Wednesday, April 6, 2011


I have been away from my blog for a little while because I have been busy not only doing art projects but most of all teaching dance and dancing.  I have been working with a competition dance team at the studio I work for.  The Dance Studio of Fresno.  The production number that myself and co-worker Andiee Hodges spawned the idea for, started at the end of last summer.  We got together and brainstormed a lot of exciting ideas for a huge dance production number.  We had to dream big since we knew we would be working with around 50 advanced dance students.  We came up with the idea of NINJAS.  We didnt know why or how they would be on stage but we knew that they were gonna look cool doing some hip hop moves together as a unit.  The next step was to come up with a story and have a lot of concepts created from stage design to costume design.  Andiee and myself met many times and discussed ideas for stage props and costuming.  I was so happy that I was able to put some art skills to the test.  I hand sketched various ideas for the NINJA costumes.  Andiee would show me images of some of the latest fashions that she thought would look cool incorporated into the costumes.  In the end I designed 3 costumes for our production.  A group of heroes, a group of villains, and a team of ninjas.  (CHECK BACK WITH MY BLOG SOON TO SEE THE EARLY SKETCHES OF THE COSTUME DESIGNS)  After all this was said and done it was exciting to see my actual sketches come to life and see the costumes get made.  That was something I had never experienced before.  Next I had to get all the music that myself and my partner decided to use and create a phenomenal score for our production.  The reason I call it a, "score," and not a "mix," is because the very talented Brian Hines put it all together for me.  He not only mixed the music so incredibly smooth and well but he produced some of his own custom tracks to tie in with the NINJA theme.  Thank you again to Brian Hines, he really is a genius music producer.  Speaking of the music,  one of my best friends is the voice who narrates our production.  The amazingly talented JD Witherspoon.  He really is a man with 1000 voices and he did an amazing job of being epic on the track.  Thanks to you again JD.  Once we figured out our stage design and also had all the choreography down tight we spent as much time as possible with all 47 dancers teaching them not only how to learn the dance moves but also learn how to become a NINJA.  Once the dancers had learned about all they could, my boss, Sue Sampson-Dalena came in to practices and helped us stage the whole number.  After many practices it became time for the show to hit the road.  So far the production has received top awards everywhere it has performed.  More than awards they receive ohhs and ahhs from the crowds and children that watch it which I feel is worth more than any trophy.  Entertainment.  The latest news is that last weekend at the West Coast Dance Explosion in San Francisco it won first place over all.  First place overall for the competition and for the showcase.  Congrats to all the amazing TDS dancers.  The production really comes to life because of them.  They have the magic.  Also thank you to Andiee and Sue for all their hard work along this journey.  I wish I could write even more but I have to leave now.  Duty calls.  Back to the dance studio.  Oh, and I forgot to tell you, we call this production.......


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