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Life & Work with Ali Coleman

Today we’d like to introduce you to Ali Coleman.

Alright, so thank you so much for sharing your story and insight with our readers. To kick things off, can you tell us a bit about how you got started?
I am a professional dancer and video editor.

I received my BFA in dance from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. I lived in New York for several years where I began my career by performing with contemporary dance companies. After a couple of years, I started migrating toward more commercial dance styles and spent some time in Los Angeles where I signed with Go2Talent Agency. I’ve danced on TV and in music videos, commercials, industrials, theme parks, cruise ships, and two national tours.

Throughout my performance career, I grew fond of updating my demo reel. A demo reel, or dance reel, is a video representation of a dancer’s skill, personality, and range of style that is often required to submit to casting directors hiring for performance jobs.

Constantly updating my reel is how I first became interested in video editing. In my spare time, I started editing my friends’ reels for them, learning editing techniques off of Youtube, and researching big name dance reels.

In February 2019, when I was living in Los Angeles, I first developed the idea to make a business out of this newfound passion. I reached out to casting directors for their input, bounced ideas off of performer friends, and filled several notebooks with ideas, goals, and observations. I watched hours and hours of demo reels for inspiration. I researched. A LOT. I found videographers that I admired and took note of the things I liked about their websites, social media platforms, mission statements, marketing, branding, and editing techniques.

After a few months of brainstorming, I launched Dance Mill Media in June of 2019.

Since then, I have created demo reels for dancers, singers, directors and choreographers, as well as promotional videos and concept videos for schools, businesses, and dance companies. I now own equipment for professional film shoots, and I’ve collaborated with some incredibly talented small business owners here in Orlando.

Dance Mill Media offers a unique approach to video editing and media production from the perspective of a performer. Bringing other creatives’ visions to life and helping dancers improve their portfolios and book jobs has been a dream come true!

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
Developing any small business has its obstacles.

One struggle I’ve encountered is being a one person team.

As I am also still pursuing my professional dance career, finding the time to do things like complete Dance Mill Media administrative work has been challenging.

The success of my business relies solely on me, so budgeting time for things like marketing and emailing is a must!

Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?
As a video editor, I am most proud of being self-taught. I have put hundreds and hundreds of hours into learning the ins and outs of my editing program (Adobe Premiere Pro). If I find something I am passionate about, I tend to dive headfirst into it!

Though I am known for creating performer demo reels, I have also created many promo and concept videos. I am very proud of editing a virtual production of ‘The Nutcracker’ back in December of 2020, produced by North Fort Myers Academy for the Arts and featuring hundreds of students!

Regarding my dance career, one of my strengths is variety. Though my personal favorite styles are contemporary and jazz dance, I have worked and trained in pretty much every style out there!

Alison (Ali) Coleman is an Orlando-based professional dancer and choreographer. Originally from Boston, Massachusetts, she earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Coleman has danced professionally in New York City, Los Angeles, and over 25 countries around the world. Notable performance credits include ABC Network featuring Sting, Disney Channel featuring Meg Donnelly, Walt Disney World’s “Hocus Pocus Villain Spectacular”, Christmas Wonderland National Tour, Holland America Line, RWS Entertainment Group, HersheyPark, and more.

If we knew you growing up, how would we have described you?
I grew up in North Andover, MA, a suburb about 30 minutes north of Boston.

Growing up, I was definitely an overachiever! I played soccer and lacrosse in high school, I was the class secretary and a member of the National Honor Society. I also danced six days a week at my old dance studio, Nancy Chippendales Dance Studios.

I have always been super close with my family and am so incredibly grateful for their ongoing support.

Contact Info:

Image Credits
MuVarts Collective, Angelika Krug Photography, Lindsay Rosenberg Photography

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