How to Create a Demo Reel for Dancers

by Gabriela Simich in , , ,

Here are the questions you should be asking and steps you should be taking towards making a successful dance reel! 

And a 5, 6, 7, 8...

1. Commercial or Concert Dance? First, it is important to establish your identity as a dancer. What is your main genre of dance? Be clear! 

2. Know Your Audience. Next,  you should be asking yourself who is going to be watching your dance reel? 

3. Have a Plan. Map out how your dance reel will be organized. It is common to have an introduction title that includes your name. If you are sending in an application that has specific requirements on what the potential employer wants to see in your dance reel, follow them!  Write out your plan of attack and create a timeline for accomplishing your dance reel in between rehearsals and classes.

 Sometimes the costume can help make you memorable in your reel. Although, I'd recommend a more traditional look than my costume for   The Astronaut !

Sometimes the costume can help make you memorable in your reel. Although, I'd recommend a more traditional look than my costume for The Astronaut!

4. Costume is King.  Just as you would in any audition or interview, it is vital to put thought behind what you will wear and how your makeup and hair will look.  You want to look professional and well-represent your genre of dance. 

5. Music that Moves. In most reels, it is nice to have just one solid piece of music overlaying your montage of performance clips. Don't just pick your favorite song on the radio! Think of the music as a soundtrack that appropriately supports your dancing.  Make sure the music does not overpower or subtract from the choreography! If it is important to use the original music for excerpts of choreography, make sure the music nicely fades in and out. Be careful of copyrights! To be safe, here are a couple of great royalty free music sites: Vimeo and Free Music Archive.

6. Just Shoot Me. Find a videographer who owns an HD camera (preferably) and a tripod. If you can hire a professional, do it! I highly suggest you check out DancePlug who makes dance demo reels. They are great since they are dancers themselves and know what the industry is looking for. Plus, their prices are more than reasonable!

7. I Can Dance Forever. But, please don't! Remember, a reel should spark your potential employer's attention, not bore it with longevity.  A little mystery never hurt anyone. Edits should be clean with captions placed where they can be easily read in the frame. If you are not comfortable using editing tools such as iMovie or Final Cut Pro, it may be a good idea to hire an editor.

8. Reely Dance. Once you have uploaded your reel to either YouTube or Vimeo, share the link on your website, social media platforms and include it in your nicely written email with resume attached to that future employer!  To get more views on YouTube, consider joining DanceOn!

If you have more questions or want more advice ask away in the comment section! If you have more to add to my list, tell me what has worked great for you! I'd also be willing to give you feedback on your dance reel. Contact and send me your reel! 

A Response in Hashtags: Just #Improvise

by Gabriela Simich in , , , ,

Megan Flynn and I attended grad school for dance together at UC Irvine. What's wonderful about this friend of mine, is that we shared any discoveries made while improvising solos. I was fairly new to the beauty of improvisation, but Megan had studied it with teachers such as Kathy Westwater and Adele Myers.  I recently performed a full improvised solo in A Piece of Body and have trouble describing the freedom from over-thinking that I felt while dancing. Now, I'm beginning to understand why Megan loves to improvise!

Since Megan now resides in Allentown, PA, we are most thankful (of course) for video and the Internet!  I have chosen an improvisation video Megan posted back in 2013. "Broken Birdie" was a common theme that Megan studied during our time in grad school. What does it all mean? Well I'm still not so sure but, you will find my 'Response in Hashtags' below

Megan Flynn is a dance artist, educator, and certified Pilates instructor.

A Response in Hashtags

by Gabriela Simich

#lulu #tendu #footlove #line #floating #BREAK #balance #tryinganyways #steadygirl #ripples #carefulthere #andthere #nosuddenmovements

#BREAK #shift #explorealittle #there #andoverthere #boomboombah #plieismyfriend #ifiputmyarmsupilooktaller #legup #lepup2 #UPasagoal #fastermeggyfaster #puttingeverythinginitsplace #thentwist #cantsitstill4long #jumplookwhat #robotmeltdown

#controlissomewhatpossible #butwhocares #BREAK #brokenisthenewblack #itsabird #itsaplane #itsmegan #bouncy #pinball #toyinstruments #balanceisoverrated 


 An image from A Piece of Body that reminded me of Megan's "Broken Birdie"      Photo by Stephen Martel Lucas

An image from A Piece of Body that reminded me of Megan's "Broken Birdie"      Photo by Stephen Martel Lucas

What is your response to "Broken Birdie" and the magic of improvisation? Comment below!

because they say, "Dance is Poetry in Motion"

by Gabriela Simich



My mouth has performed a service, storytellers.

Storytellers, all conflict-whipped. All data-hip.

The terrible channels are not all behind me, yet

I have lipped the prayers I could. Clamored to be


a songstress. Some girl in the forest. Some holy

ghostbot. I have allowed this mess to persist


and make its passion here by sling-breath, arrow-

foot. I want to open this rude flesh to what else


it must know. I have counted on it, and so I slow

the mountain in the distance, ask the snow to wait


in the car. I’ll be right there. Where the eye’s light marks

the edge of love, I will not grow a callous.

-Carrie Chappell

Stamp Champs: My 2nd Grade Break Dancing Pen Pal

by Gabriela Simich in , , ,

My amazing friend Carrie Chappell works with the wonderful organization, Big Class, in New Orleans. 

Just recently, I have been in contact with 2nd grade break dancer, Neil. We corresponDANCE with each other! Seriously, I can't wait to see what kind of ways we share our love for dance with each other. 

It took me a while to get his first letter. Out of all the pen pals, I live the furthest away being in Los Angeles! So, I set him this quick videogram. See the full post via Stamps Champs.

Finally, I received a giant letter in the mail that he had himself traced in an excellent break dancing pose.  I could tell right away that he is a true performer, and you have to admit his spelling is adorable! 

 "It is a baut to get rill in this hisey" 

"It is a baut to get rill in this hisey" 

Next, I was sent this videogram from Neil! I am so impressed with his moves! Meet my penpal, Neil "DanceStrong" Via Stamp Champs

I wanted to him to watch The Astronaut video I had made a while back since it is the closest movement I have to Hip-Hop or a street style that he might like. Unfortunately, there wasn't enough time last session for Carrie to show him. I want to know what he thinks about my dancing and see if he's interested in creating our own dance together!

We are the perfect pairing, and I'm loving how he is inspiring me to go outside of my comfort zone! 

An Incredible Opportunity for Professional Ballet Dancers

by Gabriela Simich in , ,

As a dancer, there is nothing like having new choreography created on you.  This is why I recommend the National Choreographers Initiative to any professional ballet dancer who is wanting more out of dance.  

I am now going on my 4th year  working for NCI as a social media manager, YouTube Series, and assistant to the brilliant Molly Lynch, who is the creator and director of this truly special program. It is one of my favorite jobs, and I love working with a fresh set of choreographers and dancers every summer. We call it "Adult Summer Camp" because NCI is the kind of experience you will be writing home about. 

Here are what some of NCI's previous dancers have said: 

"I was honored to be able to participate in NCI in 2010 and 2011. The program that Molly Lynch has put together is so unique. Rarely does a professional dancer get the opportunity to dance within a new company dynamic while still keeping their commitments with their ballet company. Molly and Diane taught exceptional classes every morning. I was so inspired by the dancers and choreographers surrounding me, and I returned to my company feeling rejuvinated and improved- both artistically and technically. I have since recommended NCI to numerous dancers and hope they can experience the program for themselves!" -- Emily Ramirez, 2009 and 2010

" I was fortunate to have participated in the initiative for three years as a dancer. I made some great friends, but most of all grew as an artist. As I transition out of the performing aspect of my career, my goal is one day be invited to be a choreographer for NCI. After all as a dancer, there is nothing like having new work created on you. Thank you Molly for your time and energy you put towards the initiative. Sending all my best!!! Merde!!!" -- Robert Gosnell, 2004-2006

If you are a dancer who loves new work being choreographed on you, or if you know of someone who should check NCI out, please pass this on!  The open audition is March 23rd in Irvine, CA.  You can also mail in your application by March 15, 2014. Please send to:
Molly Lynch, Artistic Director
National Choreographers Initiative 
3334 E. Coast Highway #276
Corona del Mar, CA 92625 

To learn more about the NCI Dancer Application visit,

Celebrating Dance, Again!

by Gabriela Simich

With the help of the Photoshop skills of Stephen Lucas, I have created a new ad for myself for the Celebrate Dance 2014 program! This is my second year working for Celebrate Dance, and I am so excited to be part of such a generous and supportive Los Angeles dance community event. Producer Jamie Nichols knows how to put on a show! See you March 8th at the Alex Theatre! 

Oh, and I hope you like the new ad. 

Photography by Gloria Plascencia.


©Gabriela Simich 2014