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Dance less ordinary

An Interview with the Director of “Building a Dancer” 

Whether you love dance and dance every day or know absolutely nothing about it, this new 85-minute vlog film by Brendon Hansford will have you gripped. Follow Yiota’s journey as she develops as a dancer under the guidance of choreographer and director Brendon. Connect with her as she opens up to you about her dance highs and lows. Feel inspired by the passionate dancing captured by cinematographer James Williams.

Have we got your attention? Good! You don’t have to wait long for the film’s premiere – it’s being released on iTunes, Amazon and Google Play on June 8th. They’re even throwing in some extras for you for when you get the post-film blues with some additional footage in July. Film teasers have already been released for you to check out on Brendon’s YouTube channel. Keep reading if you want to know more about the film from the director himself.

Behind the scenes of “Building a Dancer”

What’s the film about?

I have taken one dancer who is struggling in the dance industry and giving her a total re-brand, transforming her into her own self-contained business and then teaching her the tools she needed to use her new brand to get work.

Why did you make this vlog film?

I looked at the dance industry and saw so many dancers who were really struggling to stand out from the crowd. The client doesn’t have to do any work if a dancer presents themselves as a complete package, so that’s what I set out to teach with this film. I want to bridge the gap between leaving college and entering the dance industry.

How did you choose just one dancer?

I originally posted on Instagram saying I was looking for an amazing dancer who was struggling to get by in the industry. I was surprised by how many dancers actually opened up and admitted that they were struggling! Seeing as that post was so popular, I published a video asking people to enter a competition by posting on Instagram with a particular hashtag and caption telling me why I should pick them. 120 dancers applied and I had the grueling task of getting it down to 35 for an audition. The audition was held at Pineapple Dance Studios where we had to narrowed it down to 6 from 35 and I finally chose Yiota.

Can you tell us a little bit about Yiota?

Her real name is really long and brutal cuts can sometimes happen in the industry to cut down the volume of applicants, so we shortened her name to Yiota! She’s a 24-year-old Cypriot from the Northern Ballet School. We completely changed her look and style for the better to make her stand out from the rest. Commercial was an alien style to Yiota but versatility is key in this industry. Her confidence massively grew with each change and was a complete turn-around from when I first met her as she’d started to hate this industry. She started out with us as a blank slate and is so sincere and honest, you can really see it show through in the film.

Dancers at dance auditions Yiota auditioning for "Building a Dancer" at Pineapple Dance Studios in London

What are the different locations featured in the film?

We go to many different studios and locations in the film but London and Pineapple Dance Studios are featured heavily. We also went to Cyprus to meet Yiota’s family, friends and teachers which you will see in the film. Look out for an extra episode in July of the extended footage from Cyprus.

Who else features?

Matt Steffanina was over in London doing a workshop, so we grabbed him for an interview and he appears in the film giving some advice! Brittany Cherry helped Yiota out as well with some tricks and tips. 

What are your best tips for dancers?

Make sure you fail forward. It’s OK to fail and it’s important to accept that rejection will happen in this industry. Confidence is key so just project yourself as a confident package whilst you’re developing, even if you feel unsure. Confidence can be faked but content can’t be and you can’t grow without the content! Your brand needs content to be seen!


Want more tips from Brendon? Check out this blog post summarising his 10 step YouTube branding series.



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