At some point today, I must be insane.
When I was in my last class at Catskillz last night (yay getting through 10 lessons!) we were discussing Assessments, the three stylings, etc. I went to open up the notecard, and I realized that I now have Catskillz final Assessments AND Advanced Dance class graduation in the same week. My Assessments will be on Tuesday, October 1st… and Advanced Class graduation will be the following Sunday, the 6th. And all I have to say about that… is oh my gosh, kill me now, please.
One big misconception that a lot of people have about me when I mention that I dance in SL is that I mean I hope on a poseball or a right click and sit on a pole. Competitive dancing… free-form dancing… in Second Life is much more complicated than that. There is no poseball of animations for you… there is not dance pole… for the most part, it’s you, your HUD, your costume, and your emotes. Occasionally you’ll have set pieces or props, but a lot of times, depending on the situation, you won’t. It’s very much like dancing in RL, except in SL you get emotes. You get to write down what you’re trying to show them.
But think about that for a moment… when you perform a dance in SL… a free-form dance like this… you’re sorting out what you want to dance about, you’re choosing your music, you’re choosing your outfit and any props/set pieces… then when you’re actually performing, you’re clicking the buttons on your HUD for the animations, you’re copy pasting emotes, and you’re listening to your music to make sure you’re doing it all at the right time. It’s difficult. And it’s much more than just hopping on a poseball or using a dance pole. Not that I’m discrediting either of those things. They just don’t fulfill my deep-rooted emotional need to dance and express myself.
For graduation, the Advanced students had 3 options to choose from, and we have to perform 2: A dance of Rya (our teacher), A Gorean Dance, and a Freestyle dance. The two that I chose were A Dance of Rya, and a Freestyle Dance. I haven’t really touched Gorean dance with a 10 foot pole since I started dancing again in March or April. (Of course, my significant other is going to change that after Graduation. *Grumbles*) I knew that a Dance of Rya was going to challenge me… because we are taught from the very first class of Rya’s Beginners class that you can’t dance someone else’s world. You can only dance your own. I can’t tell you more about your world than you can… and so I shouldn’t attempt to. However, during the Advanced class, we are shown very intimate pieces of Rya, and we are entrusted to compose a dance of Rya using those pieces… people shouldn’t see us… they should see Rya. THAT will be hard.
But my Freestyle has the potential to be easy. And with that potential to be easy, of course I couldn’t take the easy way out. Lol. I HAD to find a way to challenge myself with my Freestyle. It could be about anything that I wanted… in any style that I wanted… I have complete free reign. And so what did I do? I chose Hip Hop. *Grins*
For those of you that are not really familiar with the world of mocap dance animations in Second Life, there’s NOT a lot of lyrical hip hop movements. MyAnimations has a Hip Hop Lyrical set of 12 dances, and I own them, but unfortunately, they were too fast for the particular song I chose. But I couldn’t use my contemporary lyrical animations… because there’s hip hop influence to the song… it’s not always all smooth and pretty and flowy. It wouldn’t match. In the end, I settled with some dances from A&M that I could find in the “Club” section, of all places, a dance from 3fx from the Sensual set, I believe, and even a couple of poses that I picked up from *PosESioN*. I have a storyline in mind for this dance (that you’re not going to get here… you’ll just have to attend my graduation to see it! Muahaha!) and I believe that the sequence I finally managed to choreograph for it fits the song and the story as perfectly as I can get with animations created by other people.
The song I chose, since I’ve eluded to it enough in this post, is Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’ “Same Love”. Those of you that know the tune know the hip hop influence in it, along with the periods of musical lyricism that make the tune as a whole a complete enigma to choreograph. Lol. However, the message of the song is what appeals to me and what speaks to me…
“A culture founded from oppression, yet we don’t have acceptance for ’em. Call each other faggots behind the keys of a message board. A word rooted in hate, yet our genre still ignores it. Gay is synonymous with the lesser. It’s the same hate that’s caused wards from religion, gender, to skin color, the complexion of your pigment. The same fight that lead people to walk outs and sit ins. It’s human rights for everyone, there is no difference! Live on, and be yourself. When I was at church, they taught me something else: If you preach hate at the service, those words aren’t anointed; that holy water that you soak in has been poisoned. When everyone else is more comfortable remaining voiceless rather than fighting for humans that have had their rights stolen. I might not be the same, but that’s not important. No freedom ’til we’re equal. Damn right I support it.”
That was a vast majority of the second verse. And that is probably the most powerful piece of the song for me (with the exception of the very end when all you hear is the repeated singing of “Love is patient; love is kind”). Just read through it… see if it doesn’t speak to you… it will speak to everyone differently. It might make you angry at those who can be filled with that kind of hatred. It might make you angry at me for supporting this idea of ‘same love’, no matter if someone is heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual, trans-sexual, pansexual, or asexual. It might make some of you sad at the condition that the world today is in. It might touch a personal place of some of you. It might make you cry. It might inspire you to take a more vocal stand against the prejudicial ways of the world. It will speak to each individual differently.
My job as a dancer… is to make you abandon your own feelings about it… and bring you into the world as I see it. To wrap you up in the story that I weave that for those 5 minutes I have your attention, you feel the pain I feel… you cry at the things that make me cry… you get angry about the things that make me angry. It is my job as a dancer to reach out, grab you by the shoulders and shake you and tell you, “See ME! Look at ME! Come into MY world and let me SHOW you…”
You’ll just have to come to graduation and see if I succeed. 🙂
*~* I Can’t Change, Even If I Tried… *~*
Skin: Cleo (America – 11) – Glam Affair
Eyes: Lovers eyes (Jade) – [theSkinnery] (MESH)
Hair: Misty (Reds02) – TRUTH Hair (MESH)
Sweater: Cashmere Mesh Turtleneck Sweater (Black) – Baiastice (MESH)
Leggings: Fall Mesh Leggings (Black) – Baiastice (MESH)
Skirt: Rufa Mesh Skirt (Black) – Baiastice (MESH)
Hands: Avatar Enhancement Hand (Elegant 1) – Slink (MESH)
Feet: Avatar Enhancement Flat Feet (APPLIERS) – Slink (MESH)
Shoes: Margot Slippers Update (Black; for Enhancement Flat Feet) – Slink (MESH)
Hand Effects: Rainbow Sparkles L&R – Can’t find them on Marketplace anymore, but they are copy/trans – IM me for a set!
Pose: Modern Style 7 – *PosESioN*