Not every suggestion for a clogging routine is a great one. Sometimes, an idea that initially shows promise is just not right, due to a lack of time or other resources. Other times, only one team member has a vision for a particular plan, so it quietly dies.
The next time that happens, hear the clogger out! Otherwise, you could miss an amazing adventure.
I only recently learned this lesson.
At the start of this year's competition planning, teammate Randi presented her idea to create an artistic expression routine based on Star Wars. Many, myself included, were skeptical: What music would we use? What story would we tell? Other teams are surely doing this already!
Undaunted, Randi stuck by her vision, and persuaded the team to go along with it. I respected the decision, but had serious doubts.
A few frustrating practices later, my misgivings increased. We were doing the choreography as a group, but no one except Randi understood what was going on. The Dark Side will dance during these beats. The Light Side has a part now...
Dancers were cast, then recast as different characters, depending on the plan for any given moment. It was chaos!
One fine day, we got it! No, the routine didn't magically come together, but we could see the vision Randi had all along. Choreography flowed. Cloggers were sure of their characters and could shop for costumes.
Randi introduced us to her friend Brian, who performs Star Wars fight reenactments. He attended a few practices and gave feedback on how to improve our routine from the point of view of a Star Wars expert.
Brian also created fight choreography to meet our needs. We practiced with light sabers from the toy section of Walmart, while Brian wielded an incredible light saber at least 20 steps up in quality.
I knew folks dressed up as the movie characters to attend conventions and such, but it gets WAY more serious than that. They don't simply show up in costume; there is training involved! Fancy Free Cloggers gained a new appreciation for this world, and we plan to watch Brian perform at a future event! (He appeared in a cameo role at the Shindig In The Valley competition, and was a big hit!)
ALSO, there are honest-to-goodness light saber classes! People in the Columbus, OH area should check out the Royal Arts Sport Fencing Academy!
As an apology, I hereby formally declare:
RANDI WAS RIGHT!
We have competed the Star Wars routine once so far, at Maggie Valley, NC. The second time will be at Wilson County Fair in Lebanon, TN.
FFC is proud of this routine, all because Randi stuck to her idea and made it happen.
Thank you, Randi! Thank you, Brian! Thank you, Royal Arts Academy for the light saber loan - we are upgrading ours now!
Has one of YOUR teammates pushed for an idea and turned it into something great? Give him or her credit in the comments!
Randi designed these tee shirts to sell as a fundraiser for our competition team. You can purchase these shirts (plus many other designs) from our new ONLINE STORE!