Dedicated Dance Platform - Streaming and Monetising Live Performances


In the following thread, I hope to raise questions and then try to answer them with a view to reflecting on how ILP tech and the Coil based platform could change how Dance is performed, received, reviewed and monetised all in a fairer, more inclusive and newer way than is currently available. Please do come up with more questions, ideas and any other thoughts around the topic so that together we can discover new ways of working and bring the dance communities output into the 21st century

Q. "Where can you see it?"

In 2019, Dance as a source of visual entertainment, both Live and Recorded, is more widely available than ever before. However despite this explosion in the coverage and availability of digital dance content, there has yet to be a stand alone dedicated platform for the art form.

If you want Music, that is a different story altogether, with Spotify, Apple Music and Bandcamp just some examples of where you can find all the greatest music artists and talent in place, with easy to understand prices and subscription models. The same can also be said for movies and tv shows, accessible anywhere on any device.

And yet I defy anyone to tell me of a website, platform or app that takes all the greatest dance and choreography from all over the world, and gives it is own dedicated platform, with a clear subscription fee and works categorised and arranged in a way that is easy to understand and navigate.

Opera houses, modern stages and studio theatres are where live dance performance currently finds its home. There are also new choreographers working with art galleries, in public places, at factory venues and outdoor spaces to record or perform their work live in new and challenging environments.

Online, forward thinking companies such as the Royal Ballet, New Adventures and Scottish Ballet are creating online only live streaming experiences, digital only releases and live cinema feeds of their works being performed.

Screen dance is also alive and well, with many creators (including myself) now finding capture equipment more widely available and accessible due to advances in camera tech and mobile capture technologies. Dance on camera is celebrated all over the world with an ever expanding network of Dance Film Festivals connecting filmmakers and choreographers towards new and exciting outcomes.

and yet… I find myself asking the question, are companies like Youtube and Vimeo the true custodians of the wealth of dance talent emerging across out ever more connected world?

What I am proposing would be the worlds first ILP powered International Dance platform that would seek to become associated with major dance houses, ballet companies and production agencies, as well as independent creators, freelance dance artists and smaller community groups all over the world. Dance Classes, Live streamed performances, recorded works and experimental VR participation experiences could be found all in one place.

This is my first post, and I am aware I’m barely even scratching the surface of this topic, but please do join me in exploring the first question I am asking: Dance, Where Can You See It?

Jamiel Laurence


Taking Class & Taking Part

This morning, as every morning, at 10am GMT I took part in company ballet class at Scottish Ballet, Glasgow.

Meanwhile, a friend at the English National Ballet is doing the same thing at the company’s new premises in East London.

In Manchester, a former colleague of mine currently working freelance will be taking a contemporary class over in Manchester.

One other colleague, currently touring in China with Matthew Bournes New Adventures, took part in their company class 7 hours before all of us… but more on him in a future post.

Across the continent, friends and colleagues I have trained and worked with at a professional level in various European ballet and contemporary dance companies and cities will all be taking, teaching, warming up and practising their technique in their dance class of the day.

The same can be said the world over.

This practice is not restricted to any particular time either. My Brother, a commercial and hip hop dancer will be teaching a class in his own style of movement at 6pm, 8pm and even 10pm today.

This doesn’t even begin to account for those amateur classes, children’s classes, beginners lessons and all manner of training courses and dance practices that require a class as part of their structure.

So what does all this mean…

Well in this physical and long established practice I can already see several technological comparisons, and ways in which this particular aspect of dance could be improved using ILP tech.

  • A Network; just from the basic account above, which barely scratches the surface, I myself am interfaced with a network of participants, and like any network we would benefit from a fast and easy to use method of connection.
  • International; these dance connections are international, cross border and cross continental, with dance often used to bridge the gap between nations seeking new political connection.
  • Costs; Freelance participants are paying to take class often directly to the person teaching, and usually using basic methods, like paying in cash.
  • Paid Service; Those at a professional level are being paid to partake on the class, however often also perform it with observers paying to view a class, see their favourite dancer and research the art form. (This immediately creates several ideas around streaming possibilities. See future posts!)

There is a lot of space to improve, disrupt and innovate in this area, and I am going to use future posts to pick apart some of the ways in which class can make dance more accessible, and how new tech could make it more accessible still. VR anyone…?


Once again, this is a brief introduction to the issues around building a dedicated dance platform on the Coil ILP based system.

Please do comment, question and take part in the wider conversation.

Jamiel Laurence


You are on to something! Ive had very similar ideas of how decentralised finance could be used to create new revenue streams and funding solutions for dance.

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@Casey_H it is great to now be connected across social media, but more importantly via this platform.

Let’s also connect on Coil and Cinnamon Video.

My next post will have a lot of intersecting points with your own initiative, Ballet Rising, as I interview a newly graduated and employed professional dancer who started out watching ballet videos in his spare time while growing up in a Jamaica, where there was no access to ballet at all.

Watch this space!


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Some days I’ll be releasing excerpts from my upcoming proposal for a dedicated dance platform… and other days I’ll be posting little things a bit like this…

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World Ballet Day & Live Streaming Monetisation

World Ballet Day is an annual celebration of ballet held since 2014 in the first week of October. It is a collaboration between major ballet companies around the world, which stream live video of their behind-the-scenes preparations in their respective time zones. Other companies and schools hold local celebrations with the Lead co-producer being the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, London.

The YouTube viewership alone for World Ballet Day numbers in the 10s of Millions and is a great example of how a community built around a specific style of dance has found a way to standardise its content output on the platforms currently available, with a growing level of international organisational inter-connectivity and partnership.

However, the companies taking part are only a small fractional representation of those that are in existence across the world, and what World Ballet Day is currently missing is a standardised model of monetisation that allows Ballet companies with the potential to participate to more easily see the financial benefit of taking part in the initiative.

Many forward-thinking Directors of the companies already taking part realise the value in the “Shop Window” model that World Ballet Day currently offers to potential audiences, but if the audience was already monetising the content being performed, via the Coil ecosystem, World Ballet Day could potentially become a self-sustaining, if not profit making venture that not only encourages audiences to further engage with the content output of the Ballet Companies taking part, but pay for increasingly improving Wold Ballet Day Content.

Taken from my Coil Blog:

Example of Dance Content

Dance Shorts

As I will go on to list example of dance content such as Dance Shorts, Dance Films, Full Length works, Live Streamed Content, Education (Classes & Documentaries), Dance Experiences (VR, AR & Interactive Content) and more in future posts; I would like to share an example of a Dance Short that I myself was commissioned to Choreograph, Direct, Edit and then was Produced into its final form by the BBC over here in Scotland, UK.

FLIGHT - BBC #Dancepassion - Jamiel Laurence

Hi Jamiel, this is interesting and relevant; interested in your progress; I am new here…while I come from a tech perspective my interest here is around content…I heard some time ago that Scottish Ballet looked to engage in schools; they got somewhere when they pointed out that Rio Ferdinand started as a dancer…perhaps the stories and collaborators and content is the are to engage in; platforms are useful but the end is the audience…D


Hi Jamiel, this is interesting and relevant; interested in your progress; I am new here…while I come from a tech perspective my interest here is around content…I heard some time ago that Scottish Ballet looked to engage in schools; they got somewhere when they pointed out that Rio Ferdinand started as a dancer…perhaps the stories and collaborators and content is the are to engage in; platforms are useful but the end is the audience…

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Thank you for your reply and I completely agree that the Stories and Collaborative projects associated with modern dance companies such as the Scottish Ballet are really the driving force behind engagement with a variety of communities.

Many of these projects are also documented and captured, and a dedicated dance platform that could feature and promote this type of documentary style dance content would only cast a wider net to inspire many more to get involved and engage with dance.

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Love this emerging thread around performing arts and web monetization. Could this chain bve the beginning of a proposal idea? Its not to early to have interested pockets of people begin to talk and plan.


Ways Into Dance - an interview with Keenan Fletcher

Taken from my latest Coil Blog Post, I felt that this was a great example of a dancer who used online visual dance content as part of his discovery process and journey into becoming a full time professional dancer, touring the world. Here is his story, and what he would like to see from an online dedicated dance platform.

Where did you grow up?

I grew up in Kingston, Jamaica

Do you remember the first time you came across dance, in any way, shape or form?

I was always surrounded by dance whether it was in church or when my sister attended her ballet lessons.

What made you want to take dancing beyond just a bit of fun?

When I experienced what it was to express myself using every part of my body not just my physical being including the ability to involve my soul, I became addicted.

How did you receive your first informal training or lessons?

Though I was surrounded by dance for most of my life I was shy so began looking at YouTube videos and trying to learn them. After watching many videos online this way, I found that I wanted more and since my sister was the leader of my church dance group; I asked if I could join.

Did you receive any formal training as a dancer?

Yes, after dancing with my high school and joining a local dance group back at home, I started ballet at the main ballet school in Jamaica, Vickers Dance Studio, doing ballet for an hour twice a week studying RAD intermediate foundation, intermediate and advanced foundation. After 2 and a half years, I realised that I was wanted to dance professionally and needed to attend a vocational school. Since there were no schools training to the level of professional, I knew I needed to attend a vocational school. So I applied and was accepted into the Modern Ballet programme to move and train at Royal Conservatoire of Scotland to study for 2 years in the United Kingdom

What are you up to now, and where are you dancing?

I am currently dancing with Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake UK and international tour 2019. We have just finished our second country of our Asia tour, China, performing in 5 venues over the course of 6 weeks. After a 10 day break, we travel to South Korea which is the last country of our Asia tour. We then go on to begin our final international tour of the United States of America.

What is one feature you would want to see from the world’s first dedicated dance platform?

I would like to see outreach to more Caribbean countries where workshops can take place and also greater links for more opportunities with dance schools across the world. To give Caribbean students who want to perform on an international scale a better opportunity to study dance full-time.

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Today, as most days lately, I was working away on the proposal for a Coil powered Dedicated Dance Platform, and as a result posted an interview Ways Into Dance - an interview with Keenan Fletcher (which can be found immediately above.)

Via Twitter and other platforms, I have received an overwhelmingly positive response to looking into the subject of “Ways into Dance” and the following response from a Coil Blogger on the Coil Blogging Club Telegram really hit a nerve.

“…you are making me want to go dance again”

Therefore I would like to share one of the points I have made within the current proposal in progress, a collaborative effort involving many dance contributors:

  • Curated media aggregation with subjects such as emerging choreographers , celebrated dancers and Global Dance culture will expose previously unconnected dance audiences and communities to a diverse selection of dance genres, techniques and lifestyles; creating a spirit of equal opportunity for producers, creators and performers alike.

  • News, Reviews and User Participation will offer journalists, bloggers and other dance commentators the opportunity to monetize their creative efforts. At same time, users will not only be able to enjoy quality content that is advert free, but play a more active role in supporting the development of the art form.***

The above Telegram comment has really got me thinking about user participation and so I look forwards to sharing more of my progress as the proposal evolves over time.

Here is my thought for today on solving the problem of scattered dance content, after chatting earlier via whatsapp video with @Casey_H from Ballet Rising:

You don’t go to Spotify to look for a specific 1930’s Classic Film…

You don’t sign onto Netflix to seek out your favourite Folk Artist…

You don’t go to so search for a local painter…

All of these platforms serve a clear purpose and fill a specific need.

And yet where do you go for Curated and Categorised Dance Content from across the globe…?

I think that in a nutshell, these questions make the case for the world first Dedicated Dance Platform, and what it could mean for an art form that has seen such a resurgence in the recent decade.

Hi Chris, it could be and there are several vectors to this as it emerges; what would be interesting may be to consider how actual collaborating might look and understand what could be supported.
We are based in Edinburgh, Scotland and have an interest in Linked Data and the semantic web. That allows content-augmentation and lighter weight models for finding related content and also for marking out areas such as IP for creators and collaboration. (From a technology level we have a platform which can assist many ecosystems of tabular and text based content.)

We also have some active collaborations in academic design/research areas.

Personally I can see that education unlocks a better future and that this is all about usefully related content to support learning experiences in a multitude of settings.

Scotland reflects a small population which has dense urban resources and opportunities but also rural and remote populations.

E-learning is a practical agenda as well as cultural projection. There is also a large related population of Scots who have walked many boards around the world.

(On a personal level I have worked recently in projects where we have brought together creators and students and performers from within Scotland and the Southern California…and I have an ongoing interest in the value of words and pictures and the power of story-tellling.)

The above may present an opportunity and as a small business we always open to collaborations which can work at a realisable scale.

All thoughts appreciated.

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Today I flew to Amsterdam from my hometown of Glasgow to meet with founder of Ballet Rising and fellow forum user @Casey_H .

After discussing our ideas at length, and seeing a natural overlap between our like minded thinking on monetising dance on the web, it was great to finally get a face to face.

Not only do we agree on the many challenges that Dance faces in the online space in its current form, we also found many ways that we can augment and assist in each others development of our proposals for GFTW; rather than acting in our own separate echo chambers.

On top of all the talk of Ballet, Web monetisation, cross border cultural exchange and using Coil ILP tech … it was also a fun trip where I met a new friend!


It was great finally meeting you! Im looking forward to working together and share ideas. You have some great insights and a wonderful enthusiasm to build something unique that could help a lot of artists around the world. Lets continue to collaborate and hopefully we can build something amazing!

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In this post, we look at some of the challenges that commercial dance style creators face when seeking to get their creative work seen online, and explore ideas on a way forwards.

What type of dance content do you currently create?

I create HipHop/Tap/Musical Performance Videos, as well as Dance Class Videos, Promo dance videos and TV content.

Where is most of your work created, and how is it then captured or performed?

I’ve created my work around the world, in dance studios or theatre spaces, and it then progresses to being performed and captured either from a Live show, or as a work intended for recording.

Some of the work is filmed in the dance studio, some for television and others for live shows. The filming and editing is sometimes done by another party that I hire to capture, which is usually done using a steady cam or chest harness to move around more easily, capturing the movement quality as best as possible.

What forms of online distribution and platforms do you currently use to get your Dance Content out into the world for others to see?

I use a variety of platforms such as YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and my own website to show my work .

What are the main barriers to you uploading and monetising your content?

The main barrier that ALL dancers and creators are facing at the moment are the unclear and irregularly applied ‘Copyright laws’. This really is the main issue with on all of the platforms mentioned, and the main barrier to me further monetising my content.

Once the work is created, taking a lot of time and hard work, we are then unable to showcase it as it is removed from the internet in seconds. When using an Artists music, of course they want it protected; However the idea of music to begin with is for the listener to have a connection and express themselves to it - for example the genre “dance music” to be danced to. As dancers and creators we do not seek to make money from the artists music but to publicise ourselves and our expression in order to promote future work with other Artists, Musicians, Theatre Projects etc.

With this barrier comes a great difficulty to showcase the work of artists like myself, and that barrier being lifted would be monumental towards encouraging the creative growth around dance.

What is one feature that you would like to see from the worlds first dedicated dance platform?

I think that it would be a big step in the right direction if there was a way I could monetise my content, but with a simple way/option to pay a share to the labels of the music artists involved per play , rather than buying very expensive commercial rights outright. These often cost well into the thousands of pounds up front and for limited time periods.

A step further would be a way to be able to reach the artists or music label associated with our work more directly (giving them a notification for example) so that they could see the work. That way, if they are wanting to use it, or even employ the creator for another project (music video, TV, theatre) or even just show appreciation then they can directly message the creator.


Lots of great ideas here. I think a few years in to Grant for the Web it will be important to have these funds support, add to and ultimately be sustained by existing models in funding, philanthropy and earned revenue. I think starting to create some of these bedrock collaborations and getting academia excited is a great early step.


Hi Chris, if I were to ask re the scope for Grant for the web ie what is the level of prospective funding (and timing) and how you see that working with say academic collaboration then it would be easier to figure that into any prospective project.

I am on one project which works around performance and audiences. Working that towards grant for the Web would be an extension of that work and understanding that further would be important.