Durham School of Ballet and Contemporary Dance

Social Media Experiment

About This Project

Madeleine Twyman runs the Durham School of Ballet and Contemporary Dance in Whitby, and she has very big ideas. She noticed that her students were glued to their phones when they came to class and during their breaks. While Madeleine was choreographing a dance number to Prince EA’s poem “Auto Correct Humanity”, she noticed that the danced lacked a certain “Je ne suis quoi”. So while her students were learning the choreography over a 5 month period, she conduced a little social experiment.

Madeleine asked her students to stop using social media and playing games on their phones while they were learning the dance piece. To disconnect a bit from their screens and replace that time with something that will serve them well (like talking with family, going outside, etc). The change was slow, but steady. At the beginning, students showed a bit of resistance, but then over time they were able to look at the experiment objectively and took away some real learning moments.

Empty Cup Media was brought in several times during the social media experiment. We interviewed everyone at the beginning of the experiment, filmed some b-roll of them practicing in the middle, and their final performance with wrap up interviews. The process took many months to film and many hours to edit all of the interviews, practice footage and animations in. The final video has a documentary feel to it while softly selling Madeleine’s dance company DSBCD.


Whitby, Courtice

Crew Members

Director, Cinematographer: Carla Sinclair

Cinematographer, Editor: Colin Burwell

Event Coverage, Film & Video