1. What is your history with dance in SL?
I was helping Britt, a friend of mine, when one of her dancers couldn’t make it to practice: she asked me to “stand on the lil purple thingy”. The world of dance opened up to me as a simple favour for a friend. Later, I met other dancers, watched shows, learned more about what it involves, hung out on platforms where dances were being created with friends who were choreographers, and finally expressed an interest. I was sitting on Aryanna Draken’s build site and thought, “There’s no way I could do this (the choreography, the math, etc), but maybe they’ll let me dance?”
I joined Dance Xcetera and debuted as a dancer there in July 2017. Naturally creatively inclined, I pushed aside my fears aside and dove in, asked Aryanna Draken to teach me how to do choreography, and she took time to explain how the tools worked to me. I debuted as a choreographer at Dance Xcetera with Ruelle’s “I Get To Love You” in November 2017.
Since then, I have danced with a number of troupes in Second Life: Dance Xcetera, Phoenix, Noir Neverland, Men In Motion, Moonshadow, and rather briefly in Virtuoso. After taking a six-month break from dance and choreography, I figured I’d dust off my Spot-On tools, maybe hop on a dance pad now and then, and create a set roughly once a month when I am not creating for special events such as parties, weddings, and the like.
2. What do you enjoy the most about SL dance?
I’m legally blind; it’s one of the few disabilities people cannot really work around within a virtual world. But even with my limited vision– and a little help from my friends– I’m able to feel “normal” for a change, like I am capable of great things, meaningful things, and this is not so much a handicap as a different perspective. I’ve told friends many a time, “If you could see what I see”, and this is my way to share that. I simply want to make beautiful creations, to share this, while I can.
3. What do you enjoy the least about SL dance?
Being in a small community such as Dance, “familiarity breeds contempt”, and people and their “drama” start to get on your nerves after a while. You have to take time for yourself… “step away from the party, go out on the back porch, and make friends with the dog.” Sometimes, you have to say “No” and enforce your boundaries, shut toxic associations out of your life, and make your world smaller and more secure. Otherwise, you’ll burn out, stretch yourself too thin, and/or lose your direction, your purpose, or yourself in the end. As much as we all love it, we are all each more than lovers of this art.
4. What has been your best experience in SL dance?
Dance was what brought her to me; as a friend and interest, I asked her to attend my debut in November 2017, and after seeing this, she finally agreed to go out with me. Later, I choreographed, as a gift to that same woman who is now my wife, our “First Dance”– it was performed during our wedding and was seen exclusively by those in attendance.
5. Out of all the dances you have done or participated in, which is your fave?
I created a dance using Sixx A.M.’s “Skin” for Second Life’s PRIDE event (LGBTQ) in June 2018 because I wanted something special and personal and something that truly spoke about who I am and my struggles. For me, it tends to take me a while to create, but the set came together in one day, and the choreography came together the next day after a night of crying intensely and pouring my heart into it. And the result was incredibly with people in the audience at PRIDE messaging me, telling me they were moved to tears watching it too.
If you’d like to see it, it can be found here with gratitude to Tristan Lyonesse for his recording of it as it was re-shown at Phoenix last year: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gg2r34HC0AA
6. What message would you like to leave for your fans or the dance community?
I’d express my enormous gratitude for their continuous support of my efforts and to true friends within the dance community for their guidance and assistance, and I’d add “Stay tuned! I’m not done yet!”
Further, I’d remind people why we even do this– It’s not about churning out sets every week just to be IN a show. It’s not about popularity contests. It’s certainly not for the wealth; tips are appreciated, but we all usually spend more money than we gain. Make sure you know why YOU are doing it, and stay focused on that.
It’s better to release one meaningful set every two months than eight sets no one other than your closest friends may remember. Take your time. Give your art the time and attention it deserves. Make it MATTER.
7. Anything else you’d like to share?
Pineapple absolutely goes on pizza, and coffee is the nectar of the gods.