Introducing the Dance for Media Arts program
Program architect and director: Halle Clark
Inspired by the success of American Midwest Ballet’s Going Solo series of dance films, American Midwest Ballet School is proud to announce what we believe to be a first for our area: our Dance for Media Arts program. This highly-focused program will help students build on their artistic skills to take advantage of the many innovative ways that dance can reach its audience today.
What is Dance for Media arts?
Most dance training programs focus on concert dance — the creation of ballet, modern dance, jazz, and contemporary dance performances that will be seen by an audience of ticket buyers.
Dance for media arts [DMA] is an alternate career option that applies the dancer’s artistry to other outlets: films, television, online video, advertising, and social media content. Colleges and universities increasingly are recognizing dance as a specialty within media arts curricula. Skills in DMA also will help the dancer find opportunities in “commercial dance” venues such as cruise ships and theme parks.
How is Dance for Media Arts different?
The artistic and technical skills needed for DMA build on the same basics as concert dance — clean, strong dance technique, an aptitude for learning choreography quickly and accurately, and the ability to project personality, style, and energy in performance. Our Dance for Media Arts program will foster and develop those skills through the high-quality curriculum for which the AMB School is known.
However, the process of promoting and presenting yourself in the DMA field is different from that of concert dance. Finding opportunities, auditioning, and managing your career development in DMA require a specific set of skills that you will not learn in a purely concert dance-focused program.
Our Dance for Media Arts program is designed to give you those skills — while also maintaining and developing your strengths as a concert dance performer, so you will emerge with greater flexibility in your career path.
How the Dance for Media Arts program works
The Dance for Media Arts program is an enhancement to AMB School’s core curriculum of technique classes — much like our existing Ensemble, Junior Company, and Solo Performance programs. You may continue to participate in any or all of the other three programs while also adding Dance for Media Arts to your studies, or focus solely on Dance for Media Arts in addition to your core technique classes.
The Dance for Media Arts program will meet on Saturday mornings. Each meeting will begin with a warmup, then move on to learning and practicing types of choreography widely used in DMA. Because many auditions require video performance footage, these sessions often will be recorded and analyzed on the spot, so you can hone your ability to present yourself strongly on camera and build your digital portfolio.
After the choreography session, each week’s Dance for Media Arts meeting will move on to the program’s unique feature: a special focus session on a key element of success in the DMA field. Presenters of these focus sessions will include New York and Los Angeles talent agents, consultants, and successful dancers, as well as Dance for Media Arts faculty. The focus sessions will address such topics as:
- DMA industry background and practices
- How to build and structure a DMA resumé
- Practice: one-to-one on-camera interviews
- Practice: mock auditions
- Working with agents and negotiating agreements
- Building your personal brand
- Building your demo reel and promo materials
- Using social media to promote DMA career
meet some of our guest presenters
Benjamin James Belhumeur is a Pittsburgh-based choreographer, dancer, and photographer. He is the executive director of Release the Fire Dance Convention and Competition, as well as the owner and director of the competitive team Elite by Ben.
Benjamin graduated from Point Park University with a BFA in dance. He then began working for Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, first as a dance captain and later as rehearsal director. In 2017 he returned to Pittsburgh to begin working on new partnerships and projects.
In addition to his convention and competition work, Benjamin is one of the most requested instructors in the Pittsburgh area, teaching contemporary, jazz, tap, ballet, and modern.
Andrew Burrill holds degrees in drama and arts management from the University of Virginia and Shenandoah Conservatory. He shares clients with some of the world’s top dance agencies, including Clear Talent Group, Bloc LA, and MTA.
Andrew is also a talent agent with Sovereign Talent Group, where his celebrity clients include Mr. T (The A-Team, Rocky III), Eric Roberts (Runaway Train, King of the Gypsies, Star 80), Dan Castellaneta (The Simpsons), Corey Feldman (The Goonies, Gremlins), Matt Frewer (Watchmen, Fear of the Walking Dead), Talia Shire (Rocky, The Godfather), Charlayne Woodard (Pose, The Crucible), and Hulk Hogan.
His producing credits include A Blossom In The Night, as well as music videos for Nickelback, Jason Derulo, Lil Yachty, Lloyd, Todrick Hall, and Walé.
Kelley Reid was born and raised in Kissimmee, Florida and is well trained in all styles of dance. She has worked with top industry choreographers such as Dana Michaels, Mia Michaels, Brian Friendman, and Gil Duldulao to name a few.
Kelly is represented by the MSA Agency. Her credits include The Bodyguard, Holland America Line, the RuPaul’s Drag Race Season Finale Tour, and opening for Iggy Azalea with Silky Ganache. She has performed in benefit shows including Night of Life for Leg Up on Life and Choreographer’s Carnival.
Kelley has also been a guest faculty member in New York City at Peridance Capezio Center and has taught throughout Central Florida.
|Non-AMB School students||$100/month|
|AMB School students||$75/month|
|Free to Junior Company members|
How to Join the Dance for Media Arts Program
Our Dance for Media Arts program will be starting soon! If you’d like to be notified when more information is available, please complete this form and we’ll contact you in person. Note: Consent of your parent or guardian is needed for us to contact you. Thanks!
Please note: Programs are subject to change without notice. AMB is committed to creating a safe and healthy training environment for our students, staff and families. We observe health & safety protocols created with the advice of medical professionals. For more information, please download the protocols document.