Originally Posted by Crane's
The first rule of composition is there are no rules. Now I say that with a grain of salt. The main problem I see with your pic is the lights. The eye is drawn away from the dancer to the upper right area of the pic. The reason is simple. The eye is drawn to the brightest area of a black and white photo first. I would have moved so there was no lights in the background. All of your attention would then be on the dancer. Basically a classic off angle full length shot. You could have also turned off the two lights closest to her head and the two along the wall as well. Yes those two lights would be the first place your eye would settle but the lights are flaring and that flare is throwing a diagonal that leads right to the dancer's face. The eye will follow that right to your main subject. There's also a sense of interaction because it looks like she's looking out towards the lights. This is a very good thing. Once the eye is drawn to her then it would follow along the highlights and more or less be captured. in the image and not easily lead out.
Thanks very much for your thoughts. I have a personal weakness for flaring lights, but they are not placed in the best place, and are distracting. It's sometimes hard for me to judge composition on a monitor, and I find it helpful to shrink the picture down so a small size (maybe less than 1/4 of the screen area) to kind of get its gestalt.