Sunday, July 23, 2006

Dance Moms Know!

Just got back from a dance week in NYC. It was nice to meet up with other dance moms and hear their evaluations of the SYTYCD dancers. It was funny, but we ALL agreed 100% on our favorites for technique and performance.

I gave and received lots of good tips on choreographers, conventions and events. It was great!

Off to unpack!

Saturday, July 08, 2006

A new dance target!!! GRRRRR!

Ok, so the mean posters are still ranting and raving injustice, even tho their girl is off the show. The board is calming down, but I'm now noticing that people in general have quickly jumped on new targets. Ahhhh, the dance world can be so vicious sometimes! So, I guess, in the end, that every contestant on the show is targeted by ill-wishers up until the last one standing ... or dancing.

Last season, I didn't go on the boards at all, so I didn't really know what was going on. It was a different experience for me. This year, well, my daughter auditioned for the show this season. If she made it to the final 20, I wonder how I would feel about her being a target. Not too good I don't think. I do wonder how the parents and families of the contestants can stand it. Criticisms like, she's too fat, he's a homo, she's got no technique, she's a liar, she makes faces, he thinks he's great, she's full of herself, on and on and on...... So, no matter who you are, what you've accomplished or how you act or dance, someone hates you!

I don't think I'll look at the boards if she ever makes it. She is trained in all the dance styles and does have a good chance ... so says her mommie who loves her (that would be me), and therefore thinks she can do no wrong and is a beautiful dancer. But would I be able to stop myself? I might just end up in an asylum. It is a hard position to be in.

I must say that the picture of a fat, face making, lying homo dancer who is full of him/her self and thinks (s)he is great is an awefully scary combination. Funny how people who never met you can come up with such a caracature.

I think it's great that these 20 dancers get to experience SYTYCD. I have found something great about each and every one of them, even the one with the mean family and friends. I wish them all good luck because one thing is certain: They are all doers. They set a goal and are accomplishing their goals and whether you like them as dancers or not, they should be congratulated for taking action.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Every Dance Genre Has It's Benefits

Well, I guess getting mean on the boards just doesn't pay off. Who woulda thought?

Anyway, here are my thoughts. Being trained in just one type of dance does not make you a well-rounded dancer, or an all around dancer. It means you are simply limited to your one style. Ninety-nine percent of dance styles have required technique. Most of the technique are difficult to master in a short time, but all dance styles benefit a dancer one way or another. No one dance is better than another.

Hard core ballet must be started from a young age. If a family chooses to put a child in hard core ballet, then they usually commit at least four days a week to ballet classes plus weekends for rehearsal or repetoire. It is difficult on the body for someone young to enter other forms of dance early on.

Ballet for the normal dancer with a desire to be an all around dancer: My advice, as thedancemom, is to get as much hard core training in ballet as possible, but once it becomes impossible to keep up with the schedule, start shifting some hours to other types of dance. IMO There is no substitute for hard core ballet training. Ballet is always stressed as the foundation of dance ... all dance ... and I believe that is true. It strengthens, stretches and controls the legs and arms. Hip hop dancers will find a better control of the legs and arms, tappers, jazz dancers and modern dancers will gain balance and posture.

Looking back on my daughter's training, if my desire was for my daughter to be an all around dancer, I would have started her in hard core ballet in the early years and then started moving her to other styles around the age of 8 or 9 while still trying to maintain the ballet as much as possible. This sometimes isn't possible because hard core ballet instructors don't want to teach someone if they're only going to be in class for two of the four days of training. Everything's a tradeoff! But if you start the all around dance later than 8 or 9, it's my opinion that it will be difficult to catch up with the other kids who have been doing all around training since the age of 5.

Tap helps a child learn rhythm, foot coordination, syncopation and precision. I have seen some ballerinas who could use some tap lessons and definately some tap dancers who could use ballet.

Jazz dance adds style and diverse movement and interesting shapes. Something that I don't often see in classical ballet. Jazz style can be choreographed into both tap and ballet.

Lyrical helps bring out emotional performance. Lycial dancers learn to use their faces and body movements to express emotions (sudden contraction, soft floating arms, hard, soft movement etc). Lyrical encompasses many forms of dance ... ballet, jazz, contemporary.

Hip Hop emits power. I think that hip hop teaches expression of aloof emotion and coolness. It is the complete opposite of "good ship lollipop". It teaches the dancer to take whatever technique they know and just dance. Hip hop does require a lot of technique, but at the end of the day, it must be "danced" .... nothing held back. The technique must be so precise that when the dancer lets loose, the dance does not fall apart.

Modern/Contemporary is said to be close in technique to ballet. Modern definately teaches shapes and body alignment. Controlled emotional performance.

Ballroom Latin/Rhythm teaches some amazing hip movement and also gives the dance world some of the most appealing sensual body shapes in both the ladies and the men. Quick footwork and legwork that is completely opposite of anything you'll find in traditional dance.

Ballroom Smooth/Standard teaches controlled legwork and footwork, posture, balance, breadth of movement. This is a great remedy for traditional dancers who have trouble with footwork.

There are so many other types of dance that I could comment on. But, that's all I have time for this morning. Thanks for visiting!

Sunday, July 02, 2006

I hate people who are just WRONG!

I've been reading the SYTYCD boards and I'm seeing some behavior that is ....well just pretty bad. There are, by my count, two contestants families who are really cut-throat about this competition. I won't tell you who, you can find that out by going to the boards and reading the messages yourself.

Anyway, some are signing up on multiple user names, posing questions and answering themselves back on another user name. Others are doing the same thing, but among friends and family members. They are ganging up on anyone who doesn't agree that thier dancer is not the absolute best in the world. Even worse, those same people are entering the conversations with those who support other dancers and trashing the other dancers in way that makes their dancer look more appealing. If I ever get to that sorry state of being .... well, I hope that I never feel I have to be that type of underhanded, sorry human being to do that to other people.

The dancers should succeed or fail on their dancing ability and/or likability on their own. Families should not enter into a blood war to destroy those competing. How sad and wrong.