can’t help but swoon over the same move you make each time? Because. Same. Dancing is an incredibly relaxing thing to watch. It’s awestriking how much work you put into each performance.

Try digitizing if you haven’t thought about what to do with your tapes. Digitalizing content retains the original quality of the video files. But before digitizing your videos, back your files up to avoid losing them. Not backing up files is a common mistake to avoid when digitizing old video tapes.

If you want to make the most by preserving old videos of dance performances, then follow these tips for doing it. Watch yourself blossom from a young dancer into a powerhouse of strong movements and emotional storytelling. Every dancer has a story to tell through their documented memories; it’s time to tell yours.

Apr 6, 2023

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