Thursday, 13 November 2014

The Dawn of Dance - Wherein the Queen of Dance shares her secrets with the Dance Noobies

One of the things I love about Second Life is that even after seven years plus,  I can learn something new every day I am inworld.

So when BabypeaVonPhoenix Bikergrrl, one of the acknowledged Queens of Dance in Second Life, announced she was giving a 6-week series of classes, The Dawn of Dance, on creating SL dance performances Roni and I signed up immediately.   What a golden opportunity for a couple of dance groupies!  Not only would we learn to put together a complete dance performance but we would actually have the opportunity to show what we learned in a "dance recital" at the end of it all.

BabypeaVonPhoenix Bikergrrl in front of her class of dance students at Dance Queens Centre
It turns out that Baby is one of the most organized people you could wish to meet in Second Life, which of course one has to be, to create and perform as often as she does with her own company of Elysium Cabaret Dancers as well as Guerilla Burlesque and a myriad of other companies and troupes around the grid.  So she was very well prepared indeed when she met with her initial 24 students in the classroom at the Dance Queens Centre.   

Baby spoke in voice but followed her very detailed and comprehensive notecards which she later gave to everyone.   However there was plenty of opportunity for the students to ask questions in local chat at any time along the way.  The Dawn of Dance classes were for people who were brand new to dance performance and designed to provide a solid foundation to help them get started in the wonderfully creative, artistic world of Second Life dance.  Not only would Baby share what she had learned over the past few years but she had arranged for others whom she considered experts in costuming, particles and stage effects to share their expertise with her dance noobies.   As she said in her first notecard:

 A candle loses no light by lighting another candle, thus we are happy to share what we know with others.  However, we are not teachers and are not all-knowing.  The adventure of SL dance is that the learning never stops.  We are also still learning.  Thus the information we share is not all there is to know.

The first class provided an introduction to choosing music and dance animations and the intricacies of the various dance huds which make life easier for the dance performer as well as the amazing Spot on choreography system.  Next class covered building and decorating sets with everything that entails.   Baby said she had no notion about building until she began to dance and learned all she knows about it now, which is not inconsiderable I might add, by initially taking apart ready made sets and props and she learned by doing!

For our third class on costuming SexyS Quintessa came to share her vast knowledge on the subject.   SexyS has been creating burlesque, comedy and art performance dance acts in SL since 2009.  She is an award-winning dancer in both lives, and an active member of Dance Queens. She dances in Guerilla Burlesque, Lady Garden Cabaret, Elysium Cabaret, and is Director of A&M MOCAP Maniacs.

SexyS in all her costume glory!   

Baby gave our fourth class on the topic of emoting which is one of the foundations of Gor dancing although it is used to set the mood or further the story line in other types of dance.  I can't say that I am a big fan of emoting since I tend to watch the dance rather than local chat, but recently Lat "Yummy" Lovenkraft wrote a post on the Dance Queen's blog called the Return of the Emote? which showed another point of view.

Misse Tigerpaw, who dances with Club Image and is a specialist in particles gave a very comprehensive lecture on the making and using of particles in dance performance.  Misse also shares her knowledge on her particle website which is both in Japanese and English.  She uses particles quite subtly here in the Raven on youTube.

For our last instructional class Baby had arranged for Klark Harvy of the Spirit Light Dance Company to demonstrate the use of stage effects.  He took us to a special demonstration area at the Spirit Light Dance Academy where the group give classes in all aspects of dance performance in Second Life.  We watched a video of the Company's performance of Tron which Klark had choreographed and which illustrated some of the stage effects for which the Company is renowned. He then proceeded to give us the details of how they were created.  While the amount of information was rather overwhelming for dance noobies, Klark introduced us to many of the "possibilities" in this area and when and when not to use them.

I have to say that taking these Dawn of Dance classes and creating a dance and set for the "graduation" dance recital has been one of the most fun things I have ever done in Second Life and I think Roni would agree with me.

This Saturday, November 15th, at 3pm SL time, some of Baby's students get to strut their stuff on stage as part of the Dance Galaxy festival on LEA12 here.  Yes Roni and I will be taking part.

Thank you Babypea for the opportunity you gave to the lucky students who signed up for the Dawn of Dance classes and for all the information you so generously shared with us.   In Baby's own words and which she uses to sign all her communications :

Dance with Passion!


  1. Beautifully written Jo, and thank you so very much... yours is a generous soul. I am humbled by your kind words, and by the honour of teaching some of what I know to a group of dedicated people. It will be a privilege to share a stage with you on Saturday. Thank you!! This warms my heart and is primarily why I do it: 'I have to say that taking these Dawn of Dance class and creating a dance and set for the "graduation" dance recital has been one of the most fun things I have ever done in Second Life and I think Roni would agree with me.' Fun and fellowship of kindred creative spirits!!

  2. The popularity of dance that has grown over the past years, are largely contribute to Babypea (Pea) talent, commitment, and professionalism.
    Diawa Bellic

  3. Smooches you Di, my Mentor... the person who has taught me so much... the candle who lit my candle. ♥

  4. Thank you Baby and Di for your kind comments. I know there are mentoring programs associated with some of the great dance troupes in Second Life, but you Baby took it a step farther. You reached out into the community at large for anyone interested in learning about performance dance to participate and you persuaded Sexys and Misse and Klark to give so generously of their knowledge.

  5. And, I also persuaded YOU to do a solo!! YAY ME hehe, that is one of my favourite things that has come out of these classes. My chest is about to burst from it, I am so proud of you, and of all my students, including the ones who could not debut at this time. You are all a joy to me. :)

  6. Yayeeee . . I finally got motivated to actually finish a project AND show off in public . . and all thanks to Baby and all those who gave their time to these classes . . thank you all so much .

  7. I am so proud of you ladies, you are each so unique and brilliant in your own way. Thank you for sharing your creativity with me!