I shoot a lot of dance - well, burlesque which can include some fast and slow dance moves.IMAGE LINK: https://flic.kr/p/tZxqwQ BBB_Cabaret_20150529_0265.jpg
Shoot raw, clean up color and noise in post. Shoot a little loose, crop for composition and level in post.
Shutter speed should be at the front of your mind. You're going to have to walk the fine line of proper exposure, and fast enough shutter speed to appropriately freeze the movement. I find that a small amount of motion blur on the extremeties is not objectionable. To that end, I generally use 1/125 for slow-moving performers, up to 1/250 for medium-fast performers, and maybe 1/400 for very fast performers. While these aren't always fast enough to freeze all motion, if your timing and anticipation is right, they're fast enough to freeze the important parts.
Open your aperture up as wide as it'll go, then set the ISO to whatever you need for proper exposure, maybe a little ETTR. Close the aperture back down a bit if you're missing focus.
Be careful with the meter - especially if there's a dark curtain backdrop. DON'T blow out the skin. If there's a dark backdrop, the camera will want to make everything average, which means horribly overexposing the skin (bad!) in order to retain detail in the curtain (who cares). Expose the skin properly, let everything else fall where it may.
Without knowing the venue and the size of the group, it's hard to recommend which lens. Go for the one that focuses most reliably, and be careful about using the widest aperture because - even though you need the light - that leaves very little room for a focus miss. Personal preference, I like to stand far away and shoot with a longer focal length - the 85mm and 200mm (I use a 70-200 f/4L). With the exception of a few "environmental" shots, you probably won't need the 11-16. If there are big group dances, you might need the width and flexibility of the 24-105.
If they're on a raised stage, don't get right next to the stage and shoot up their skirts and up their noses, nobody wants to see that.
The last thing that's very important is to "tune in" to the music and the performance, anticipate then big moments are going to happen, and be ready to squeeze the shutter button. This takes practice and experience, but keep it in mind during the performance - you'll have much better success than if you just wait for the big moments to happen, because you'll miss them. Many performances have certain dance moves repeated two or more times, be ready for that, if you miss the first one you can nail the second one. And, many performers will "telegraph" their big moves right before they do it, so you have a fair warning to be ready to squeeze the shutter.
This album has a bunch of shots all with my EXIF intact, it's a few different venues with different lighting and set/backdrop (there are a lot of posed portraits mixed in too)
This one is at "only" 1/200, anticipating the move and catching it right at that micro-second of pause at the apex of the kick. 1/200 would be way too slow for the motion of the leg going up or coming down, it would just be a smear. ISO4000 because the spotlight was on.
by Nathan Carter
, on Flickr
This one is 1/250, again I anticipated the jump and squeezed the shutter to catch him right at the apex where the movement was slowest. ISO12800 because the spotlight was off.IMAGE LINK: https://flic.kr/p/ov1hEu BBB_Cabaret_20140725_26212.jpg
by Nathan Carter
, on Flickr