Forbes India 15th Anniversary Special

Social media influencer Kirill Korshikov tells about how his Social Dance TV project turned into mass media

Social Dance TV became a mandatory part of a newsfeed of every self-respected social dancer

Published: Jun 24, 2020 02:03:26 PM IST

Social media influencer Kirill Korshikov tells about how his Social Dance TV project turned into mass media

It was hard to predict that anything would affect world dance community so much as COVID-19 did. Currently social dancing have turned into social distancing, that made the community adapt and grow into online reality more than ever. An entrepreneur and the creator of the popular dance video channel Social Dance TV, Kirill Korshikov tells how an ordinary Instagram account once became a world covering media for the whole wide community of social dancers and how it was made possible to gather tens of thousands viewers on recent anti-corona-aid dance live airs. Now, more than ever, Social Dance TV’s feed on Instagram and Youtube captures sights of most dancers round the globe as the only way to keep connected during anti-COVID restrictions. And these days together with millions of dancers Kirill longs for a fine party just for the whole world to see, and he does his best to ease the longing!

For those who’re aware it’s obvious that social dancing is not the same as it was 20 years ago. And it's not even about new fancy moves and styles. Diverse groups and schools evolved into a world community and cultural industry due to social networks. Now a whole new world of dance festivals up to 10,000 people with its own icons and mass media offers you best shows, parties till dawn, and a constant news feed. Social dance has become more of a life background of mass of people than it has ever been.

Numbers to compare: back in 2000, when “Salsa” cult movie came out, the “salsa festival” format was in its founding. The biggest events gathered up to 1000 people. Now, after twenty years, there are around 15 events held every weekend. It’s hard to imagine a place where salsa and bachata festivals are somehow missed. 5000 people is a median value for bigger events as Warsaw Salsa Festival or Croatian Summer Salsa Festival. And 10,000 people come every year to Euro Dance Festival in Germany.

The mass media of the social dance world has become a matter of Kirill’s concern just before it earned the right to be called so. Back in 2014 social dancing issue representation in social media was rather disjoint: dance schools, festivals and dancers themselves charged their channels with diverse content based on their activity in order to widen their audience. So, in compare to nowadays, it was pretty hard to get some aggregated content wide and deep enough to explore any distinct topic.

Having a pro eye on shooting videos and being a dancer since 4 brought Kirill to the brighter idea to create an Instagram channel with JUST dancing videos in order to unite visuals like himself, who would consume that kind of content for hours. Also it seemed handy to have a link to throw in respond to constant queries like “what’s that social dancing you keep talking about?” Thus, on Jan. 13 2015 the Social Dance TV channel was started.

In the beginning it aired stirring dancing videos from different sources while Kirill started to make his own videos, intending to show the dancers to themselves in the cool way he saw them. In a half a year it came clear that own made videos had way more engagement, so Social Dance TV became an author’s channel.

Dance videos turned out to be a fine detached easy-access root of a dancer’s web inquiry. Social Dance TV became a mandatory part of a newsfeed of every self-respected social dancer. Quoting Kirill Korshikov: “I realized that my Instagram channel actually brought the majority of dancers together and I felt how huge it was. When you realize something is huge, don’t deny it!” With this growth SDTV became a perfect platform for dance festivals’ post production. And it became a fine platform for dancers’ communication as well. The language barrier was no longer a problem with that “show translation” button.

Minding the result, Kirill is in love with the process: “When I’m shooting the party, I consider myself as a dancer, a part of the party flow. I do what everybody else does: I dance and watch. The only difference is I watch through the camera. Watching people dancing is the best way to observe people! Those who have eyes must see how sincere even the showiest move is. And a couple dance is the most exciting way for people to communicate, I’m never tired to watch. At last, the most thrilling experience to me is to capture that wonder into a box to show to those who missed it, to make them see what I’ve seen.”

Figured out this way, mission of Social Dance TV is to make the magic moment of dance dialogue a part of the social dance community heritage by capturing the flow of partner dancing on video and sharing it worldwide through social media.

By now SDTV has grown into a production studio with recruited staff. They shoot more, post faster and film concomitant events. They film up to 50 festivals every year all over the world. It's 36 countries that Social Dance TV have aired from. It uses its capacities to support full-time dancers and organizers. In this industry working full-time is more uncertain, yet more professional. It promotes online classes, it does live airs, it volunteers for a charity. It also takes responsibility for trends it makes, as it declares itself mass media.

The issue of the day makes the crew try harder. In March they've shot a charity festival to fund COVID relief. Several on-line classes with top dancers went huge and gathered donations to medical centers. Dancers can surprise with compassion, when they’re left with nothing but social nerworks. In May 2020 salsa and bachata stars around the globe cheered people with a "Social dancing on Quarantine" challenge, which quickly became popular.

Casting on-line wasn't a part of the plan in the beginning of 2020, still, today it's the main goal. And after pandemic restrictions fall away it'll broaden the offer for dance event organizers.

Disclaimer: The views, suggestions and opinions expressed here are the sole responsibility of the experts. No Forbes India journalist was involved in the writing and production of this article.