Dat began his career in dance photography during his junior year in college. He invested in a prosumer camera in order to pursue the art of screendance. However, he discovered a new bargain to his artistry. It started with one of his close friends asking him to photograph a dance show, then afterward Dat took his camera to every concert, class, and rehearsal that he could get to. Famous choreographer Merce Cunningham once said that dance "gives you nothing back... nothing but that single fleeting moment when you feel alive." It is capturing that "feeling alive moment" of performance that made Dat fall in love with dance photography.
Even though dance concert photography is his foremost focus, Dat also spends a large amount of his time documenting class or rehearsal. He believes that the "single fleeting moment" happens not only on the stage, but also in the studio where dancers embrace vulnerability and physical risks in order to push themselves beyond their limits. The raw emotions, intense focus, and bravery in the learning process are what Dat likes to capture. It is life in motion!
Photography also provides Dat new perspectives to look at the dancing bodies. The camera offers close-up which places the dancers in close viewing proximity - something that wouldn't be possible in a proscenium theater. This intimacy heightens the architecture of the bodies and accentuates meaning of small gestures that otherwise would go unnoticed in the passage of time. For Dat, photographing dance should feel like composing a dance in itself. He believes in moving with the dancers while capturing them, constantly adjusting the camera frame and making decisions about how the happening movement will be interpreted in still. Dat also loves experimenting with different camera formats and lenses that give him flexible control on visual depth and energy, thus enable him to depict the dancing bodies the way one has never seen before.