by Jennifer Crowell-Kuhnberg
This past summer, I had the awesome opportunity to choreograph the latest music video for Boston musician, Jamie Lynn Hart. Her new single, "Bad," was a pop/rock/funk/disco jam in need of some seriously sassy moves.
From full-stage productions to one-time "throwaway" combos for class, I've probably created hundreds of routines over my 10-year career as a choreographer and dance instructor - but this was my first music video. I couldn't wait to get started and take on this new challenge.
Jamie wanted a pop-inspired dance that fans would want to learn themselves and follow along to the video. She referenced Haim's "If I Could Change Your Mind" and I immediately thought of iconic girl groups: The Supremes, TLC and Destiny's Child. Jamie would be flanked by two lovely back-up dancers, the very talented Shannon Corey (also a Boston musician) and Twyla Everett, the best Hip Hop dancer I know.
We only had a few hours of rehearsal time over the course of two days to learn, clean and practice the routine. At first, we were all a little worried that we wouldn't have enough time - but these ladies were super professional and hard working. By the end of day two I was confident they would look amazing in front of the camera.
I arrived on set ready to get to work - but had to wait for what seemed like forever for the girls to get their hair, makeup and wardrobe done! I lost count of how many outfit combinations they tried on before deciding on the winning looks. We also had to wait for all the lighting and cameras to be set up and focused. Certainly, the hardest part of being a choreographer is sitting around and waiting!!
When everything was finally ready, Jamie, Shannon and Twyla danced the routine over and over and over again. It was shot from every angle, zoomed in and out, left to right, in different formations... you name it. There must have been a least a hundred takes. Talk about having to keep your energy up. Meanwhile, I did a little bit of coaching from the sidelines and tried to resist the urge to jump in the shot to join in!
We had to wait four whole months before the video would be released. The real hardest part of being a choreographer for a music video is having zero control of the editing process. You have no idea how the director will cut, edit or interpret your work and there's nothing you can do about it! Ask any choreographer what it's like to give up control of their work and their eye will probably start twitching. Luckily, Jamie Lynn had a great team working for her and the video came out amazing! I'm so glad to be sharing it with all of you and hope you'll spread the link far and wide across the internets.
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