Elysium Interview with Ame Starostin

“Inspired” is the first word that comes to mind when one thinks of Ame Starostin. Her dances distinguish themselves with fantastical elements and very real, very deep emotion. Both of those have a wellspring in her personal history. We explored that history – and a hint of her artistic future – in this week’s Elysium Interview with Ame Starostin


What and who inspire the ideas for your dances?

I get my inspiration from many places; videos on YouTube, personal experiences, even things that are happening in the world at the time. I believe that dance is an expression of the heart, so if there’s something going on that particularly touches me, it becomes a dance.

What first inspired you to pursue dance in Second Life and what was your very first dance?

I’ve been dancing in SL since I joined in 2007 in Gor. I progressed into mainstream dance in the summer of 2015 after I was invited to Elysium to see a show and knew I had to be a part of this. I began as a backup dancer but soon I was choreographing my own dances. My first dance was done to Jai Ho by the Pussycat Dolls.

How does your bond with Zach inspire and shape your work?

It’s awesome to have someone to collaborate and bounce ideas around with. Since we started dancing together, my dances have taken on a new depth of emotion and meaning either from the original content or something we feel strongly about as a team that needs to be said. I still create dances separate from him but not as often now.

What’s your typical work routine and what part of preparing your sets and dances challenges you most?

That’s a tough question because I’m anything but typical. Most of the time, it’s music first followed by dance concept, fits and, finally, the stage. I’ve found if I do the stage first I usually end up redoing it before the dance is finished. I think my biggest challenge is the same as most other dancers; the right animation to share your point and vision.

What events in your RL or SL personal history inspired the themes you bring to your dances?

The one that comes to mind quickly is Mirror. This dance came from intense emotional pain of having a bully reach into your RL from SL and work very hard to destroy both. The whole point of the dance was to remind us that some day you’re going to need to face yourself in the mirror. You might be able to fool those around you but never yourself. Are you going to be able to handle what you see?

What does being a part of Elysium give you, as a dancer and choreographer?

It gives the camaraderie of a like-minded group of talented people to learn from and be inspired by. I’ve grown and learned so much as a dancer, being a part of this amazing group of people.

You have made some of the most profound emotional statements at Elysium with your dance. What is it about dance that allows you to find that kind of emotional expression?

I’ve been a singer/musician/performer almost my entire life and was raised by some very artistic family members, so expressing emotion through music and motion has been ingrained in my core. Dance is a medium that’s so freeing. Your mind may not be able to form words but your body knows how to express everything so, for me, dance is a natural extension of what I feel.

What are your goals as an artist? Tell us what’s coming next for your fans!

My only goal as a dancer is to continue to grow and touch minds and hearts. I want people walking away thinking “that really ‘got’ me” or “wow, I’m not alone out here.” or “that spoke straight to my heart”.

Thanks for speaking to our hearts, Ame. We appreciate the inspiring and revealing interview. And we urge our readers to check in next week, for more inspired insights from a resident artist at Elysium Interviews.

Magnificent Matinee Moments

It was that time of the month again where we welcome you to the weekend twice over with the Matinee madness! No hiccups plauged the cast, movers behaved and sets rezzed on cue. If SL were a student we would have been sure to give it a gold star, and each of our acts at least five. Without further prattling, let’s get right to yummy goodness and take a peek at the talented choreographers who graced our stage.

Down With the Sickness by Disturbed

Disturbing. Creepy. Scary. Creative. Unique. Awesome. These are the words that come to mind on this number by Pea. This exceedingly icky creature started by jumping around the dark forest, finally settling in one place. Thus followed the rise of evil, green smoke which magically transformed it green. Pea is green, who woulda thunk it ~laughs~ I know I wanted to make mush out of this shudder-worthy being. Then we add a pram with broken dolly in a kids bedroom and I just want to run screaming. Definitely an awe-inspiring trip into the imagination of this choreographer, creating yet another very memorable dance.

Magica Mélodia by Rondo Veneziano

Ness is well known for her astounding particle work, blended with unique costuming and seamlessly simple choreography. Somehow, all these things gel into this perfect, jawdroppingly unique piece of art that dance along never quite captures. Color changing mermaids, magic fairy dust and a lilting melody carried the audience away once more. One of the hallmarks of the best choreographers and artists is that their work carries their signature without a clear mark, you just know. And with Ness, we always just know.

Goodbye to Romance by Ozzy Osbourne ft. Randy Rhoads


Diddy Hyun
Another Piece of My Heart by Haley Reinhart

This set at first reminded me of a magical candyland with the bright lighting and pink fantastical lighting; not to mention the sweet and sexy costumes that I am sure had many a man drooling as they watched. Mandy, Arabella and Half joined Diddy on stage in her latest work of good ol’ fashioned fun. Then the music kicked in with the edgy blend of rock meets country and every one was bouncing about in their seats. Clever use of mirror animations created great variation in formations and was a real highlight of this upbeat routine.

Kyser and Taema Mynx
Goodbye to Romance by Ozzy Osbourne feat. Randy Rhoads

As soon as the curtain rose on this act by Kyser and Taema, the colors and effects of their set took many a breath from the unsuspecting audience. A wide expanse of richly hued sky, floating clouds and ethereal lights offset the unusual yet enchanting costumes chosen by the pair. In an ode to true love in the heavens, elegant animations paired with smooth mover work truly brought this story to life.

S&M by Rhianna

We all know how much I love to hate talking about my own routines. This number was originally created as part of the DoL Dancer’s Challenge. Choreographers select a song at random and have three hours to create a dance and set ready to put on show that very day. A bit of a crazy excercise, but a lot of us Elysiums took up the challenge and had nervous breakdowns but lots of fun regardless. A couple of weeks to smooth over some glitches and make it a little less hum-drum and here you have it. A thank you to my amazing dancers Maia, Jo, Melvis, Wiz and Max for being brave enough to let out their kinky sides!

Bad Girls by Donna Summer

This routine was bad the first time I saw it, and it just got badder this time around! When I say bad, I mean in a delicious finger lickin’ good kinda way! I blame Gunner for the chicken reference since he was the one who said this routine always made him think of KFC ~laughs~ Gemma and Arabella joined choreographer Corri in this smokingly sexy number that showed off smooth and sultry choreography. A perfect closer to a fabulous show.

In the iconic words of Bugs Bunny, ‘That’s All Folks!’ Well .. until we meet again next month for the last Matinee of 2016. Hope to see you all there!

Ayita xoxo


Elysium Review November 25th 2016 – Celebrating Thankfulness

Thanksgiving gratitude was served up rich and hot at The Empire Room this weekend! As our esteemed establishment’s proprietor, Paul Woodrunner, calls them, the Elysium Family settled into their seats for a feast of dance and dazzling artistry. Hostess Jilley gave everyone a specially crafted warm welcome at the door, and the audience enjoyed a dance card featuring an assortment of acts from across the grid and many of the Elysium Cabaret favorites. DJ Gunner von Phoenix served a great blend of music throughout the night, which featured comic acts, classic cabaret and some truly ingenious presentations by SL’s elite choreographers

Act One: Babypea with Gunner, Paul, Zach, Ame and Jilly – Baby’s Turkey Song Mix


Babypea began the Thanksgiving menu of dance with song of sympathy for the turkeys out there. On a traditionally appointed farm, dancers poked fun at the Thanksgiving tradition with dancers clad in feathers and beaks dancing to songs of vegetarian protest. This lively medley making fun of the Thanksgiving meal was a cute and creative kick off for what would prove one of Elysium’s most imaginative shows.

Act Two: Lady C – Get This Party Started – Shirley Bassey


Lady C turned the turkey trot in a sterling silver soiree, as she cranked up the volume and attitude with a strip tease on a set that screamed of celebration: Champagne bottles, strings of crystal and glasses brimming with bubbly surrounded Lady C as she spun and swayed to the brazen tones of Shirley Bassey. As her strident, swaying motions took her up and down the shining staircase of a silver ballroom, Lady C shed her shimmering garments, finishing the act by standing topless and triumphant at the height of the steps!

Act Three: Corri – Winter Song – Ronan Keating


Corri celebrated winter’s glory with an act that applied exquisite beauty to its every delicate aspect. Amid a fine drifting of snowflakes, upon a frozen pond snug within a rustic fence, Corri danced as daintily as a ballerina to an ode to the seasons of love. This moving melody about the changing nature of romance stirred the crowd’s hearts as Corri spun upon the ice amid snow-flocked firs, weaving a scene that was no less than a perfect dream of winter.

Act Four: Cowgrl with Rosewan and Eva – Back It Up – Caro Emerald


Cowgrl heated things up for her next act, with a spot-on jazz dance number. Everything echoed the elements of classic Broadway jazz shows, from the glamorous gowns to the high-kicking heels, the black backdrop with big modern-font, the floating bubbles and frolicking music. It was a celebration of a dance tradition that applied true care and class to the characteristics of that awesome style.

Act Five: Misse Tigerpaw – This Love – Taylor Swift


Guest Dancer Misse Tigerpaw of Club Image applied much the same exquisite detail to her Thankgiving gift to The Empire Room – a dance tableau that seemed to have every feature painted by a masterful hand. A screen styled like an invitation faded away, revealing a set that sewed together realistically detailed foliage with hand-drawn cut outs and three oversized memento boxes. Atop these boxes, Misse spun and stepped, dancing to a song of love’s happiness and hurts below a suspended arrow. As stray seed pods swirled with ethereal blue light in the wheat field below, the arrow fell at the finale, striking Misse, only to have her circle gracefully to a landing and dance on above a sky of pen-and-ink tears. It was truly magic to behold!

Act Six: Eva with Misha Selene, Nadi, Cowgrl and Lexi – Together in Electric Dreams – Mechanical Black


Eva showed that her creativity keeps pushing boundaries, as she brought artistic and technological innovation together in a celebration of the social powers of the internet! As the curtain opened on a tableau that looked like a series of chat windows open on a computer’s desktop – topped off by a laboratory scene. As the song commenced, the dancers “uploaded” from their chat window profile photos onto the laboratory, where common clothes were cast aside for sensual sci-fi outfits and a wild dance was enjoyed by all. It was an extraordinarily crafted image of the SL experience, brought to life with symbolism, custom props and some spot on choreography!

Act Seven: Jilley – Thankful – Josh Groban


For the holiday night’s final act, Jilley drove home the theme of ‘thankfulness’ with a song about gratitude and a stage set for beauty. She mixed an ultra-modern setting with costume majesty, striking choreography with special effects, to produce a truly stellar scene. It was a gorgeous abstract ode to an essential quality of humankind and a spectacular finale for a show that truly showed off SL dance talent!

Act Eight: Ame (Crowd Dance) – Good Grief, Rise, This Wheels’ on Fire


As for the crowd dance to close out the night, Ame’s was second to none. With variety like a Thanksgiving menu, it conducted the crowd through a spectrum of musical and dance styles. Good times and a great crowd closed it out in a characteristic way that spoke to a key element of the Thanksgiving spirit – coming together as family to celebrate!
This week’s stellar show was a true Thanksgiving event in many ways: A gathering where friends and family contributed their very best to the night’s menu. This gala occasion showcased humor and heartache, beauty and burlesque, celebration and cyber culture. It reminded us that we have so much to be thankful for in life – and so much ahead to enjoy together during this epic holiday season at The Empire Room!

Photos courtesy of Goddess Shayna.

Join Elysium for Thanks and Turkey!


Music – Movement – Creation – Joy – Friendship

Elysium Cabaret takes you there every Friday at 6pm.  Let your imagination come out to play!  In The Empire Room at Copperhead Road, we strive to bring you an eclectic mix of music genres, dance styles, elaborate staging and dazzling costumes.  At the end of our shows, we invite you on stage to dance with us and celebrate the simple joy of dance!  Welcome to the weekend!

This Friday includes dances that celebrate giving thanks and TURKEY!

Tonight’s show features special guest Misse Tigerpaw!

Friday, November 25th at 6pm SLT


Elysium Review November 18, 2016 – Welcome to the Weekend! Another great night at The Empire Room!

The Empire Room filled the house again for another great weekend. This weekend started out with some very talented acts.  The acts performed by the dancers bring creativity like no other on the planet to the stage. DJ Gunner did an exemplary job of providing the music for the performances and great tunes for the audience after the show. Our wonderful Hostess, Jilley, as always welcomed each and every guest into the show, while our dedicated Empire Room owner, Paul Woodrunner made sure to chat up the audience and accommodate the guests with drinks!

Elysium Cabaret Dancers and the Guests performed at top quality as always.  Here is the review below:


Act one:  Setsuna  – Utau Oka by Akiko Shikata – Solo Act


Setsuna from Club Image graced our stage and wowed the audience with a wonderful performance of an enchanted forest.  She danced and hypnotized the butterflies along with the audience as they were mesmerized by her elegant steps.  She danced as if she were alone in a forest and the world was her stage to a customized mix of Utau Oka by Akiko Shikata.


Act two: JenzZa with Dulcikate Noel, Phoebe, Love Lefko, Cuddlebug Clowes and Sebastain Bourne  -performer by On the Clock a Custom Mix


Act two buzzed in from Misfit Dance & Performance Art, a talented group of dancers bounced down off of colorful alarm clocks.  Another Custom mix On the Clock performed by the adorable mice as the clocks ticked on in unison. What a great team in November for the time change! These mice were in time with the beat of the music and the audience just adored them.


Act three:  Lulu with Ƈαηɗу (Candynette Metaluna) and Angie Zobovic (angellikamaia) performing Three Days Grace – Animal I Have Become


Lulu, Candy, and Angie took the stage as they performed this morbid act and Lulu did a great choreography job to the beat of Animal I have Become, a very popular song.  It was a bit scary as she had her nurses there to help her along. The audience gave a big round of applause to this exceptional act.


Act four: Dyann with Sendar, Sebastian Bourne, Troy Trallis, nara.zsun, Orlitza Pobieski, JMB Balough, and Jack Shepherd performing Dancing in the Moonlight by Toploader


Well maybe girls and werewolves can get a long in the woods after all. Maybe as long as they are dancing in the moonlight! Right? This performance was a great compilation of choreography by Dyann. It was also her debut act at The Empire Room and we welcome her to the Elysium Cabaret.


Act Five: Wiz Nirvana performing Basket Case by Music Box  – Solo

Wiz Nirvana was definitely thinking outside the box with this act where he was all tied up in a strait jacket. He danced the dance of a Music Box ballerina and the audience wondered if they could close it and take him home after the show.  In the ruined settings it looked like he was doomed to be forever dancing until either he was unwound or his battery ran out. The concept was great and the choreo worked will with the box.


Act six: Nara with Gracie – performing The Moment by KennyG


Pink is the new Divine color. Nara did a wonderful choreography that complimented both her and Gracie as they divinely danced on the stage in the moment. The audience was entranced by their beauty. The choreography and the costumes were set in a beautiful pink forest complimented each other along with the music.


Act seven: Babypea – Til the Last Shot’s Fired by Trace Adkins – Solo


An angel danced along a battlefield on stage on Friday night to honor all veterans. Babypea was just gorgeous in her white attire, as she danced across the stage. The choreography was just wonderful and as always she fascinated the audience again with an outstanding performance.


Act eight: Kyshra – Magic Forest – David Arkenstone – Solo


Tonight’s show was enchanted not only by one captivating forest, but two.  The final act ended with one forest which seemed to be out of this world.  As Kyshra’s beautifully done choreography of acrobatic dancing in the sky, her forest seemed to grow around her becoming more and more alive as she enticed it into existence.


Act nine: Crowd Dance by Goddess Shayna (Shayna Paine) – The Last Time (Rolling Stones), Back in Time (Huey Lewis and the News), and Time Warp (ft. Christina Milian & Reeve Carney)


When time came to the close of the show, Goddess Shayna really rolled the clocks back, forward, and even sideways, for that matter.  The crowd dance stage was a riot of clocks and gears. The audience wasted no time getting up on the stage as they joined in and danced like there was no tomorrow and collapsing in to heap on the stage after they did the Time Warp Again!

Pictures and review by Goddess Shayna

Elysium Review November 11, 2016 – Honoring Our Heroes

Elysium put on a display of great devotion to a very important holiday, Veterans Day, November 11 2016 in The Empire Room. The routines were respectful remembrances and sentimental dedications to those who’ve served and to lost friends alike. DJ Gunner von Phoenix, a brother in arms and staunch advocate of veterans, went above and beyond in his duties by calling for a daily thanks to be rendered to any veterans the audience may encounter. This moving missive to the crowd was well received, just as the crowd were themselves. Our hostess, Jilley, made it a point to warmly welcome all who entered with aplomb and kindness, and Paul Woodrunner served up some drinks and chit chat as the show went on. The spirits of the audience were surely moved by the dances they beheld – many of which were deeply personal and divinely orchestrated.

Act One: Corri with FT – Holding Out For A Hero – Bonnie Tyler


Our celebration of heroes began with an epic routine by Corri, set in a burning urban landscape. As a lone dancer danced passionately to the rock opera of Jim Steinman’s Bonnie Tyler hit, Holding Out for a Hero, drama was on display.

Act Two: Ally Romani – Dire Straits – Brothers in Arms


Amid desolation and destruction that was reminiscent of the 9-11 Ground Zero wreckage, Ally Romani‘s romantic piece hallowed a personal hero in her life – her father. The choreographer danced in center stage, wearing combat togs with blades drawn. Lit by red, white and blue, this glorious scene mixed romance and patriotism into a routine both dignified and sensual.

Act Three: Jilley with Paul, Wiz, Ray, Zach, Michael, Rory, FT and Taylor – Men in Black – Will Smith


Heroes that save us from aliens was Jilley‘s subject – the Men in Black from the classic comedy-action franchise danced in a synchronized fashion in their hyper-technological headquarters. These suited gents have never looked swankier!

Act Four: Sebastain Bourne with Jo, Ayita, Lily and Nadi – I’m Your Boogie Man – KC and the Sunshine Band


The dance card turned from heroes to villains for Sebastain‘s routine, as the Big Bad from Nightmare Before Christmas – Oogie Boogey – had his time in the spotlight. Surrounded by ectoplasmic backup dancers on his infamous roulette wheel, the spectral green boogeyman got down in high-funk style!

Act Five: Zach Starostin – Labrinth – Jealous


A somber and moving piece was at the center of tonight’s show, and rightly so: The Starostins produced a piece to honor a friend lost to suicide. After a heart-gripping monologue about the young man who inspired the piece, Zach danced atop a bridge in a heavenly garden, in sync with an angel floating below the still waters. Elysium has scarcely witnessed a more personal and powerful homage, with every detail a work of art shaped with care for a dear friend.

Act Six: Jo with Sebastain – Will O’ Wisps – Brandon Feitcher


The next act had no less a bucolic setting, but was far more fantastical – a garden that could only exist in a storybook, with luminescent plants and drifting sparkles. The center of the dance was a Will O’ Wisp, Jo, who soon found her own hero in the form of a Huntsman. The pair, clad in silvery clothing and encircled by a court of wild beasts, cavorted with passion above a starry night that was straight from Van Gogh’s imagination, making it a truly glorious tableau about the most romantic archetypes of heroism.

Act Seven: Babypea with Fuki, Kyshra, BB and Sorcha – Mannequin Factory – Porcelain Black


Is the female form itself something heroic and holy? Babypea certainly made that statement, with a piece devoted to the allure of the feminine shape. As sterling silver figures danced and posed in a spectrum of movements that ranged from coy to catty, lighting effects flashed around that would put a firework show to shame. The setting evolved into an entire factory of these faceless, shapely mannequins, striking a note of cultural commentary and delivering a spectacular climax. I was honored to be one of her dancers and blessed by the best birthday present ever – being on stage as part of the Elysium family!

Act Eight: Ame – Requiem for a Soldier – Band of Brothers Soundtrack


Focus then fixed where it truly belonged for the Veterans Day finale – a routine devoted to the brothers in arms within the armed services. Set in a gorgeous park and strewn with falling leaves, Ame‘s dance featured a slideshow of veterans through a history of conflict. It was a marvelous message of gratitude to soldiers, sailors and air force across the world, made resonant by Gunner’s gracious urging that we should do all we can to honor the vets we meet in our daily lives.

Act Nine: Crowd Dance by Kyshra – Brick House 2003 (Rob Zombie), Fat Bottomed Girls (Queen), Bootylicious (Destiny’s Child)


The crowd dance by Kyshra brought the show to a rousing conclusion. The audience piled onto the stage before an abstract background that was glamorous enough for a Broadway production, and danced as one to a roster of songs that sang strong about sexy ladies.

Honoring fallen friends and the sacrifice of the armed services, Elysium presented a show with dignity and grace. Their holiday series continues on with more special events in the future. Be sure to be among the seats as the year finishes out with some of the biggest acts of the season!

Photos by Sorcha and Storm Wylde.

Elysium Review, November 4 2016 – Bad is Good

The Elysium Cabaret bid farewell to a month of happiness and horror with a show devoted to how it was pretty good to be bad. Hosts Jilley and Paul Woodrunner gave great welcome to a packed house while DJ Gunner von Phoenix conducted the acts – and a group of dancers! – through one spectacle after another. Whether the dancers’ story was one of naughtiness, romance against the odds or laughter in the face of bitterness, it was a night that had the audience upright on the edge of their seats at The Empire Room!

Act One: Diawa with Yougao Destiny – Flesh Without Blood – Grimes


Diawa’s act put the mood squarely in the pink, with a super sexy number featuring starlets in blush-colored skirts. As they leapt around a mesmerizing stage of abstract shapes, it brought a certain hypnotic quality to this kinky number. The choreography was as smooth as latex and as hot as the pink that pervaded the stage!

Act Two: Shayna – Veil of Tears – Beats Antique


In an mystical garden grown from the imagination of ancient Egypt, Elysium’s resident goddess, Shayna, danced as an avatar of a spirit from that bygone mythology. Surrounded by a select court of animals from the Nile Kingdom, Shayna moved with grace and majesty within a tableau that was a grand replica of an Egyptian tomb. It was a stirring ode to humanity’s first lore of resurrection, raising both the spirits and the senses of the crowd.

Act Three: Ariel with Devlin, Rhonda, Nara and Raemida – Too Darn Hot – Ella Fitzgerald


An island tribal romp set inside a stage of burning orange light showed off Ariel’s talents to an audience that surely felt the heat! As women in primitive costumes of skin and bone ground, spun and thrust on the stage, the backdrop showed a blazing sunset with a lonely sailboat, overlooking this raunchy rite.

Act Four: Nadi with Paul Woodrunner, Eva Harley, Ame Starostin and Zach Starostin – Don’t You Wish It Was True – John Fogerty


Nadi’s routine lifted spirits with an homage to Pixar’s ‘Up’! As the cantankerous old man danced in a pixel-perfect replica of his house, a troupe of kids arrived to bedevil him with their own dance. A merry nod to tricks and treats for this past month definitely had laughter and joy rising to The Empire Room’s rafters.

Act Five: SoCo with Sebastain, Lily and Fuki – Ashes of Eden – Breaking Benjamin


Soco framed a scene of heart-wrenching romance within a macabre setting, bringing the audience along for a narrative of lovers within a grim environment. The stage took the form of a glorious graveyard garden, complete with moving statues, waterfalls and weeping angels, as two romantics danced together. Both sad and splendid, morbid and moving, Soco’s act was as profound in its emotions as it was perfect in its design.

Act Six: Babypea – In These Shoes – Kirsty MacColl-Ibizarose


Latin passion in a hard, foreboding atmosphere was what Babypea’s number was all about. Featuring a dancer in a scantily tailored Flamenco outfit, this scene was set in a grim, dark desert where the only life had thorns to it. It evoked notions of how love is often a matter of survival against the odds, and was as sleek in its motion as it was rich in defiant romance!

Act Seven: Monavie – Devil in Me – Gin Wigmore


Mona‘s act was hot as Hell this week, with an infernal scene that turned power exchange on its head and had temperatures rising to the peak of the thermometer! Clad as a sensuous, demonic figure, the choreographer herself took us in a dark lair lit by red candles and a hand cupping a flame, where a ruggedly handsome man was bound helpless on a chair. This scene of temptation and agony was a thrill to behold in every regard – action, design and costume weaving together into a tableau of eroticism at its most hellish.

Act Eight: Gunner von Phoenix with Kyshra, Minty, Jilley and Fuki – Girls Want To Have Fun – Cindy Lauper


In a penthouse hung with erotic portraits and opulent furnishing, Gunner von Phoenix conducted a troupe of ladies in lingerie for an act that was classy and erotic! Arranged in a class dance line, these lovely models lunged and swayed to their conductor, composing a routine that raised the temperature of The Empire Room to the top floor! There was plenty of fun to be had for these girls under Gunner’s command, with a sexy routine dedicated to the finest in good times – penthouse living.

Act Nine: Crowd Dance by Ame (Captain) – Bad; Bad Romance; Bad Blood


Ame’s crowd dance was bad, bad, bad – in the best of ways! Stepping and swaying to a series of “bad” themed songs, it was a Halloween-time homage to a month where it’s nice to be a little bit nasty. The set was strewn with almost as many dancers and fallen leaves, dressed in a gorgeous seasonal scene of the leaves changing.


Some things never change, year round, and the excellence of Elysium is one of them! As October gave way to November and we enter the holiday season, The Empire Room will host some the most exciting shows of the Elysium Cabaret season. Be sure to grab your seats in what will surely be a packed house for the holidays weekends to come!


Photos by Storm and Sorcha Wylde.

Elysium Interview with Jo

Rehearsal Break - Jo Balogh.png

What and who inspire the ideas for your dances?

“Most dancers I know have folders full of ideas for dances or lists of songs they want to use for dance. That’s definitely not me!  In fact, six months passed between my first and second dances and then another six months until my third.   Now I try to do one a month.

“Usually it is a piece of music that catches my attention, but an SL photo I took several years ago inspired my next dance. Suddenly I found the perfect music to bring it to life.”

What first inspired you to pursue dance in Second Life and what was your very first dance?

“I discovered performance dance rather late in my Second Life, when Toysoldier Thor, an SL artist friend, insisted I should go see a dance show.  That led me to Friday Night at the Empire and I became a regular “dance groupie” and a friend of Baby and Gunner.   The crowd dance at the end of the show was a highlight for me as I strutted about on the stage along with the dancers and other members of the audience.

“Then in late 2014 Baby asked me to join a series of classes she was teaching called the Dawn of Dance.  My first dance was for that graduation and it was a flamenco dance to Jesse Cook’s “Gipsy”.”

What are you trying to express through your dances?

“I don’t know that I am trying to express anything except the Joy of Dance, or rather my love for dance!”

What’s your typical work routine and what part of preparing your sets and dances challenges you most?

“The first thing I usually do is make the set.  I seem to dance in either a garden or a club.  Laughs. For the most part the set goes fairly quickly, although I might be adding extra touches or making changes for weeks. I built my “Autumn Leaves” set in about an hour, using only things from my inventory.   The choreography is way more difficult for me, especially the waypoints, but I work at it slowly and eventually bring it all together.”

Who was your first mentor in dance, or did you teach yourself?

“Obviously Baby gave me a wonderful overall grounding with her classes, but the how-to of the dance tools I learned, for the most part, from the Spot On videos and website.”

“I also took classes at the Dancing Outside the Lines School and learned a lot more from Ayita and Maia who are wizards with the Spot On Tools.  Many others have contributed tips and tricks along the way or helped me solve a problem and I am grateful to each and every one of them.”

What does being a part of Elysium give you, as a dancer and choreographer?

“Elysium is the story of my life in SL dance.  First I was a member of the audience, then a backup dancer and finally I became a choreographer.   Everyone is helpful and supportive of each other at Elysium and it’s a very well run group.  What more could you ask?”

What art, outside of SL, do you find most inspiring to you in a personal or artistic sense?

“I have very eclectic taste in art in RL and I’ve been very fortunate to have traveled extensively around the world to see a lot of it in person.   But my favourites would be the Impressionists and Degas in 2D art with Rodin and again Degas in 3D art.

“As well I’ve been involved in the SL Art World for many years, as a gallery owner and curator of exhibits.  Currently I’m a member of the Linden Endowment for the Arts Committee and we manage the 29 LEA regions in Second Life for Linden Labs.”

What challenges did you have to overcome to become a choreographer?

“I enjoy the “techiness” of the dance tools, but my difficulties lie in using the movers and the waypoints, or rather using them in a way that makes sense for the dance.”

What are your goals as an artist? Tell us what’s coming next for your fans!

“I’d just like to keep on learning and having fun with dancing.  I hope any fans I have enjoy what I do and have fun too!   Next is my artwork translated into dance.”

Image used:  Rehearsal Break by Jo Balogh