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Thread: Stage Hogs?

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    Member lilith71's Avatar
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    Default Stage Hogs?

    Well, we have a spring bellydance show coming up and I'm beginning to get the usual jitters that come along with performing. My question is, what to do about 2 certain members in my class who always hog the stage and leave us stuck in the back behind the potted plants and tripping over cords. Every time we perform, no matter where our teacher puts us, these 2 seem to jump in front and stretch out their arms leaving everyone else with little or no room to work with. It's really pretty frustrating and I've made subtle remarks to the teacher and the dancers themselves, but they don't seem to care how I feel. Am I just being a whiney butt? Then I think maybe my teacher wants it this way because I'm not good enough! Sigh.......what to do

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    V.I.P. Aziyade's Avatar
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    From a teacher's standpoint:

    When I design a group choreography, I pay close attention to stage dynamics. I have in mind certain shapes and patterns that I want to see embodied in my dancers. I'm not as rigid as say a marching band instructor, but if I put you downstage stage left, I put you there for a reason -- MY reason. Stronger dancers I MAY put in the center, but I don't believe in "hiding" my less skilled students.

    I have, in rehearsal, taped off an area of the floor that I knew would be the stage dimensions, and run the piece in that area, so everyone could see how close they were supposed to be to the others.

    Can you speak to your teacher about the problem of everyone not seeming to know where they're supposed to be? It will only make the group look bad if a few divas decide they want to dance somewhere outside of the pattern.

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    Member onela's Avatar
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    You are being a whiney butt, by making subtle comments about it. There are two possibilities: They are doing it on purpose because they're dorks, or they're not really aware that what they're doing is a problem. Be direct with your teacher and the other dancers you have issue with. Part of dancing in a group of many is that everybody's working together to present the choreography the way it's meant to be interpreted. Doesn't sound to me like they're dancing "with" the rest of the class.

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    V.I.P. Kashmir's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by onela View Post
    You are being a whiney butt, by making subtle comments about it. There are two possibilities: They are doing it on purpose because they're dorks, or they're not really aware that what they're doing is a problem. Be direct with your teacher and the other dancers you have issue with.
    Good point. I agree - ask your teacher if these people are in the right position. Clearly and with them and the others in earshot. If you have misinterpreted the staging you are then clear (probably annoyed, but clear) If they are incorrectly positioned you could ask that everyone starts concentrating on their staging. (With my practices, I often have a focus for each run through like arms, face or stage position. By specifically saying staging is this run through's focus you overcome the "but I'm still concentrating on what comes next" which can then lead to people never concentrating on where they are meant to be)

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    Member lilith71's Avatar
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    Thanks guys, your points are all good. I guess I am a whiny butt. My teacher is really good about placing us, These girls will always jump in front if placed elsewhere, or just take up an enormous amount of space on a small stage. I feel like my teacher is overwhelmed and doesn't want to deal with drama but I'm thinking I need to look more at myself and just be assertive about my feelings towards them. There are a few other girls who feel like I do. Maybe an accidental elbow in the face might do the trick.Lol,.. no just kidding..I will try to tell them how I feel and approach it more as a spacing issue and D#$mm%t sometimes I wanna be the diva too!

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    Premium Member Aniseteph's Avatar
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    Whiny butt suggests it's just moaning about something that doesn't matter, but if you are dancing in the pot plants it DOES matter. Subtle hasn't worked so say it out loud - "there's a problem, we are getting squashed up here" - and keep saying every time it happens. It's your teacher's job to pinpoint the problem (aha, I spy stage hogs!) and sort it out. Not wanting to deal with the drama is totally feeble IMO.

    Dunno about stage hogs, but do not get me started on the equivalent in class...

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    Member lilith71's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aniseteph View Post

    Dunno about stage hogs, but do not get me started on the equivalent in class...
    Okay..now ya make me wanna ask!

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    Premium Member Aniseteph's Avatar
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    Basically, if you are late and someone else is already in "your" spot centre of the front row right in front of the teacher, do you
    a) slot in where there's space at the side or back,
    b) march straight to the front and stand right next to the other person so they have to move if they want space to dance, or
    c) start at the side and move through the ranks during the warm up dance until oh look, there you are in your spot again?


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    Member lilith71's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aniseteph View Post
    Basically, if you are late and someone else is already in "your" spot centre of the front row right in front of the teacher, do you
    a) slot in where there's space at the side or back,
    b) march straight to the front and stand right next to the other person so they have to move if they want space to dance, or
    c) start at the side and move through the ranks during the warm up dance until oh look, there you are in your spot again?

    Ahhhh, all of the above happens in our class too!

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    Moderator Daimona's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lilith71 View Post
    and D#$mm%t sometimes I wanna be the diva too!
    Then BE THE DIVA!

    Depending on if this behavior is intentional or unintentional I'm not sure if just telling them will help you. If your teacher could be firm with these ladies, maybe they'll listen.

    How about you and the other girls that feel the same join in being the divas?
    Encourage each other, boost your self-esteem and stage personas and practice nice divalike behaviour on rehersals (of course still holding the positions given by your teacher) and insist on keeping your rightful positions even if the stage hogs tries to enter your stage space. Don't worry if they crash into your arms as long as you are doing YOUR job (then it would be their fault if things didn't work out well, wouldn't it?). If you focus on yourself rather than getting annoyed by the stags hogs, and you are shining on stage and doing the job better than the stage hogs, the audience will watch you instead.

    How about making marks on the floor for "this is my dance space and this is your dance space; On this move you are allowed to go out of it, but at the next you must be back"?

    Another solution for later could be a divided group-dance where the different parts of the group are on and off stage (or in a "chorus" line in the back or however the choreography is pulled together). The stage hogs could have their own part, and you could have your own part.

    Wish you luck!
    --
    Daim.

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