Smooth Dancer Tips & Tricks!

In preparation for tonight’s workshop, I’ve researched, and thought, and wracked my brain for all those little ways to wring out that little bit extra from this amazing animation and choreography tool.

Read here for the newest updates to my tips and tricks post:

Tips & Tricks – Smooth Dancer

If you have any suggestions for more or issues you’ve run into, I’d love to know!

Always,
~ Eva

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This Week’s Workshops, Jan 21-27th

Hmm…what workshops do we have in store for this week?  Tips & Tricks for your Smooth Dancer HUD on Monday, and starting your dancers back stage on Sunday – in our brand new training theatre!

– All are welcome to attend.  Participate or come & listen!  No registration required.
– Workshops are held in voice.  Please make sure voice is enabled before arriving.
– Workshops will begin five minutes after the start time.  Please arrive before start time.

My goal is to have fun while learning and sharing!  Learning Center LM:  here
Climb through the window, use the teleport board, or follow the signs to the workshop area.  (Yes, there is a window at the landing point…)

We look forward to seeing you!


Monday, Jan 21st

5 pm slt
Spot On Smooth Dancer – Tips, Tricks, and Using Sequences within Sequences to Create Choreography

My goal?  Push the tools as far as they’ll go!  Find new and efficient ways to use them, and share what I learn.  Come join this informal discussion as we review tips and ideas for making the most of your Smooth Dancer HUD.
(60 mins, dance studio)

Being familiar with using and recording with the Smooth Dancer Animation and Choreography HUD is preferred.  All are welcome to attend and listen!

Saturday, Jan 26th

9 am slt
Spot On Synchronization – Starting Your Dancers Backstage

Use the Performance Director?  Wish your dancers could get on their movers early?  That you could just create your route for a dance on stage and not have the first way point backstage and hope you press play fast enough to get them on stage before the curtain opens?

If you use the Performance Director, Stage Manager, and Choreography Design System you CAN do this – easily.  We will review how you can create backstage notecards, understage notecards, and other things that will take the stress from getting your dancers in position!  I will also share how I easily incorporate this into all my new dances – within minutes and across venues!
(90 min – 45 min demonstration and explanation, 45 min creating together
held in the Training Theatre)

Requirements to participate:  Must own and have used the Performance Director, Stage Manager, and Choreography Design System in performance, and be comfortable in using them.  All are welcome to attend and listen!


Visit the calendar for a full listing of scheduled workshops here

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Be True to Yourself…From now on

This is my safe space, where I sometimes open up and share a piece of myself.  I am not perfect.  I could be afraid to show my cracks, scratches, and dents, but here I feel more free as words flow from my fingers.  People can take me or leave me for who I am.  I know I’m not everyone’s cup of tea.  I know some could consider me ‘weak’ or ‘imperfect’ for being honest and open, but I’m ok with that.  If expressing my thoughts and feelings eases my soul, and perhaps inspires or connects with someone else – that’s what matters.

As I sipped my quickly cooling coffee this morning, doubts crawled in.  All the “why’s” kept spinning around in my head, demanding, condescending, antagonizing.  Questioning my involvement in the dance world.  Has my style become obsolete?  Not good enough?  I did all things I recommend others not do, I began comparing myself to others.  Perhaps what I do isn’t big enough, sparkly enough, fancy enough, dramatic enough.  For a few brief moments I even wondered whether my time has passed….if I should step aside for a new generation of dance.

Before you comment, know that anxiety is an issue for me.  My mind tricks me into believing something that isn’t true.  It looks for that one vulnerable spot and latches on like a dog with a tire – whipping it around until I’m beaten into submission or use my coping mechanisms to stop it and see the light again.

This is purely my own self-questioning and doubt.  There are so many talented builders, creators, choreographers and performers in the dance world – each with their own style.  They are artists, we are artists, and how we express ourselves is our freedom this world provides.

After some deep breaths, fresh coffee, and a change of scenery to shake up the thoughts swirling in my head, I’m reminded why I create, why I dance, why I share it with others.  The pure joy I feel, involving others, sharing and learning, bringing the big stuff sometimes, a simple solo others, and being offbeat – wherever my whims take me.  Would we judge Picasso against Monet?  No.  Rather than judging myself, or even judging others, I choose to appreciate the joy of the dances I create.  I choose to appreciate the creations of others without comparison, to mine or to anyone else’s.  Every performance is a sculpture, unique and its own.

“The way we choose to see the world creates the world we see”


I drank champagne with kings and queens

       The politicians praised my name
But those are someone else’s dreams
      The pitfalls of the man I became
For years and years
     I chased their cheers
The crazy speed of always needing more
But when I stop
     And see you here
I remember who all this was for

And from now on
These eyes will not be blinded by the lights
From now on
What’s waited till tomorrow starts tonight
It starts tonight
And let this promise in me start
     Like an anthem in my heart
From now on
  From now on

Come Back Home.  To You.

 

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Morning cup of goodness & new horizons

reasons i need coffee

My brain feels like a bit of mushiness this morning (wow, mushiness is a real word!) – all these thoughts swirling around over this one thought…this one idea.  Actually, I think it’s a bunch of ideas that want to be put together, quotes from various sources and thoughts in my own head.

First, one  of my biggest vices – that morning cup of fresh brew.  A shout out to all Canadian’s – it’s Tim Horton’s today.  On to deep thoughts <cues the SNL deep thoughts music>

Misc quotes and thoughts:

Challenge yourself, take your dance creations to the next level.  Identify weak areas and make them stronger.  Tighten choreo and transitions, learn a new tool (like the formation system for me), imagine deeper, try new things, new approaches, new ideas.  Give yourself time to create the best you can and to enjoy the process.  Rushing usually never leads to anything good.  Step out of your comfort zone. 

Lighting is a weak area for me, something I haven’t really learned or focused on – which could make a huge impact on my dances, hmmm….

Take fear out of the mix.  I love listening to motivational videos while I work and so many just hit the target as if the speakers are in my head.  So often fear holds me back.  Fear that I don’t measure up, that I will upset someone, that I can’t do it.  Fear of change.  I give up before I even start.

My new favorite quote:  Excuses only sound good to the person making them. 

Next time I start making an excuse for why I couldn’t do something, I’m going to think about this.  Sometimes things are out of our control.  Real life needs to come first, emergencies happen.  Sometimes it’s because I didn’t plan well, I procrastinated, I wasn’t “feeling it”…and sometimes I’ve let people down because of it.  One instance I can never make right, which cuts me to the bone…and leads to

forgive-yourself-first-release-the-need-to-replay-a-negative-17787832

Forgive yourself.  In my case above, there’s no way I can make it right, there’s no excuse that justifies not accomplishing what I said I could.  I realize now what contributed to my failure in that task.  I can dwell on the failure, or I can overcome my weaknesses and strive to make sure it never happens again.  I can take what I learned from this and share with others, so that perhaps they don’t struggle as I did.  That they don’t put blocks in their own way to prevent success.  In this way, I can honor her, and honor myself.

One of my biggest personal challenges….it’s ok to say no.  It’s ok to walk away.  It’s ok to set boundaries, to take care of yourself first.  To remove yourself from toxic people and situations.  Be realistic with what you can accomplish.  It is much better to say no in the beginning, than to say yes and do less than you could, or stress yourself trying to do it all.

Finally, plan measurable steps and commit to them.  Focus I know there is more I can learn, a part of my imagination that I haven’t tapped into yet.  Without committing to taking a step, in six months I will be saying these very same things.

In creating a new habit  – make it tiny.  Commit to one step, one minute, just one.  We can all take that one minute – to unpack a tool, to stretch, to meditate for just one minute.  That minute becomes easy…and becomes two minutes.  I tend to be a person of extremes, toe in the water or jump in from the high dive.  This can hold me back, but I can do one minute – I know I can.

The tighter you try and hold on to something you are afraid of losing, the more you are pushing it away.  The people in your life, a group that’s transitioning, your “place” in the hierarchy.  The fear of being less important, unnecessary, invisible, forgotten, failure.  I know it hurts like hell, I know I struggle with this, but I know too that new opportunities arise when I let go.  This is a challenge for me…every single day, in both worlds.

Final thought:

“As you take the next step, and the next, your greatest defense against stress, frustration and defeat is your inherent ability to choose one thought over another.  Remember this.  If you look for reasons to be disheartened – if you look for reasons to give up and give in – you’ll find plenty of them.  Look instead for reasons to be positive, and see them everywhere.  Then carry on.”

New posts and information coming.  Working on those blocks in my life.  

Me.  Not better than others, not less.  Different, in my own way.  I accept myself for who I am.

Breathe.  Live.  Be.

Always,
   ~ Eva

 

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New year, new beginnings, and hope

This is that time of year when most everyone reflects on the current year and makes resolutions for the new one.  Taking stock of where we’re at and where we want to be.  Me?  I think we’re always evolving and should always be in a continual state of being aware of how we feel, what our dreams are, and if things are working for us or not.  Taking hold of the steering wheel and adjusting our direction, or making a quick U-turn when things really go off the rails.  We’ve all heard the stories – “I followed my GPS and ended up 3 states away…in the middle of a lake”.  Better to notice the “Welcome to Oklahoma” sign along the way.

Sometimes I forget things.  I forget that the actions and responses of others are based on their own experiences, beliefs, personalities, and challenges.  I take their responses personally when I shouldn’t.  The words they choose, the tone of their voice.  I was recently reminded of this quote:

“We do not see things as they are, we see them as we are” 

If I feel insecure, if I feel I haven’t done my best job, I know I’m more vulnerable to self-doubt, not feeling good enough.  I know I can care too much, give with all my heart, be as open and honest as I can be.  So much so that I see that quality in others when it’s not reality.  That I can “see” more than there really is.  The mind plays a part too, wanting to protect us.  Ever been through a traumatic experience but unable to remember it for a long time?  That is our mind protecting us from what we can’t handle, can’t face right now.  We sometimes see what we want to see, not what is.

I forget that confrontation isn’t always bad and it’s sometimes necessary, whether a simple no because the opportunity isn’t right for me, or standing up for myself because someone is being disrespectful.  I forget that it’s ok to step back from toxic situations and people.

I sometimes forget that talking things out can be a wonderful thing, and that in other situations sometimes it’s best to let things go.  To ignore them, to stick the facts and positive aspects without being dragged verbally or emotionally into the drama and then smearing that on others as it spreads.

As I keep evolving, I slowly continue to transition to doing what I enjoy doing…for me.  There was a time when nearly all my effort in both worlds was to please others.  I was constantly scrabbling to feel needed, to feel wanted, to feel special.  I looked outside of myself for validation.

On the last day of 2018, I do take a moment to reflect.  To take stock of where I am.  Overall, even while there is instability in my life, I will keep moving forward.  I will stay positive, remain grateful, and strive for balance.  I hope in this new year that I continue on this path of growth, adjusting my steps along the way.  That I can see others more clearly and be more open.  That I will do the best I can, do what I love, and touch the lives of others.  That I will embrace new opportunities with strength, courage, and determination.

Blessed be, and a wonderful new year to you all.

Always –
~ Eva

listen to the voice within

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Video: How to Choreograph a Lyrical Dance

Our world of dance in SL is a bit different, but the concepts, the underlying expression is so very similar to RL.  We may not create our own animations, and we are generally limited to what’s available, but we select the animations, where to transition, how to transition.  In turn, we do not have physical limitations.  We can defy gravity, physicality, and reality.

I really enjoyed this video and found so many inspirational ideas.  Sometimes we do things naturally without thought.  It was wonderful how she explains these concepts, flow, expression, feelings, and inspiration.

I hope you enjoy too!

Always –
~ Eva

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New post for Firestorm users – use zdrop to move animations fast!

Do you just hate having to move animations in teeny tiny batches at a time?  Get greedy (selecting more than about 25) and you’ll get the lovely “failure to create in-world) error.

Do you too get nervous emptying your inventory trash and wish there was an easy way to store those items…just in case?

Da da da daaaaa!  zdrop to the rescue!  This handy feature is available to firestorm users and lets you copy/move items from your inventory fast, easily, and reliably!  But wait!  There’s more!  You can copy animations, scripts, and more to items even while you’re wearing them!  Like Dance HUDs – woot woot!

Read more about it here:     zdrop – know it, use it, love it

Don’t forget to check out the tips & tricks page!  Lots of resources here

Always –
   ~ Eva

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