We discussed DanceJam, MC Hammer's new online dance community, in episode 30 of our podcast. Well, the beta version of DanceJam is officially open, and users can start publishing videos of their killer moves.
DanceJam, which self-promotes as the "largest dance floor on the planet," allows users to seek out and learn a specific dance, share their own videos and even engage in online dance battles. Now you can make a fool of yourself to a much wider audience than just your parakeet and life-sized cutout of John Wayne.
While DanceJam is certainly aimed at the hip-hop dance crowd, this seems to be the first major dance community geared toward learning and sharing. This is another example of a site and concept to which arts organizations should be paying close attention.
Yes, DanceJam cost millions of dollars to design and develop, but there are affordable ways for arts organizations to collaborate, share and educate. For instance, a dance organization could offer tap lessons as an online series through YouTube and link to the videos from their Web site. Or a literary organization could offer online poetry slams and ask visitors to pick the winners, who could then be featured artists in a spotlight section of the organization's Web site. Just some thoughts...
The point is that arts organizations should continually be reviewing the online practices of for-profit ventures and creatively copying whenever possible.