Dance Film Lab


Current and Upcoming Dance Film Labs

Dance Film Lab is a monthly program of Dance Films Association, organized by Zach Morris of Third Rail Projects. Dance Film Lab is  a community-building, monthly series for dance filmmakers to gather;  share information, methods, and tools; and address technical, practical and artistic challenges with a series of Moderated Screenings and Master Classes led by industry professionals. In the past Dance Film Lab was hosted by Dance New Amsterdam and will have a new home the Made in New York Media Center by IFP in 2014. Zach Morris (Third Rail Projects Co-Artistic Director) is a Bessie Award-winning choreographer, director, visual artist and Co-Artistic Director of Third Rail Projects. He is also the organizer and moderator of the NYC Dance Film Lab, a Movement Research teaching artist, an adjunct faculty member of the Florida State University School of Dance, and a professor of Shakespeare at Manhattanville College. He has previously served as the Co-Creator and Co-Director of the Westbeth New Works Program and as the Inter/National Program Associate at Dance Theater Workshop. Zach has a BFA in Directing from Carnegie Mellon University.

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Moderated Screenings Members can attend Moderated Screenings for FREE. Non-Members can attend Moderated Screenings for $10.

Master Classes Members can attend Master Classes for $10. Non-Members can attend Master Classes for $25.

Intensives Members can attend Intensives for $175. Non-Members can attend Intensives for $225.

Members Select the Member Rate when Signing Up for Dance Film Lab. Your membership status will be checked at the event.

Non- Members Sign-Up for membership to purchase at the Member Rate! Otherwise you may select the Non-Member rate. Membership includes other opportunities such as discounted rate to apply to Dance on Camera and eligibility for the Production Grant!


Fall Dance Film Lab 2014
September 8 Field Trip to AbelCine
September 24 Editing Panel with Bryan Chang and Kat Green
October 22 Moderated Screening facilitated by Zach Morris
November 19
Panel Discussion facilitated by Andrea Haenggi
December 9 Holiday Party and Screening!

Spring Dance Film Lab 2014
February 20 Creating Cohesive, Coherent Dance Films with Jeremy Xido
March 26 Camera Movement and Aesthetics with John Koch 
April 21, April 28, May 5, May 12 Dance Film Lab Intensive with Tori Sparks, Kelly Bartnik, and Geoff Ehrlich (Postponed)
May 28
Moderated Screening facilitated by Zach Morris 

Location and Time

Media Center by IFP 30 John Street Dumbo, Brooklyn 11201 New Time! 7:00pm-9:00pm

Moderated Screenings

Moderated Screenings are a service provided for artists to get feedback in a constructive setting. It brings dance filmmakers together to present raw footage, drafts, works-in-progress and newly finished films to their peers for artist-centered, constructive feedback. These sessions are informal showings centered on discussion about the footage being shown, primarily for the artists to get reactions, constructive criticism, and process-related feedback on these works. Must be a DFA member or have attended Dance Film Lab to submit your work. Submission information listed below. Dance Film Lab culminates with an end of the year screening in December with works by filmmakers who have attended the lab.

Guidelines Pieces should be less than 10m (excerpts acceptable) Pieces should be new to the screening Submissions should be submitted via Vimeo. Pieces should be available for high-quality download as an mp4 directly from Vimeo. Pieces can be password protected.

Master Classes

Master Classes are led by top professionals focusing on the process of genesis, production, post-production and distribution of a dance film. From interactive workshops to panel discussions, as a dance filmmaker you’ll have hands on experience with professionals to hone, question, and expand your creative process.


I am a journalist making my first documentary film, Renewal, about dance and environmental activism in Israel. I attended almost all of the Dance Film Lab workshops this past year, and I found them incredibly informative. DFA not only has a well-informed staff who know the specifics of the dance film genre, but they also bring in presenters with a wealth of experience in many different aspects of film. The small classroom structure encourages interaction and is extremely inclusive, no matter if  you are a veteran filmmaker or a novice. I found great resources in the presenters as well as those in the audience. As I continue in the post-production process, I feel grateful that the Dance Film Lab exists. I look forward to learning further from those in this vibrant community. Stacey Menchel Kussell “When I go to Dance Film Lab, I am sure to have a good experience.  Whether I am showing my own video or appreciating and commenting on others’ videos, I learn about what makes dance film work. Zach is an excellent moderator, corralling the conversation toward supportive feedback, and giving spot-on feedback himself. All levels are welcome in this environment and people are helpful to each other, both by giving support and feedback, and also by exchanging practical tips.  I highly recommend this ongoing workshop.” Elena TaJo It was incredibly helpful to get the responses I did from the wonderful people who attended the lab. I went into it expecting to have people tell me what I was doing right and what I was doing wrong, but I was blown away by how encouraging and constructive the feedback was. Before attending the lab I was a bit lost as to where to go with dance and film after this. Because of the conversations I had with the participants, I now know the direction I want to go and I am very excited about it! Being in an environment with people who love what I love, and do what I do is not only inspiring, but a great reminder that we all need a little feedback and that there are people out there who want to help and get involved. Overall my experience with the Dance Film Lab was great, and I would encourage anyone to submit their work because the responses they will get are nothing but respectful, honest, and enlightening. Sophie Kuller I was actually so inspired by the experience that I wrote the beginnings of a screenplay on the train on my way home [from Dance Film Lab]. Shortly thereafter, I founded my own dance film production company, DANCELEN(D)S.We released our first independent production – manouevres – on YouTube, with an incredible street crew and company called Project Valentine.That lab really helped me to move forward on the goals I had to explore dance film in my own way – and so I just wanted to reach out and say thank you! We’re looking forward to many more to come! Jennifer Madison

 Dance Film Lab Current and Previous Supporters