"Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away."

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

It shouldn't happen to a Performer, and it happened to me !!! Advice on how it shouldn't happen to you :)


Over the past six years, in which I had dance lessons, danced in groups and doing my solo performances, I've experienced quite a few things that shouldn't happen to a performer, such as costume not fitting properly, music stopping in the middle of the performance, or not having music at all!, people from the group missing and having to improvise on the day of the show, going to the wrong venue, or arriving late because of lack of information, etc, just to name a few!!. But as the song says, the show must go on. :)

So based on  my experience I've decided to write a few points to consider when you want to take up a lesson, whether you are a performer in a group, or simply some advice to consider when you are planning your solo performance.

1.- Research
     a) take time to research the type of dance you would like to do/learn, I think its important to have a bit of knowledge of the dance, prior to the lesson, or rehearsal you might want to do. To have a clear idea of what to expect! it has to be something that you like, would enjoy doing and would like to learn more about it.

2.- Rehearsal time !!
    a) Its important to allow yourself to concentrate for at least 1hour, on the dance/ choreography , without interruptions, but of course with breaks!! . Sometimes the "rehearsal time" can turn into a talking time, I do think its important to ask questions if you don't understand something but when the time is right or at the end of the rehearsal.
    If you are preparing your solo performance, the same, allow your self to concentrate and work on your choreography and right down important points to remember.

    b) Be prepared !! wear appropriate dance rehearsal clothing, shoes, etc, you could take an extra t shirt to change,etc.If you wanted to.
    c) Bring some water !! its important to keep the body hydrated, and if you want bring an snack, for your break, or for the end of the rehearsal.
    d) Concentrate ! the rehearsal time should be for learning and concentrating in remembering what you are doing during this time, for you to be able to remember and move on in the next lesson. Remember this time its precious !!
    e) Arrive on time !

3.- The build up for the show time !!
      In your dance lessons :
      a) For an end of term show, of your dance lessons, your teacher normally advise to do a dress rehearsal prior to the show, its important to have this dress rehearsal to make sure that you will be able to perform your dance routine as well as you do it in your rehearsal clothes.And for you to know whether you might need to do some alterations to your costume, its important that you feel confident and prepare for the show.

      b) Your dance teacher should let you know the place/venue for the show,in advance, and information for you to know exactly where to go and for you to let your family and friends know. Have this information written down.

       c) Normally the teacher will be in charge of the music, unless you might be doing a different piece, but because is the group performance, normally the teacher will be responsible of the music, and sometimes, will send you a copy for you to rehearse at home, if not you might want to ask for it, if you want to.

      In your dance group :
      a) Normally the same applies, its important to know which costume you'll be wearing, to have it fitted and checked. Sometimes you might have a dress rehearsal, to make sure the costume fits properly so you will be able to perform on the day of the show or event.

       b) Everyone should be informed of the information of the venue, name , address, time, and perhaps everyone will go together to avoid, delays arriving to the place.  This information should be talked trough at one of your group's rehearsal. and you should have it written down, and checked before you go, to also give directions to your other group members if they cant get there or get lost. Everyone should agree on the time to arrive at the venue.
      c) Everyone should have a copy of the music, to rehearse, and just in case, some other people loose it, everyone in the group should be able to know the name of the song, length, etc, basic information of the performance, remember you are dancing and working as a group, everyone should know what they are doing, and what they are dancing !! just in case someone asks you and your group leader is not there to answer, you should be able to answer, remember you are representing your self as a performer as well as representing your group.

      For your solo performance:
      a) the build up to your solo performance should apply the same points mentioned above, but more carefully , as you will be relying purely on yourself. Make sure you do have a dress rehearsal, time yourself so you know how long it takes you to get ready, to put your costume on, alone !! make sure your costume fits properly and you don't have to make any alterations to it.

      b) You should contact the event representative or the people in charge of the event, to make sure the information of the event, place, date and time, and to make sure that it hasn't changed etc. Check the place before, make sure you can get there, and know the place. ask the event organiser for some contact numbers other than theirs, just in case on the day you might not be able to get in touch with them , so you have other people to contact.

      c) You should have the music on Cd, or ipod, ask the event organiser about the music at the venue, whether its ok Cd, mp3, etc. but always have ready both just in case! You can send the song of your performance directly to the event organisers, you should know the name, length, etc, and also the space that you might need for your performance, and let the organisers know.

More info comming soon , and if you would like to share your experiences or advise please do so !! thanks :)

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