by Jessica Wilson
Global Dance Network has just been launched after a two year build as a huge social networking site for all styles of dance worldwide, from ballet to street dance. In an incredibly powerful yet easy to navigate resource, GDN holds a multitude of dance-related articles, reviews, a jobs and auditions recruitment system, an online dance context, details of dance events, forums, discount coupons and more. The founders of GDN advocate the enormity of the site as partly social network, part information platform, part interactive dance contest, encompassing everything dance-related for the dance enthusiast, student and teacher.
As a virtual dance community, GDN has become the host of the ultimate features of a dance website through the evolution of a social networking site to provide more for its users. The website justifies a multitude of reasons for dancers to spend even more time communicating about dance on considerably more levels than has been achieved previously, without losing sight of the dance aesthetic. The huge achievement that has emerged as the result of the building of the GDN emphasises, now more than ever, the vast importance of keeping the dance spirit alive for now and the future.
A main feature of the new site is the incredibly interactive dance contest, the “Global Dance Chart” competition. Members of the GDN site can enter a video of themselves dancing in any of the fourteen categories, which immediately goes live on the site. Other users and even the general public can then vote for videos, with votes displayed in real time. The player can be used like a television, allowing users to flick between dance channels, styles and videos whilst voting. The creators of the GDN aim to make this the best real time dance contest anywhere on the internet, representing their huge investment into the site.
Following this is the instatement of the remaining features and the development of a complete job and auditions recruitment system which incorporates a digital dance resumé for every member of the website. It is arguable that the GDN extends its functionality and its dance reach even further than alternative social networking sites such as Facebook, with GDN aiming to make dance information more coherent and usable, and less generalised for the large variety of dance followers. GDN, consequently, aims to provide equal dedication and focus on each dance feature they include to make GDN the ultimate solution for dancers and dance fans as “social media with a purpose”.
Dance teachers are invited to create groups within the GDN site and invite their students to join, linking them to dance events, classes, tutorials, articles, locations, reviews, jobs and broadcast this information to members or subscribers. The huge potential available to dancers is incomprehensible; for example, following a Monday dance class, students could download a tutorial of the class to practise, join the group’s forum to discuss and feedback, and then print a discount coupon for the following week’s class. GDN will give dancers the tools to constructively express themselves, their creativity and knowledge to the full and encourage the sharing process of the dance network.
Standard membership to the site is completely free of charge and includes most of the features mentioned, adequate for most dancers. Premium membership holds no limits to the user and is ideal for serious dancers and dance businesses that wish to promote and grow their business in a new and unique way. For just £2.50 per month, users of the website are provided with everything the site offers, representing truly outstanding value.
4dancers readers can receive a completely free premium membership by joining the site before 1st June 2012 and then upgrading using the code 4Dancers2012. The site is currently in its beta stage, but the alpha version of the site will launch on said date. GDN aspires to become the first dedicated dance community with over 1 million members actively contributing, accessing and sharing dance content regularly across the globe.
Assistant Editor Jessica Wilson is a final year student at Middlesex university in London, studying Dance Performance. Jessica reviews London shows for the Society of London Theatre’s initiative for 16-25 year olds, TheatreFix, writes features for A Younger Theatre and blogs for Cloud Dance Festival, with additional press responsibilities. She has completed many marketing internships, the most recent at English National Ballet.
Jessica has also previously interned for SOLT, East London Dance and the ISTD dance examination board. Jessica is a National Youth Dance Ambassador for Youth Dance England, focusing on young people’s access to dance. She is extremely passionate about opportunities for young people enabling them to succeed and hopes to continue advocating this in the future through a variety of means.