You heard it here first. The startling true story behind LearnClubDance.com. A story of some pretty epic entertainment industry fails. Proceed with caution savvy entertainment industry reader, and learn from my mistakes.
My name is Paul Bolotovsky and I own learnclubdance.com. I produced all of the instructional dance videos on my website.
Ask me if I know how to use my camera, and I might reply with "iPhone camera?" When I first started, I had no idea how to use a camera, what a c stand stood for, and I was annoyed I had to rent lights when the venue I was shooting in had a perfectly usable light switch. Not every producer knows how to use their equipment. Fortunately for me, I was no producer. I was a college student majoring in economics (not film), and ignorance is as they say bliss.
The first project was a fail. I hired my friends, borrowed free gear, and rented cheap space inside of a Russian nightclub in a seedy part of Brooklyn. No production insurance. No paperwork to sign. Needless to say if anything went wrong, the club's owners, I mean mobsters, would probably inflict some bodily harm onto me, and probably the talent too. My friends, who didn't share the same vision as me for the project slapped fish eye lenses to their cameras, unleashed a giant fog machine, and someone found the switch to the disco lights.
But despite the somewhat questionable production value, the product we created was exactly what I set out to do. It's what guys like me were looking for. And once people started to buy my stuff, I made more videos and never looked back.
That brings me to my second entertainment industry fail.
I thought if I could create a hit DVD, that I could cold call Best Buy and that my DVD would be flying off their shelves in no time.
Cold call Best Buy I did. Unfortunately, it was a cold answer that I got. Actually, it was more of a robotic answer, because I never got past their voicemail system.
I did somehow manage to reach Tower Records and J and R Music in NYC. I have no idea what the person on the other end of the line thought of my naive, high pitched voice, but I was told to call back when I had more videos.
My next two videos were in the same genre, basic social dancing, but this time, I set out to make a DVD for women. Obviously.
And that brings me to another lesson. Don't invent a niche. Join a niche that has already proved itself.
I'm not sure how, or why I decided to take on this one man quest to teach the women of the world how to shake what their momma's gave them but it had a lot to do with the fact that there were already many dance workout videos being marketed to women.
If large Hollywood studios like Lions Gate were producing content in this genre, then that was proof of a market.
So I produced two instructional DVDs specifically targeting women. I reached out to the biggest dance representation in NYC and I ended up working with the hottest, sexiest, coolest woman my little twenty one year old self had ever hung out with. For a geek like me, it was scary, but it was worth it, because the instructors I worked with were some of the biggest names in the dancing industry.
Now that I had three videos, I called Tower Records again. They told me to call back when I had more videos after all. Well I learned three was not enough either.
Entertainment industry lesson number four:
With no luck finding distribution myself, I ended up signing with a "sales agent," who promised to have many warm contacts in the entertainment industry. To get me in a closed boardroom meeting with LionsGate, all they needed was $4,000 to cover their upfront costs. They never returned my calls after that 4k check was cashed.
With Best Buy and Target clearly not stumbling over each other to get hands on my videos, I realized that self distribution was going to be the way to go.
And lesson number five is all about how Amazon has revolutionized how people consume content. All of a sudden, thanks to Amazon's seller program, I was on the same level playing field as all of the major studios!
And there lads, that about wraps up one man's journey into the world of self-distribution.
I replied with:
Great history of the product, can you give me a run down of each DVD available and why someone like me, who can't dance at all, would buy these?
and Paul responded with:
"Why someone like me, who can't dance at all, would buy these?"
If you can't dance at all, then you sound a lot like our typical customer. Because if are already a great dancer, then you probably don't need a video that teaches you how to dance. For those that can't dance, you have our videos, which are just one way of becoming a better dancer. You can also take classes, get drunk, hire a private instructor, or dance with someone really hot. Dancing with a beautiful woman always makes you look like a better dancer.
Why would you buy an instructional dance video if you can't dance? Well, it's for the same reason someone would take guitar lessons if they don't know how to play guitar. Because they want to get better.
So I think you might be asking, why would someone like yourself want to learn how to dance.
Well, there are plenty of reasons why a man would want to learn to dance:
Weddings, parties, and corporate parties. Sometimes we get thrown into the fire and society tells us we have to dance, even if we would rather wrestle honey away from a bear. Your boss's summer party, your neighbors sweet 16, your wedding night, or your divorce party. With everyone's eyes on you, these are all situations that may lead you to want to be a better dancer.
- How you dance is how you might perform in the sack. While I don't know if that old adage has any truth to it, I do know this: Men who can dance are more attractive. According to science. Put two men next to each other. A bad dancer, and a better dancer. Make everything else equal, like height and looks, and ask a woman which one is more attractive. Science tells us she will choose the better dancer. And men who are good dancers apparently send subliminal messages to other men who are potential competitors to stay away. Daily Mail Reference, Science Mag
- Dancing makes you smarter. Apparently that's what a new Stanford Study says. I'll keep telling myself that next time I get drunk and go dancing and partying all night. Stanford Study
- Because sometimes you have to dance to dodge bullets aimed at your feet
- Because sometimes you score a really good touch down and you have to throw salt on the wound and do a touch down dance to celebrate
- Because sometimes, your wife, girlfriend, or secret mistress makes you. And that unfortunately, is sometimes the biggest reason of them all.
So for those that do want to learn to dance, there are a few options on our website. We have different videos based on your experience, your goals, your gender, and the style of dance you would like to learn.
We have DVDs designed for the absolute beginner such as yourself. These videos keep in mind that you do not want to be a professional dancer. They recognize that you might not "love" to dance, and that you are probably just learning to dance for a function.
Own The Dance Floor Vol 1 - Simple Moves For The Common Man
This beginners DVD is for guys such as yourself, who have very little experience dancing, and it teaches you basic social dancing moves. Think the movie "Hitch," only better and more practical. We split our social dancing videos up by gender because not only do men and women dance differently, but they also may have different motivations for dancing.
Sexy Moves For The Club
This beginners DVD for women teaches you fun, flirty, sexy moves. You'll learn everything from hot, subtle moves you can do to blend in on the dance floor, to flirty moves that will have everyone's eyes on you. By the time you are done with this video, you'll learn how to move your hips in a whole new way and you'll have a new arsenal of moves to impress your friends. Knowing how to move your hips is one of the most important factors of a good dancer.
Dance The Night Away - Partner Dancing 101
This video is what I call the "short cut" to formal ballroom dance lessons. It takes the moves you have already learned in Simple Moves, or Sexy Moves, and it shows you how to combine and use them with a partner. If you have an upcoming wedding, then this is the video for you. Instead of learning formal ballroom dance steps, we just show you a few simple spins and dips that look a lot harder than they are. So while you're dancing the night away on that big occasion, and you catch yourself smiling, it might be because of the amount of time and money you saved by skipping formal dance lessons.
We have plenty of other videos, from Salsa, to Hip Hop, to workouts, but if you are new to dance, these three are the best place to start.
Please let me know if you have any more questions, these are great!
-End of Interview-
As you can see I have fallen for the enthusiasm this guy has for his product. So if you are looking for that new sexy dance move to add to your club playlist, please check this guy out, buy a DVD or watch the video tutorial on YouTube! Make sure you follow him on social media and check out website: