Dancers: A Cheat Sheet for Amazing Dance Photoshoot Poses

Let me begin this post with saying that I was IN NO STINKING WAY, the best or most graceful dancer back in the day.

I did not look like "I was born for the stage" unless it was musical theatre.

I was fairly flexible because of a background in gymnastics, but dancing did not come naturally to me.

My dance schools did not have regular photoshoots and our stage photos were taken by photographers who had NO idea about dancing!

So there are not A LOT of photos of me from my dancing days, but if I had of gone to a DANCE PHOTOSHOOT, I would have probably DIED!!! on the inside because I would have had NO IDEA what to do!... which is exactly the feeling we hope to AVOID with the dancers we photograph!

We don't want you guys to feel that way! We want you to be prepared, and excited, and bursting with ideas!!

And so we have made you a CHEAT SHEET for Creating Amazing & Unique Dance Poses for Your Next Photoshoot!

(a decent *ish* photo from one of my classical groups)

So we see this pattern at dance photoshoots, and it happens with dancers we have NEVER worked with, and it happens with dancers that we photograph TWELVE TIMES A YEAR! Ok whatever, not that many times but you know what I'm getting at!

This is how it goes:

- Dancer turns up to photoshoot, nervous, quiet (which is totally fine!)

- We chat to dancer about what costumes we think would photograph best and discuss if they have any ideas in terms of poses/shots they want etc

(p.s. you should always have a few inspo shots so we get your vibe!)

*Our fav dance photographers for inspiration are Lois Greenfield, Ed Flores, Eva Nys, Nisian, Rachel Neville*

- Dancer warms up

- We say "okay let's get started" and the dancer goes TOTALLY BLANK! (again totally fine)

- Dancer STAYS BLANK on ideas, for about 75% of shoot

- Last 15 minutes or last costume comes around, and all of a sudden, dancer has ABOUT A BAZILLION IDEAS and we start taking truly incredible photos, and get super excited, but dancer gets tired quickly BECAUSE WE"VE ALREADY BEEN SHOOTING FOR OVER AN HOUR!!

This is the part we want to help with, because we totally get that dance photoshoots are hard and tiring, but also exciting and overwhelming!

So keep reading ONLY if you want to create AWESOME poses:


Look Nick & I are dance teachers as well, so we could say this until we are blue in the face, but it truly helps,... obviously, right?! Just do it!


Even if you don't bring them along or show us, do your own research! but only use the photos as inspiration, we would rather create something unique for you, then copy someone else!


Angles make things interesting, we are all about the unique and creative. Give it a go!


Stand in 4th position, arms hanging, SQUEEZE EVERY DAMN MUSCLE YOU HAVE, and then stare your fierce face into the camera


Okay we literally say this and we mean it!

Weird things photograph SO WELL! I would scream it from the rooftops if the council wouldn't fine me for a noise complaint!


One of our favs; really lean off your centre and see what happens!

Our motto is "it doesn't matter if you fall on your face, if the photo look amazing!"


Photoshoots are the BEST opportunity for you to experiment, and have fun, and just see what your body can do, and we ENCOURAGE IT!

Not every photo has to be perfect. Don't be afraid to be unique!

CLICK HERE if you would like to see what photoshoot options we have for you or your dancer!

Until next time xx

Sunshine Coast Dance Photographers

Nick & Kate

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