I hope you are all enjoying the summer.
I have to admit, that I continually have mixed feelings about the direction of line dancing and how much things have changed since the good old days. When I started choreographing back in 1998, it really was much simpler. If someone had a dance to present, they only had the folks in their circle to really work with to get their opinion and then could go on to events in hopes that either their dance would get noticed in a competition or that an instructor would pick up on it. Many times they did and it was a fun thrill.
These days, Dance Events are still the way to go to get your choreography out there, as long as you have ones like Windy City Linedancemania that allow new talent to present their works of art to teach others instead of just demoing (The Las Vegas Dance Explosion is another good one). But overall, itís a tougher road out there getting mass acceptance (or even local acceptance) unless you have the right connections. Getting UK acceptance is probably your best bet, however, itís not easy to do and youíd definitely have to make some trips out there and personally demo your dances all over the UK in order to do so. But once you do accomplish this (easier said than done), you can then gain momentum from those in Florida and California who have a very big radar to the UK dance scene and tend to overlook the talent in the states. From there, itís an easy trip to the top of the survey charts. After that, you can then show your dance to the local dancers and they most likely will take notice.
Personally, at this stage of my life, it really isnít worth the time and effort to create any more choreography and this decision has basically lifted a weight of negativity regarding the line dance scene from my shoulders and has let me more focus on teaching and finding other great dances. Unfortunately, I still have to deal with the mentality that if itís not done in the UK, itís not a good dance. Iíve done what I set out to do in terms of choreography over the past years and had a lot of great creations that were done in other countries outside of the UK as well as in the US. But now is the time to try and focus and finding and promoting other talent thatís overlooked and I'm thankful to continue to have that opportunity to present it at other Events such as the Vegas Explosion, Tampa Classic and Canadian Classic. After all, if you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem.
If only I could get some of the dancers to stop basing their judgment of good dances solely on the Carol Craven survey it would go a long way and perhaps stop some from creating voting blocks in hopes of getting their dances noticed. In the meantime, I can tell you that Iíve heard from many across the country. Many have asked me what they think would be a better way to pick dances out. The best advice I could give is to look less at whatís on the top of charts and look more at the new dances introduced that are on Carol Cravenís New Dance page. Itís handy. Or the other one I like to check out A LOT is on the very organized Yippee line dance page. The area of this website I love contains the dances that already have been taught in the area. Here, they feature a larger variety of choreography from more choreographers than Iíd find on any UK based site and they seem to have much less politics involved with their decision to teach a dance. Yeah sure, sometimes you have music and dances that are not to your liking to surf through, but when you can find an excellent diamond in the rough (such as Lawrence Allenís Love, Sex and Magic) , it really pays off and your class will thank you. I just wish more instructors would follow suit and do some better research in what they pick and choose. Check out some of the talent we've always loved and appreciated such as Michael Barr and John Robinson as well as the newcomers out there who are hungry for a hit. If that ever does happen, the line dance community will once again thrive as new talent will be more encouraged to create, which is what this should all be about.