Meditation and the Art of Dance…

I’m a huge fan of meditating…can feel when I haven’t.  My favorite is the Android app One Mind.  It’s a 30 day challenge, and can be silent or play soothing meditative music.  The focus on clearing your mind, letting thoughts drift.  Amazing sometimes what comes to you when you let the world slow down for a while.  My daily meditation habit has slipped, so I’m starting at day one.  Best thing to do is brush off and get right back on the train again!

I visited a new sim to meditate this morning.  During the gentle meditation, the dancer in my head began moving to the gentle rhythm.  That’s a first – what does that mean I wonder?  LOL

20170318_Meditation_Life Revisited

Life Revisited:

At first I wasn’t so sure about the sim, it seems barren at first – but it’s bigger than you think and opens up into surprises as you wander.  The very cool thing is that you can rez there too!

I truly am insane, I know it.  So many creations spinning around in my head – things that I want to do and figure out how to do!  I love pushing the tools and finding new ones, being different, that thrill when I’ve figured out how to make something happen and it all pulls together.

Yep, if you haven’t figured it out I’m talking about SL dance!  I will never be a flashy choreographer with a bigger than life presence.  I’m just me, and I do it for the love of creativity and imagination.  I dance with Elysium…with Virtuoso…with Terpsi-Corps…music tech at Moonstone…one of the managers at Paramount…and have my own troupe – Harleyquin.  It’s amazing how different each one is and I like it that way!  I’m very grateful to have had a very strong foundation in learning to dance in SL.  Ahh, now I need to learn better time management!

Elysium as always demonstrates such diverse creativity.  It also stirs up my animation envy!  My dance – In My Head.  A bit different for me, a challenge, and one that still doesn’t feel finished yet….  Ever notice how animations look different when used with different music, different costumes?  I spent hours and hours and hours and hours on this choreography.  To me, choreography is the key to a dance – everything else enhancing, supporting, and bringing it all together.  There’s more I want to do with it, it doesn’t feel fully “shaped” yet.

In My Head_20170317

I told someone the other day, my method of creation is anything but a straight line…but my general flow for choreographing a dance:

  1. find the costumes, or something similar to your vision of the costume.  For women especially, I find animations look very different depending on the costume.
  2. I go through all my animations, listening to the music over and over and over again as I do.  I pull anything that “feels” like it may fit.  I don’t think – it’s a quick yes or no.
  3. I put all the “maybe” animations into a dance HUD…sometimes even 200 or more.
  4. I attach that choreo hud and look at how many pages it shows.  If it says there are 7 pages, I make 6 more copies of the HUD.  Then I wear all 7 copies, and turn each hud to a page.  Hud 1 is page 1, Hud 2 is page 2, Hud 3 is page 3, etc.
  5. Now that I can see all those animations, I listen to the song over and over and over again (it better be a song you like!), and I start freestyling it.  When it feels like it’s starting to come together and feel natural, I start creating an untimed sequence card listing the animations in order.
  6. I use Audacity – often I will work on choreography for sections of the music at a time, keep making my sequence card.  With the Spot On Smooth Dancer, you can leave blank lines in your card!  I leave a blank line in my card between the sections, so that I remember which animations I thought would work together for verse 1, the chorus etc.  Before I started doing that, I was doing a lot of facepalming and asking myself “what was that animation for???  What was I thinking??????”.  Now I know what I was thinking for the different sections, and I almost ALWAYS use less animations than I originally thought as I smooth it out.
  7. Once I’ve finished drafting out my untimed sequence card, I practice the choreography, smoothing it out, removing animations, adding additional if I need to until it feels smooth and it’s feeling goooood.
  8. Then I record it!!!  This can take a while – but if I don’t let myself stress, if I walk away and take my time, this is actually my favorite part – smoothing it out and recording.  I believe the feeling you have when you dance comes across to those who see it.  Always have fun!  If a dance isn’t “talking” to you – maybe it’s not the right one for that time!
  9. If I have different groups of dancers, this is the time I’ll go back and work on their sections – using the same “choreo huds” – the 7 on my screen.
  10. Tip: for my screen size, I resized a smooth dancer hud and added “CHOREO” to the name.  It’s sized so I can fit 2 high on my screen.   I have a # DANCE folder in my inventory, and a New Dance Build folder in that.  That’s where I keep prepared copies of huds, scripts, etc., so that it’s easier to create a dance.  Focus on the fun stuff!

Later perhaps I’ll share my first adventure!  But first…I have a dance to make, and a show order to sort!!   ~ always dance, even if it’s just in your head

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