Second Best Advice I Can Give

Now my first bit of advice mostly applied to newbies; however, this bit of advice applies to all dancers as we all tend to forget this. It goes a little something like this. “If you don’t have it now, you won’t get it by comp time this weekend.” Now I’m not saying you shouldn’t ever stop practicing new figures, techniques, and frames. But you just need to refocus your priorities. When a competition is right around the conorn, there is no way you are gong to master that new double reverse spin turn that you learned last week in time for it to be competition ready. For those of you who might not be aware, it takes at least six (6!) months to develope muscle memory. This is why cramming before a ballroom comepition will not work! Instead it will almost always will hinder your proformance, rather than inhance it.

What you should focus on primarily during competition week is your current routines. Practice them over and over and over. To music, without music. In competition order. In solo rounds, in multi rounds. With other people on the floor, without people on the floor. Just keep doing your routines. This will get you ready for that quickly approaching competition weekend. This will help for a number of reasons. 1) you will be ready to dance your routine and given music. There will be no surprises. 2) You will get used to surprises that  might happen at a comp, as in they have to switch events around for schedule reason. 3) You get used to the how many times your should routine will loop during those 90seconds of music (though things like floor craft issues my pop up). 4) You can practice your floorcraft, so you become more comfortable when sticky situations arise (cuz they will). 5) Endurance. The more you dance and the more dances you will be able to do in a row during practice, will better prepare you for doing multiple rounds form, hopefully, mulitple call backs.

In short do rounds, ALL THE ROUNDS! And save the thechinque until after the competition. Also make sure you get videos of your dancing at the comepetion as your coach may see something that you should start working on to make your dancing better for the next comp.

That is all I have for now. Good Luck to all of those competiting this weekend, especially those at DCDI. I, sadly, will not be dancing. I will be there chearing on my team mates (and my newbies!) and any other dancers I enjoy watching. Feel free to stop by and say hi! I will be the nervous person giving a speach Saturday Night during the night show… Please feel free to comment below for anymore advice you have for dancers of all levels!

As for a my art, my next few posts will be all about my different classes and what I have been up to. I need to photograph/scan some of my work in so that I can upload it to wordpress to share.

The Best Advice I Can Give

Hello all, I know I didn’t post on Thursday, bad me, but I didn’t come up with inspiration until today. This goes out to all the newbies that will compete their very first competition really soon, or those who have competed already once but still feel incredibly nervouse. As for you advanced dancers, stick around. This post will help give you a bit of persepective, I hope.

The best advice I can give for those newbies struggling to feel prepared for their competition is that Rome was not built in a day. Now before you start shouting at me about that being a cliche, just stop and think about it. It is completely true. The Roman Empire lasted for 16 centuries! Now we all know how long and how much the Emperors struggled to expand their empire from the small city states that now are called Italy, all the way out to the Anglo-Saxon Britain and the Bysantine West. It took all those centuries to become a great, unforgettable Empire. It took a lot of hard work, blood, sweat, and tears (mainly from the conqured tribes I’m sure) to make the Roman Empire strong and powerful.

Now you may be asking me, ok so what does Nero have to do with Samba? Well, that becoming an amazing dancer takes more than one day, or three months in the case of many of you. Not to say you haven’t come far in the past three months, because you have. You have learned 6 routines, in the case of the newbies I’ve thaught, to compete in two styles. You can get around the floor and turn corners in standard, and you can do many turning figures to allow your number been seen by as many judges as possible. Be proud of what you have accomplished; yet, remember that you still have an amazing, and yes long, journey a head of you.

Unlike the Roman empire, it will not take centuries for you to become beautiful amazing dancers you see on youtube videos. Or I hope not, or else we all have a very serious problem. Instead it could take a few years before your mind and body can learn and apply all the techinque and figures to make you an amazing, high level amatuer, give or take a few years. Do not be scared or sad though. As long as you have the drive, and you invest time, and yes money, into your dancing you will get there. You will be able to achieve most, if not all of your dancing goals. And enjoy the ride, I know I have.

Newbies, if you are really terrified about looking like the worst person on that floor, look at newbie rounds from years past at competitions. Advance dancers, if you belong to a team, please pull up some videos from your past and share them with your newbies. Yes I’m looking at you. Stop cringing at me. I know the feeling. Just close your eyes and share, and run away from the computer for a few days. It sucks, and that’s ok. But honestly, this will give the newcomers a bit more confidence to know the older, veteran dancers sucked too. It is an eyeopener for them to see that they can become just like you one day, and that it’s not all about talent or sheer luck.

I recently did this, along with a bunch of other people on my team. And to be honest, I throuoghly enjoyed the experience. Not so much of looking at my old stuff, because seriously cringe!!! But because I got to see videos from way before my time, with some of my coaches in the newbie rounds. Most of these people I have only seen as prechamp or champ dancers. It gave me persepective to know that, yeah I could be them one day too, and I’m not too far off from acheiving my goals.

It has taken me three years to get where I am today in my dancing. I would not have traded the experiences I have gained from working towards my dance goals for somehow instantly being amazing. All the faults and missteps along the way have truly made me the dancer I am today, and without those experiences I believe I would be a worse dancer than I am right now. So hang in their kidos. Your journey has just started, and I promise you will get to that night show one of these days.

Major Class Update!

Gah sometimes the time gets away from me and I completely forget to post. This is one of those times. So I have a couple updates about the classes. The first painting in completed, yay! Here is a quick look at it.

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I offically turn it in along with painting number two next week on the 24th for our midterm. Let me know what you think about it in the comments below!

The second painting that I mentioned is a series of four smaller paintings done on a 24×24 canvas, each image being 12×12. Here we are learning four different techinques, overpaint/underpaint, wet in wet, glazing, and impasto. The first techinque, overpaint/underpaint, is exactly what it sounds like, layers of paint overlaping each other to form the final design. Think impressionist. The second, wet in wet, involves adding paint on top of paint and smoothing the colors together to great a more blurry line of transitions between colors. Glazing, the third techinque, involves adding a thick, white medium to the canvas, and adding very light layers of pure colors and shades (adding black) to it. This gives you the purest and brightest colors out of all of the techinques. Also note, we do NOT add any tints, or adding white to our colors, in glazing. We only go down the color scale. Impasto is the last techinque we are applying to our canvas. This also involves adding medium to our canvas, but instead of trying to acheive really rich and vibrant hues, we are trying to ad visable, touchable texture to the piece. We are trying to build up the surface of the canvas to really make certain objects pop of the canvas.

So far I have only  managed to finish my overpaint/underpaint. I think I am almost done with my wet in wet, but I have not touched the other two. I have brought my canvas home with me to work on the wet in wet so that I can focus competely on the other two techinques on Tuesday in class. Here is what I have so far.

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Although I haven’t been able to print much in photog, I have been able to get one picture competely finished and I have taken about 4 rolls now on film. It is from our Vantage Point roll. In this roll, we were suppose to take 4 objects and take 10 images of 3 of the objects, and 6 of the last (on a 36 count roll). The ones my professor liked the most of were the pictures of my beat up practice shoe for dance.

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It’s probably really hard to see in this quick snap shot of the photo, But I took this on a cloudy day, with probably a mid shutter speed (around 1/250 or 1/500 of a second) and a low depth of field (probably around 4.0 aperture). This caused the background to blur out a bit to make the shoe really pop. On the enlarger I used the fspot (aperture) 8, which is a middle range of light, for a total exposer of 3 seconds. I dodged, or waved a piece of cardboard around to block the light, the shoelace area in order for that information to come up. I did this instead of lowering the time or aperture anymore so because the rock and front part of the shoe looked perfectly exposed, while that one area looked a bit too dark. I might do one more print, and dodge that area for the entire 3 seconds.

Finally I have completed two projects for digital media. Below is an image  from the first project. In this project we had to take 15 items, scan them, and then use them in compositions. Plot twist, we could not make it look like a cut and paste image. We had to use the objects to create a whole new environment. This was incredibly hard for me to do, but I ended up with the three compositions. This class is truly pushing my creativity. The image below used bobby pins, rhinestones, a sheet, a lock, and sweater to create a stormy sea setting.

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Let me know what you think of my work in the comments below, or feel free to link me to some of your work. With my club’s competition coming up I will prepare a couple posts about ballroom and competing!