Friday, July 29, 2011

Dance Camp

You always come back from dance camp with some kind of lesson learned, you know?

This time we watched a movie with the IBA team called Shall We Dance. Apparently it's the Japanese version of a much less clean american video. While the protagonist was learning competitive ballroom from the romantic interest, she said something to the effect of 'Everyone is watching the first step. The woman will decide how much she will have to lead from the first step. (Don't try to deny it, ladies.... >.>) The judges attention is caught because of the first step. And the judges attention is pretty much everything.'

It's interesting that from the very start, confidence is a critical ingredient.

Last year at the same program, we were taught that the people who learn the most quickly are the ones who are not afraid to fail, who don't care about looking stupid. Think about that til next time!



Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Video Game Medley?

Sometime in the school year, the Silhouette coaches announced that we would not perform any more medleys due to several reasons, the chief ones being that they are the gold level of formation routines, and they take about a billion hours to choreograph, cut and practice.

As I enjoy the contrasts that Medleys provide and don't really like one song formations, (Though Zip Gun Bop was awesome...) I asked whether or not they would let us perform one if the students choreographed it on their own time. They replied that they had been trying to get us to choreograph something for awhile (Which is true, now that I think of it...) and that it would be awesome if we did.

Trying to hit three birds with one stone, I undertook the task. The first bird being that I have had a thesis for a long time that the best place to look for a song that inspires emotion is a video game. While I cannot say that they inspire more or less than an independent score or a score from a movie, an epic medley that comes purely from video games could be a great start to that thesis.

Aside from that, and the fact that I enjoy medleys immensely, my real dream in relation to ballroom dance is to teach ballroom and perhaps even formation someday. While I have an opportunity to teach this next year, I think a successful medley would solidify my chances of doing so on a regular basis, and even one contributed medley would probably be used for at least five years if it was good enough to be handed down to the jr. team.

So, I am recording my thoughts here. Both for the paper I want to write on video game soundtracks, and just because I will go crazy from listening to all this music if I don't. (So far I have listened to about 75 tracks, which I'm sure comes to at least 4 hours of music...)

My thoughts thus far are as follows:

As I look through all these soundtracks, I find that the master composers had a climax for each of their songs, yet the songs still fit the goings-on of the setting you were in. I'm finding that while a lot of these tracks accent the story and emotion of the scene, it is a steady emotion. There are no climaxes, no rises and falls in the score and subsequently, the emotion caused by it.

I am also suspicious that the tracks I found to be 'epic' tend to be glorified in my mind by the fact that I played that scene and had some strong emotion attached to the setting. Most of the comments I read that say the track was 'epic' seem to be false in my opinion, and they always seem to reference what was happening in the game at the time.

Saturday, April 30, 2011


The lesson we can be learn by studying the format that a story should be written in is incredible! Beginning, middle, end; conflict, climax, resolution. Any story without these is boring and unattractive. I've found that the best way to watch a movie is to be absorbed by the emotions included in it, no matter how unbelievable and cheesy it may be. Remember the irritation you felt at the lady right behind you in the theater that cried the whole movie through? That woman is very wise. She knows that while she is sharing in the pain that the citizens of the cinematic realm feel, that is exactly what makes the ending so beautiful.

I think we tend to forget that. I have a relative who once made some remarks about judgment in the afterlife. I'm not entirely sure if he was serious or not, but he said that he imagined Judgment to be like going to a theater and watching a 'movie' of that person's life. If they repented, then the parts where their sins were committed would be edited or censored. I believe those parts will be left in. Not only because watching them repent would be very boring if we never saw a reason to repent, but because it makes the triumph more beautiful.

It is like a diamond against a sea of black, or a single candle during a starless night. It is like the calluses that show a hard worker's true colors.

This truth is shown throughout many branches of learning. In forging, a sword that is broken is irreparable. It must be reforged into an entirely new sword. In construction, if your foundation is faulty, you will have to knock down what you have already built and change the foundation in order to make a stable building. In bodybuilding, a muscle goes through the process of being broken down and then built up, stronger than before. It is shown entirely too often to pass off as a coincidence. This must be truth.

The opposite is true. What goes up must come down, at least until we pass through the fires of the atmosphere. (Or if you're a cow traveling up the stairs. Apparently they refuse to come back down....) The notion that we can avoid all hurt and pain is laughable, ridiculous even.

If you have read this far, I can bet that you are going through some kind of struggle. Chin up. Pain will, it must come. The trick is embracing it, and gleaning some repairs to your foundation from it. If you are afraid of this process, know this. The further up you go, the easier it is to fly.

Forgive my incoherent babbling. Just had to get that off my chest.

Night all!

~ Alex

Monday, February 28, 2011

Starting over?!?!?!

Uhm. I just re-read my blog.... You know what? It's just passionate railing.... So... Imma start over. >.>

We just got home from the Gem State Ballroom Competition. It was pretty dang awesome, and Silhouette managed to make dancing history. We held our own with teams that have been doing this for years, and people who have been dancing since they were six.

You can see us dance for yourselves at

(day 1)

Standard Medley: about 2:42:00

Latin Medley: about 3:45:00

(Day 2)

Team Match: 2:50:00 (We're Silhouette Ballroom.)

As is inevitable on these trips, we've got some new inside jokes, including (But not limited to...)

She's got my poptarts!

Bronte, give me that shotgun!

It's crazy just how graceful those dancers are. The best part, though, is how smoothly and naturally the partnerships react to the leading from the guy. Seamless doesn't even begin to describe it.

I want to stay worthy of such a partnership. Otherwise, said partnerships can only be destroyed, and the destruction of such beauty might as well be seen as murder. . . I swear I'll do the best I can, and hope you will swear the same.

Till next time, don't be eaten by a kumquat!