Showing posts with label tap dance. Show all posts
Showing posts with label tap dance. Show all posts

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Video Vault: Frankenstein tapping experiment

So I recently found out that iMovie '09 can create split screens in the advanced features...goodness I had to just let my creative juices flow. I must really say that mix media performances can be quite tricky to execute. At the end of the day, this talent cum camera woman cum director was just exhausted. I don't even know how some of the youtubers do it like MysteryGuitarMan and Kurt Schneider, they must have had a big team or something.

The last few seconds in the vid didn't come out as strong as I wanted to. I wasn't very sure why. 

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Reflections: On Being Humble

It's pretty much common sense for everyone to be humble. When we're young, we're told by our teachers to be humble because there's always going to be someone better than you, in Sunday school, we're told that being humble is a virtue. Yet, in our adulthood, we sometimes forget this simple merit.

I recently came across Joshua Johnson's story. He busks with tap dancing in NYC train rides to pay for his college funds. He's been featured in Ellen Degeneres, and his skills are quite impeccable for someone who has been tap dancing for only 6 years. I guess it's really in the drive that allows someone to learn quickly and get over the plateaus.

Anyway, back on the subject at hand. As I gain experience as a dancer that explores many different genres, I have the tendency to forget basic etiquette, especially in dances where I consider myself an "intermediate" level student. I form dance cliques, and then get comfortable with the same people you see every time. Then, almost on autopilot, I shut off people who are new to the class. I don't know if it's got anything to do with me being an introvert or not, but this behaviour definitely needs correction. I'm trying to correct it with my west coast swing classes now with the exploded classroom size. I have to accept that people come from different dance backgrounds, and some don't even have a dance background at all. This should especially apply in social dances: no one wants to dance with an arrogant twit. I've at least complimented two guys on the social dance floor last week even though they were beginners.

I always find myself more encouraging to my classmates in tap than in my other dances, and I don't mind revisiting basics again and again just to make sure that my sounds always come out correctly. I remember once lying that I only picked up the wing steps much later than a girl in my class, and used that little story to encourage her and give her hope that she can indeed surpass other people's skill level if she works hard at it. But still, teasing people by showing off can garner funny reactions.

The same also applies to when I'm a complete beginner. In my ballet and contemporary dance classes, though I do focus in class, I was still able to socialise around with my classmates. I must say that my contemporary classmates are really enthusiastic - they've already formed a whatsapp group and are starting to talk about dance like crazy. In the future, I hope we can be welcoming to the newer people in our open classes, and act like we're all in the same level, with the same goal in mind, "Have fun in dance."

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Reflections: My tap number with Dance Arts

I still have yet to recover from my performance high (and soreness.) Gosh, that fleeting moment on stage again becomes something that would etch on my mind for a very long time. Although my brain decided to fart at the first verse of the song, the rest pretty much went smoothly.

I wasn't too happy that I was under-rehearsed, but I guess my projection was fine (I think I winked at a couple of kids sitting at the front row, lol) But hey, 10 months of training with the routine paid off quite nicely.

It didn't matter that the hand styling was still pretty foreign to me, it didn't matter that I screwed up a bit, it didn't matter that our entire group was a bit skewed to the left of the stage near the finale. All that mattered is that we sounded so good and in sync, and the applause we had was phenomenal! I mean, yeah, second last item of the show - who wouldn't forget?

I'm going to miss my time in Dance Arts now that I'm fully devout into Jitterbugs. The past 4 1/2 years of dancing tap with them has been fun, and I learnt a lot from the Al Gilbert syllabus there. But it's about time I started pushing myself further and beyond in my tap dance, along with my other dance genres too. Wanna Dance recital 2013 here I come!

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Reflections: My First Tap Jam

It's been a week since my first tap jam, and I must say that it's still an unforgettable experience. Tappers of all levels went in and felt the music that was playing, and basically improvised on rhythms that came as we played to the music.

I love that no matter what your skill level is in tap, you're still able to draw inspiration from each person in the circle. Sometimes during your turn to tap, you may run out of ideas on which technique to employ. But the less experienced one next to you can suddenly come up with a sweet riff that you just have to continue the beat and then add your flair to those steps. I've been inspired by Bryan's syncopated beats - his experimental style and sharp skill makes me want to push my tapping to the next level. My next aim would be to dance "out of beat" and then hit the down beat again at an unpredictable moment.

Tapping is also a dance that I feel is really versatile like West Coast Swing, maybe even more versatile than WCS because there's no restriction on tappers to do only 4/4 songs. I remember my old tap syllabus from ISTD had waltz, 7/4, and even the current Al Gilbert syllabus I'm in has 5/4 time. As long as you're able to count the beats of the song, you're good to go.

All in all, I can't wait till someone plans out another tap jam session - I could really work more on experimenting with syncopation. I found out that my favourite moves were flash steps and toe stands (like en pointe.) Yeah, I'm a flashy showoff. I should tone that down a bit so I don't scare off newcomers!