choreo journal #1 – take a look!

I’ll be starting a series here on the blog, to give you peek into my world. With increasing frequency (I hope), I’d like to start presenting what I’m working on in real-time (almost.) I’ll be calling them Choreo Journals and I’ll let you in on my journey in taking pieces from start to the finished product. Let me know what you think, k?

Above is a short excerpt from “Teenage Dream”, my first studio competition award-winning piece! My studio recently attended StarQuest Dance and Talent Competitions where we entered our competitive team dances, ranging from solos I’ve choreographed for my students as well as a Sr. and Jr. Group dances. Since the beginning of the season, the dance has won overall awards for their category at 2 other competitions (Tremaine (3rd overall), Star Systems (2nd), respectively). These young ladies danced their hearts out and brought home a platinum medal and Top Score in their Junior Large Group category!!!

The success behind the dance was somewhat of a fluke, as I choreographed it only as a combination to do in class. I just threw a few of our across the floor sequences and technical skills together to the wonderful Boyce Avenue version that I’d heard earlier in the summer, taught it, and planned to work on it for a few weeks. The head of the competitive team choreographers approached me and asked could I produce a competition piece for our next venue (which was in about 2 weeks). I agreed and set about finishing the combination and turning it into a full-fledged dance. I had to work fast given the time constraint and that my girls are chatty kathies in class, leaving it to me to pull a minute to scold them to stay on task. *side eye*

The level of the dancers was somewhat the same, with a few standouts here and there, but my main goal was to show their beauty as a group,  a lesson which I’d gleaned from being a member of a dance team. When you’re unable to go big technically or have a lot of featured dancers, emphasize the group with variety. The except featured a few of those concepts – levels (0:10; 0:51) canon (0:35-0:42) and pictures (which isn’t featured in the video, but was inconveniently right after the cut off…side-eye again). One of my favorite moments was at 0:20s, where the dancer’s hands make the shape of a heart on the word “valentine”. Small touches such as those really endeared the girls to the judges, helping us to score high and snatch the platinum medal.

I’m proud of my little ladies. They worked quite hard to learn the dance and get it performance-ready (I am a bit of a slavedriver when preparing for competitions) and I made a promise to them that if they bring home a trophy, we’d have a special treat as a reward. Wouldn’t you know it?! They go the very next competition and bring back a trophy! They were more excited for their special reward from me than the fact that they won platinum and Top Score Overall in their division! We’ve got one more venue to go, but I see where their minds are…umm…any suggestions?

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