Dance students use the social media platform TikTok to enhance their careers, but claim ‘it’s harder for artists now.’
Christos Christophides, 20, and Holly Hook, 20, formed a duo to support each other’s dance careers on TikTok since October last year.
The third-year dance students at the University of Salford speak on the struggles for professional dancers to get noticed on social media platforms, particularly on TikTok.
@holly.h.xBING BONG @xristoso.0 dc: @Slaterrose #foryoupage #fyp♬ Fine China – Chris Brown
Christos says “You get more fame, more brands deal on TikTok, so I think that’s why people are chasing it, but for an actual dancer – it’s a love-hate situation. “If you’re an actual dancer and you’re not just a kid that does TikTok dances and even though they’re good, you’re not actually in the studio doing creative work. Me, as a dancer, I won’t always do the TikTok trends all the time…”
“I prefer to do one-minute videos and post on Instagram, which I find more professional even though Instagram is dying and it’s not as famous as TikTok. If you don’t want to perform in musicals shows or whatever do your TikTok’s and be famous. But we love the stage, so we want to be famous for being on stage. So, some tips would be to keep your dignity. Some people can lose themselves trying to be TikTok famous.”
Holly adds “Before it was TikTok it was Musical-ly and that not a thing anymore so, what happens when TikTok becomes not a thing. So, what after that.”
The undergraduates dream to pursue their dance careers as performers, but they are often told that it’s not likely in reality.
One dance UK reports over two thousand out of the thirty thousand people that employed as dancers become performers.
Although the duo has yet to go viral, the pressure of perfection is still felt when creating dance videos.
Holly says “Usually we’ve done like 20 takes, you are very critical of yourself, not just of other people”
Holly has read negative comments from other tiktokers and she believes that dance videos are one of the most critiqued videos and adds that the ‘comments are vile.’
She adds, “We take that choreography and we use it to make our own stuff because so many are doing it, you have to keep your own style, don’t just copy someone else. Just enjoy! That’s what I would say.
If I start to get even a tiny bit stressed, I walk away. It’s just a platform I don’t need to get stressed over it.”
According to research in the UK, condu
cted by Health Assured, young people have said that four out of five social media platforms makes their anxieties worse.
Christos continues to talk about how he deals with his anxieties.
“I got so mad so many times because I would do it and it would never be perfect enough, I would just take a chill pill to relax and then on the next day I would re-watch them.”
“There’s a difference in being pushed to perfection with good criticism and just being dead-ass mean. Your toe wasn’t there, your finger wasn’t here!
“There’s so much new feed, footage and data is the reason why we have 10 seconds and 15-second stories because everyone is trying to watch everything. It is said by the advertising company, IAB.uk, that Generation Z have an attention span of 8 seconds, a few seconds shorter than millennials which are approximately 12 seconds.
Holly explains what makes a good TikTok video
“If you post a video sideways it is not going to get as many views as it is vertically, If you’re not hooked in that first ten to fifteen 15 seconds, you’re not watching it.”
“Even I am guilty of this, most times I can’t be bothered to turn the screen.”
On the bright, they feel they both receive feel ‘fulfilled’ by the support from friends. Most of our followers are friends, so they are going to support and share our videos.
Holly says “I follow a lot of dance choreographers and when I’m not able to go to a class I’m still able to learn their choreography from my phone.”
TikTok has 3.7 million active users engaging with the app for an average of 41 minutes a day which is lower than the global average which is 52 minutes a day.