Sweetpinoy's Performance Guide

by A-Jay, 1 December 00

I don't know how I measure up to the rest of NorCal in freestyling, but being an actual dancer before I got into DDR, I have a good idea what looks good on stage and during a performance. I've been in a show choir since 7th grade, and now I'm a co-choreographer of the Mt. Eden Monarch Mirage Show Choir...but that has nothing to do with DDR, other than dancing, so...these are my thoughts based on my dance background. =\;-)

Make sure your dance matches the theme of your song- for example, "Rave" to Dynamite Rave or do "The Robot" on techno off-beatsongs; don't "Rave" to Boys or do "The Robot" on Silent Hill. If the songsounds mysterious with whooshes and swooshes, put in arm movements to matchthat. If the song has obvious drum strikes in special spots, throw a sharp-looking move at that point. Keep challenging yourself by constantly thinking upweird moves in your head, and transplanting them into your routine. Just think of something that would look cool and crazy if done properly, and try to match your move with arrows under your body. Then go take a look at your favorite songs and see if anything matches with the arrows of your stunt.

As with Show Choir and stage acting, a hand movement below the waist means nothing to an audience. Always move your arms with purpose, don't leave them limp and lifeless by your waist. Everyone in the Philippines did this when they played...bugged the hell out of me...as long as your arms are moving with the song, you're doing ok. You can always refine the movements later.

Repetitive arrows on one arrow panel can be spun...it's my favorite thing to do. If an arrow repeats itself, spin at that point, don't just tap your foot leaving your body motionless. Try switching feet while kicking the foot not in use high into the air...high flying legwork earns points with me. =\;-) My other favorite thing to do on a repeated arrow is switch knee drop - crouch down, tap the arrow with one knee, then quickly switch balance and tap the arrow with the other knee...don't do it too much or too hard or you'll end up with sore and bruised knees. =\;-P

If you like raving, coordinate your steps with your favorite light-show moves. Stick glowsticks in your laces or tape them to the back of your ankles, depending on the direction you're facing. If you're a boy-band freak, don't be afraid to throw some NSync or BSB in your routine. I like adding a touch of "Bye Bye Bye" and "It's Gonna Be Me" on Paranoia and Dynamite Rave, respectively. Since I'm in Show Choir, I also like to try and transplant Show Choir stunts into my performance, like toe-touches and mid-air heel clicks.

Create your own style - don't do every single move that another person has in their arsenal. It's ok to "borrow" a move or two that you think is cool, but make sure something of your own is added to your performance. If someone copies you, consider it as flattery, even though in the back of your mind you wish they'd stop doing your move and taking credit for it, LOL. =\;-P Also, make sure your trademark move is special, don't repeat it every four steps or it gets old fast.

Lastly, groove to the music! Nothing bugs me more than watching someone play to a kick-butt Naoki song, and they're in more of a fixed position than the bar behind them! Keep your head bobbing in those places where nothing special is going on, move your arms in every which direction you can think of while dancing, make sure those legs are kicked up high above the ground and not just shuffling an inch above the panels. Probably the one thing DDR and Show Choir performances have in common is the energy you need to incorporate into performing. Shoot your arms out, kick your legs hard, and be totally into your dance, and you've got more than half of the look you need to entertain a crowd. And ALWAYS HAVE FUN!!! =\;-)