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How to Film a TikTok Dance

December 7, 2020
By Raegan Sullivan

Panagiota Lilikaki is an English teacher who knows that imagination and simple crafts and activities go together as spurs to creativity. 

“In my 8th grade English class, I guided my students into writing informational essays by following Malia Wollan's writing style. Wollan publishes her own articles weekly in the New York Times Magazine, and I love reading them every Sunday!”

“I have submitted some of the articles that my students wrote to The National Herald. I feel that they captured the journalist's style while also having fun,” Lilikaki said – and the tips from authors wise-beyond-their-years are delightful. Raegan Sullivan's How to Film a TikTok Dance follows: 

“You just have to be authentic,” says Charli D’Aamelio, a popular TikTok creator.

That is a good mindset to begin with. You shouldn’t feel the need to blend in. TikTok is all about standing out. There are trends that everyone does, but it is better to put your own twist on them! Simply be yourself, not a clone of everyone else. This inspires confidence in yourself, and you will look assertive in your video. When TikTok became popular last year, there were over 40 million users in the United States alone! Now, there are 800 million worldwide! There is no handbook or checklist for how to film a video, but I can provide new TikTok creators with a general guide.

When you can’t decide what sound to use or dance to do, just pick something you’re comfortable with and would enjoy looking at every time you go to your page. Now that you’ve picked a dance and song, just learn it. Simply watch and re-watch a video of someone performing, such as: an influencer, a dancer, or the creator. Keep re-watching the video until you can do it by yourself. I recommend using the same video the entire time. Even though you are following someone else's video, remember to do something to make yours memorable and special.

After you gain confidence in what you are doing, pick a spot to film. This could be in your room, in a place that will draw people’s attention, or just outside on the street. That is going to set the tone of the video, whether you are taking it seriously or casually. Once you pick a spot, just start filming. Don’t be afraid to mess up. It’s totally okay to refilm tons of times. Nobody can get it perfect on their first attempt, so don’t worry. Save a few videos you have created, and when you are done filming, pick your favorite one; don’t forget to watch it over! Once you pick the best one, you can choose to edit your video by using bling effects or adding text – perhaps you can even put the beauty filter on! After all, this is the Internet.

The last step is to write a caption. You don’t want to make something too cringey. You may like the video, but in a little while you may not like the caption. You might want to not even put a caption – just put a hashtag. Most of the time putting a hashtag can boost your video views. If you want it to get famous, this is an important part. You can also choose to just write something, adding on to what is in the video, such as what you are doing, where you are, or why you filmed it. Make sure to not take any of this too seriously, because it’s just a TikTok!

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