The Dance Cam

You’ve heard of the kiss cam at professional sporting events. But what about a dance cam? One school decided to put an audience-friendly spin on a game day tradition.

The announcer calls on the crowd to ready their best dance moves. Everyone’s eyes are on the big screen as the camera zooms in on you. Are you ready to bust a move

A tradition in sporting events, the kiss cam, gets fans engaged during game downtime. On a high school level, things need to be more kid-friendly, so the A/V students of Edmond Santa Fe in Oklahoma decided to go with a dance cam.

Fans have taken to the lighthearted entertainment on both sides of the court. We interviewed the school’s Event Broadcast teacher, Kyle Hawkins, to get his take on the dance cam.


Q: Tell us about the dance cam and how it’s run.

A: It’s all student driven. The class is taught Adobe production suite, plus After  Effects, to create content for the system. When it’s game time, the students know when a break in the action is coming up and communicate via walkie talkies to the announcer to get the crowd ready to look at the screen. Then we start building music and have neon “Dance Cam” lettering on the display and pan in to our dancer.


Q: How do you shake things up and keep it fresh to encourage participation?

A: We update music that’s relevant to what the kids are listening to and play to what season we’re in. The students are also constantly churning out new graphics for us to use.

Q: What else are the kids doing to learn more skills?


Abbi Knight, Senior

A: We visited two local colleges to see how they use their equipment, Oklahoma State and Oklahoma University. One uses it as a work study opening while the other works a bit closer with ESPN, so it has more updated technology. It gives the colleges an opportunity to know that students are interested in doing this.


Did you know
The same equipment used to run Daktronics video boards at the high school level
is what is used at the college and professional levels.
Giving your students the experience on the equipment can set them up
for jobs at the college they attend, or a career in the big leagues. 


Q: What do you think is the students’ favorite aspect?

A: They have fun getting together. The kids form these family units where they spend a lot of time together. These are students who normally would never talk to each other. They have a long day of 7 other classes as well as this 2-hour course. Then they eat together and head to the game to work. They shut down around 11 at night.


Q: That’s commitment. Is there anything you think people don’t see or might not know about their efforts?

People see the board but don’t think about the fact that it’s run by students. These are high schoolers accomplishing the entire production. It’s a large-scale effort for a bunch of kids who are full-time students.


Q: How do they respond to the pressure? Are numbers holding steady compared to last year?

A: Last year, we had 18 students. This year, we have 42. They are excited and want to be here doing this. It’s definitely a growing program.


Those are awesome results, Edmond Santa Fe. Keep on dancing!

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