Before starting our filming for the five rhythms session, I was asked if I would like to join in the warm up session. I accepted and began to move around like the people around me were. At first I was quite hesitant to let go and I was worried about how I looked. However, I realised that in this room no one would judge me for how I danced. I started to move a bit more freely and really started to enjoy myself. I moved in and out of the other dancers and let the music flow through me. It was really nice of the session leader to invite me to join in. Moreover, I think this ‘humanised’ me as a cameraman, and everyone felt more comfortable with me filming thereafter as they had seen me join in at the start. In addition, my collaborative partner Johanna danced with them for a lot of the dance also. She was captured in the background of some scenes (visual anth where you star in own work).
After the warm up session, we sat in a circle and the session leader told the group who I was and that I was planning to film. We had spoken to her before hand and had agreed that I would only film down one end of the hall. This would allow anyone who was camera shy to dance down the other end, as not to impede on his or her experience. She announced this to the group. She added that I would be respectful and would do everything I could not to cause anyone any discomfort. I added that if anyone was uncomfortable or felt they did not want to be in the film, they could approach me afterwards and I would remove any footage of them from the film. Luckily no one did.
After the dance we sat in a circle and spoke about the experience. One topic discussed was how everyone felt about the camera being present. Nearly everyone said that they did not even notice that I was there. Additionally, many said it helped them ‘get out of their head’ because it reminded them that 5rhythms was about letting the music take over and if they were worried about the camera that meant they were not submitting to the music. One individual did not feel this way however. She said that she always felt the camera was on her and this made her feel very self-conscious. I apologised for this and told her that I was focused on the individuals I had asked specifically before; if she had appeared in the film it would most likely have been as a blurred shape in the background. I added even this was unlikely because she danced down the end of the hall that I did not film.