The LAI will be offering two classes for the month of October. At 7pm we will be offering Bachata and at 8pm we will be offering Rueda de Casino at the Long Beach Dance Center. Don’t miss out on two amazing dances taught by Peter and Ciara.
For one class a week it will only cost $40 for the entire month or take advantage of both classes for only $68.
For more questions feel free to email peter@theLAinflunce.com
“Are you over performances?”
I think performances are great. These types of presentations allow for breaks between dancing, display the creativity of the choreographer & dancers and show the trends in styles within different genres of dance. However, the main reason I go to these different socials, clubs, festivals and congresses is to dance — not to watch hours of performances. I feel that there should be specific time frames set for performances depending on the type of event and/or venue.
Let’s start with socials. I love socials!!! They offer a fun, friendly, relaxed atmosphere that is great environment to showcase a piece of choreography for any dance company. But since the purpose of this type of event is to socialize and dance, an hour of performances in this kind of setting is just not necessary. To help keep the energy high, limit the number of performances to two or three groups. Trust me — there is nothing worse than wanting to leave a social early because you have lost time to dance since you have been sitting down for the past hour.
The next venue would be a club. Since the main appeal of a club is the entertainment factor, I feel that the number of performances can be a little higher. Five to six performances could be appropriate for this type of venue; however, it is nice when they are not presented in one set. I am a big fan of having two sets of performances because this format showcases all the creativity while still maintaining entertainment value, and there is still plenty of time to dance and socialize.
At festivals and congresses teachers, students, performers and participants from all over the world come together to share a common passion for dance. Since this shared interest raises the stakes a bit, the amount and caliber of performances should also be higher. This is not to say three days of performances of four hours each show; three days of performances with a maximum of two hours each showcase would be fitting. With set performance time frames and schedules, the wait time for performers would be less and directors/teams/companies would be motivated to be ready and on time.
In short, performances are a great way to showcase creativity and talent within the dance world when they are an appropriate length and style for the event and venue where they are to be presented, and are a perfect way to share and promote interest and passion for dance.
Currently I am a social dancer, no more and no less. However, I performed in different disciplines for almost 20 years. I am terribly critical of performances. So many bad things can be said about them; they take up valuable social dancing time, can be too long, performer’s timing can be off, performers cram way too much into two minutes, blending different genres of dance can go horribly awry. Dancers attempt stunts and lifts for which they are neither strong enough nor technically prepared. You get the idea.
In spite of all this, I doubt I will ever be over performances. I am a realist, but I am ALWAYS hopeful for performances. I hope there won’t be too many so that each one is special instead of being in a heap of songs no one will ever remember. I hope dancers aren’t driven to exhaustion in one song, but respect the observers enough to provide genuine entertainment. I hope the audience will be respectful of the performers even though they may not dance in the same social circles. I hope dancers and choreographers present the audience with material that matches their abilities. I hope that costumes are made properly and are fitting of the style of music and choreography. I hope that the crowd’s energy will be transferred to a first-time performer and lift their confidence so they do well in their number. I hope whatever goes wrong beyond the performer’s control is overlooked so the show can go on. Above all else, I am always-and will eternally be- hopeful that whether it is on 1 or on 2, it is always on time and a beautiful interpretation of the music. After all, the music is what draws us in, I hope dancers respect the musicians by doing their work justice.
From a DJ’s perspective performances can be stressful. Weird huh? I’m constantly thinking, “I hope the cd doesn’t skip or cut out.” That can be hell. Had it happen to me when MG Dance Company was doing a phenomenal performance at the Queen Mary Salsa Expo. Needless to say I got booed…deservedly.
A DJ is also thinking of how the performances will affect the social dancing. Did we schedule too many which will make the social dancers get cold? Is the MC the kind of person that will be on the mic way too long between performances? With all this you may think I am over performances. Quite the contrary, I love performances and welcome them at my socials.
I don’t think people appreciate the countless hours of training and practice. The self scheduled meetings at 24 hour fitness or renting space at a dance studio to go over the routine. Performers know that 90% of the audience is just waiting for them to finish, yet they still work and train to give their best 3 minute performance. What I am over is the audiences. Give the performers their due. Most people have been on a performance team of some nature, so we should be more courteous. Is polite applause really that difficult?
Now I am also over dance routines. I differentiate performance and dance routines by the following criteria: A performance tells a story, the costuming and movement go with the music. A dance routine is the same patterns and footwork to any music that is played. A lot of teams do dance routines, very few are doing performances.
Here are three things I would like to see changed that could possible improve performances.
1) Time Limits
For the last 5 years I have been a huge proponent of time limits on performances. Amateur or student teams should get a max of 2 minutes, Semi-pro 2 1/2 minutes, and Pro teams 3 1/2 minutes. Choreographers need to realize that the audience’s attention span is roughly 70 to 90 seconds. Once you go beyond that you start to lose your audience, so keep them wanting more.
2) Less Teams = More Quality
Just because you have been dancing six months does not mean you should start a dance team. In the early 2000s Los Angeles was known as a mecca for dance teams. There were a very limited number of teams, so the dance quality was incredible. Now the talent is spread out by way too many teams and it has seriously affected the quality of performances.
3) Costumes and Music
Make sure your costuming and routine go with the music. Ladies do not always have to be in the skimpiest outfit you can find. Also, if you do not know how to properly cut music seek out someone that does.
Will either of these happen? Time limits have started to take place at a few Congresses/Festivals. Less teams, no chance.
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The LAI will be teaching a 5 Week introductory to Kizomba class starting Wednesday August 1st from 8-9pm. The cost is $40 for the entire 5 week session. Come see what all the buzz is about and learn the basics to an amazing dance at The Long Beach Dance Center.
What is Kizomba?
Kizomba is an incredibly emotional and musically connected dance that originated in Angola.It is both sensual and lyrical at the same time and the scope for interpretation and interplay between the leader and follower is quite possibly unique in the world of dance. When Kizomba is danced well, it is nothing short of breathtaking.