After the Bell: Montreal Swing Riot

Here are some videos of my experience dancing at Montreal Swing Riot. I have some serious homework to do after this event…

Work on general conditioning and cardio – I was pretty much winded half-way through the event and was hard pressed to recover and catch my breath. Maybe it’s too much blues dancing or too much drinking, but working on my cardio is something that is pretty much essential for my future dance well-being in Montreal. Not only do people dance pretty fast here, but I will also need it for the SCX team (they have a full on show with multiple routines in a row that I will have to perform in February 2013).

Fast dancing (and keeping on rhythm) – I think over the course of the past year or so, I have taken a more lethargic approach to dancing and it was hard for me to keep on the rhythm as the music got faster and faster. I don’t think anyone ever becomes super comfortable with dancing at higher tempos (or what I perceive to be higher tempo) but I should definitely get in some outside help to get me better at this.

Cleaning up basic partner work – with all the social dancing in the city, it’s sometimes easy to just phone it in for dances in terms of technique, leading, and triple steps. Especially for me. Again, gotta work on this.

– Randy

Short Showcase 1 – with Myriam from SCX. For funsies!

Short Showcase 2 – the Shorty George and Big Bea inspired routine. Partnered with Amanda from Toronto. We didn’t really prepare for this routine but I had a lot of fun doing it haha. Also, we super messed up the ending, and the middle part, and a little bit of the beginning.

Solo Jazz – Prelims

Solo Jazz – Finals

Solo Jazz – “Final” Finals – against Myriam from SCX

Strictly Battle – with Myriam from SCX

Low-key Lighting – Steampunk Revisited

Only two more weeks until Snowbound Blues ( goes down in Rochester. Genevieve and I have been putting the final touch-ups for our team’s choreography and making sure that everyone knows each and every eight count to the routine. Surprisingly, we were actually a little bit ahead on schedule so we have been able to take it easy this week and focus a bit more on giving feedback for individual dancers.

I’m pretty proud of this team because for the majority of them, it is their very first time performing or being part of a dance troupe. Combining their relative team inexperience with having to deal with a fanatical dance coach couldn’t have been very easy this past semester. I’m surprised they didn’t mutiny and throw me overboard.

The best part for me about doing this project really has been seeing the team bonding and after-practice drink fests, re-affirming my belief that nothing brings people together faster and better than drinking and dancing.

Low-Key Photography and Lighting

Oh yah… we did an impromptu photo-shoot before doing dress rehearsals for this week’s practice. Pretty simple stuff – low-key lighting using one off-camera flash fourty-five degrees top-left of the subject. To create a darker background, I increased the shutter speed to allow less light in so that the light coming from the flash would be more pronounced.

If I had to do it again I would have probably brought a second flash to light behind the subject towards their hair just to separate the background more from the subject but like in every run and gun photography session, it’s always a juggling act of trying to find the right amount of equipment to bring.

– Randy