I have an actual dance event experience to share with you today! The last one was California Open in February, a.k.a. a lifetime ago. This dance event was…different. And not just by the fact that it was a showcase, not a competition. It was different by the fact that I have already shared the dance experience with you. This is the viewing part of the experience. It was different by the fact that I attended opening night from my couch at home.
Of course, different doesn’t mean better or worse. Just…different.
The watch party (as you probably know since I’ve been talking about it for a couple weeks) was this past Thursday evening. The studio encouraged us to come dressed in the style of our favorite decade. Since the only place I was going was my living room, I wasn’t immediately motivated to dig through my closet to put on clothes that weren’t my usual yoga pants and a tank top. But then I thought maybe it’d be fun. My routine was inspired by the Wizard of Oz, and I had a dress and hat that could be 1930s-ish.
I was literally still debating about whether to put in the effort 30 minutes before the show was supposed to start. I mean, I was going to sit on my couch alone to watch this thing. Did that really require getting dressed up? Then again, why not? I can get dressed up just for myself.
In the end, I did put in the effort and even broke out the jewelry and makeup! I drew the line at shoes though.
I didn’t know how it was going to be set up. The event was scheduled to start at 7pm. Was it going to be a livestream? Would we all gather over Zoom and someone would share a screen? Turns out neither. We were all having our own separate watch parties of a Vimeo link. Which felt a little weird and detached, but I did get text messages from Teacher and friends as the show progressed. Talk about your pandemic-style premiere!
Three dance studios from the region participated in this virtual spotlight. The routines were cute, fun and creative, as in any good showcase! Teacher and I weren’t the only ones to choose to dance “on location” either. Some even did multiple locations and edited them together.
We did end up on Zoom for a brief “after party” timed to start shortly after the video ended (if you started watching at 7pm as scheduled). Opening Night finished around 8:30pm. My lazy side was annoyed at having to wash off the makeup before I went to bed, but hey, at least my feet didn’t hurt from wearing heels all night!
I don’t think it’s surprising that I had mixed feelings about the whole thing. I think they stem from the separation of the dance performance and the show. By Thursday evening, I had seen the recording of my performance several times. Multiple versions, in fact. I even made a montage of all of the falls we did to finish the routine and posted it on Instagram!
So there was no nervous anticipation of performing on Opening Night or even seeing my performance for the first time. I was more like an audience member watching for her friends to appear on screen. If any of you are reading this, by the way, you were all awesome! I laughed, I cheered, I sang along. In that way, it was like a fun night out, I mean in, for a dance movie premiere.
For my own performance, however, I feel like I would have gotten as equal satisfaction or more to simply share the video here for all of you to enjoy. Which, of course, I am, so I will!
Now that this experience is complete, the wheels in my head are turning. Do I want to do more performances like this, as part of a studio showcase or spotlight? Do I want to do more personal projects and just share them with my followers? Would I want to do a live showcase if it becomes possible?
I’ve written before that once I experienced competitions, showcases just didn’t quite satisfy my inner dancer. I liked the greater challenges that competitions presented. My next competition is still a big question mark however. In case you haven’t heard, they are resuming, have been since at least June. For multiple reasons though, I don’t see myself competing for a long while yet.
So do I make showcase performances like this virtual one my new short-term goals to work toward? Or do I keep pursuing dance in the more inner work way that has been the pandemic norm?
I’m not sure yet. One silver lining about this pandemic and the way it has forced us to slow down is I don’t feel pressure to decide right away. The empty dance calendar provides the space for me to try things out and see how they feel.
I’m glad for the chance to try out this virtual spotlight performance. It was a blast getting to film our routine in the park and it was encouraging to see so many dancers come together (yet separate) to make the event happen.
What’s next? Only 2020 knows. 😉
Stay safe this holiday weekend, dancers!