Welcome to the Dueta Dance Journal! I decided to write a recap of all of the fun we had at All Star Dance Camp 2022, featuring a sample of photos from the lovely Linda Hong! If you want to see more of her photos, or book her for an event near you, go to LindaHongPhotography.com!
Sunday Night was full of excitement as we greeted old friends, met new ones, and more! That evening, Spenser performed a dynamic pirate routine with our student, Callie, during the welcome party. Callie was the first scholarship recipient of the Ron Montez Youth Scholarship Foundation, founded in 2021.
Callie and Spenser's routine was a fusion of waltz and tango, with color guard saber tossing and saber fencing choreographed into it. Inspired by Callie's color guard skills and Spenser's fencing experience, the story behind it was that Spenser, an experienced pirate, is training Callie to be a sword master. However, she is a bit of a sassy student with a lot of confidence (maybe too much confidence). So, she decides to challenge him. Spenser decides to roll with it to see what she can do, and an epic sparring match ensues!
After the main dance party, Spenser and I hosted a Youth/Young Adult afterparty where we taught my new line dance to the song Don't Freak by The Aces. Here are some photos that Linda took during the performance at the main party.
The next night, I performed a high energy Samba/Quickstep routine with our student Trevor. Trevor and I have been performing this routine since Dancing with the King 2021. In that competition, Trevor won 2nd place and Judges Choice for an encore performance. We later competed at Christmas in Dixie, winning second place again. The following year, we performed the routine again at the Dueta Dance Student Showcase, and once more at All Star Dance Camp. This routine was a comedy about a hot-headed housewife trying to get her tired husband to dance with her after he gets home from a long day at work. We imagined the characters as a southern couple from the 1950's and named them Mildred Pomegranate and Wilford Eugene Pomegranate III (It started as a joke, but the names stuck after a while). Mildred feels insulted when Wilford brushes her off, then they start to argue while doing the Charleston. Wilford angrily tosses his hat across the floor and reluctantly caves in. Mildred turns to the audience and winks when he's not looking, showing that she was faking her emotional breakdown to get what she wanted. Eventually, Wilford uses up the last of his energy, and melts back into his chair at the end of the song. Mildred walks away satisfied that she won the argument and got her chance to dance.
The theme for the dance party that night was "Make Your Own Magic", which is pretty open ended. I decided to dress up as my own version of the Queen of Hearts from Alice in Wonderland. Spenser decided to go more casual and wore a shirt with a dragon on it. One of our students, Jerica, also happened to dress up as her own version of the Queen of Hearts. So, for the costume contest, we walked together. We didn't place, and I ended up looking more like the Mad Hatter when I stood next to her. However, we had a great time being a couple of queens together. Before the party ended, we all got to perform the Don't Freak line dance in our magical costumes.
Tuesday night was a formal night, and we had another performance with one of our students. This time, Spenser was performing with our student, Evie. Evie choreographed an emotional Waltz routine for our 2022 Student Showcase. The routine was performed to a Christian song, I'm Not Alone by Riley Clemmens, about overcoming shame, rejection, and allowing yourself to accept help and unconditional love from Jesus. After she performed her routine at the Student Showcase, we encouraged her to perform it again at dance camp. She had a little help from Spenser and me while choreographing the routine. However, the concept, song choice, and majority of the choreography was hers.
Evie won a private lesson with Robbie Greenwood through a fundraising competition earlier in the year. So, for her lesson, she asked Robbie to look over her routine in preparation for her performance. Robbie said he enjoyed working with her on her routine, and Evie had a blast learning from Robbie. During their practice, Evie had her hair down, and it swung around her like a cape during her turns and transitions. Normally she wore her hair up during her performances, but I encouraged her to wear it down this time and use it to emphasize her movements. She agreed, but only if I would style it for her. So, with long hair ready to flare, and Robbie's tips on how to dynamically convey emotions, Evie did a great job performing her routine later that night!
Wednesday night was the night before the group showcases and professional routines. However, we still had one pro-am routine left to round out the week. This silly yet action-packed West Coast Swing routine was choreographed for our student, Jerica, to perform at the 2022 Dueta Dance Student Showcase. We were originally going to perform a lyrical Viennese Waltz routine for the showcase. However, Spenser injured his shoulder during one of their practices. So, rather than trying to water down the original choreography, I choreographed a new lighthearted comedy routine for them that would be easier on his shoulder.
This routine was about two criminals celebrating a successful heist. However, they get too caught up in their literal victory dance, and realize they are running out of time to escape. So, towards the end of the routine, they have to clamber around, grab their goods, and book it off stage. Spenser's injury turned out to be a blessing in disguise, because we all loved the new routine! We were happy we got to perform it again at dance camp, too! Spenser's shoulder is doing much better now. So, if all goes well, we will still get to perform the original Viennese Waltz routine in 2023.
Thursday! The Grand Finale!
Thursday night was the final night at dance camp. We had group routine performances taught by the teachers at camp, a group routine for the pros choreographed by Jenell Moranto, then a series of professional routines for the rest of the night. The first set of photos you will see are from the group bolero routine that Jenell choreographed for the professional staff. Then, Spenser and I performed our own bolero routine that told a story of a romantic couple in strife.
For our solo bolero routine, Spenser and I are playing two characters who are frustrated and struggling to find the synchronicity they once had in their relationship. They are also grieving for each other through the process. Finally, they stop pushing and pulling against each other, and take a moment to feel what the other partner is going through. At the end, they take each other by the hand, embrace each other as they are, and decide to start anew rather than fighting to find what they had before. (Spenser and I are doing fine, by the way, it's just acting!) Here are some pictures that Linda took from that night:
Overall, we had a great time at dance camp, and we are all looking forward to coming back next year! If you want to see more of Linda's photography, there are two ways you can do that. You can go to her main website: www.lindahongphotography.com
Or, if you just want to see dance camp photos, click the button below. You can also show your support by following 'Linda Hong Photography' on Instagram or Facebook!
All Star Dance Camp photos will be available until September 30th, 2022.
Thanks so much for reading All Star Recap 2022! This "Dueta Dance Journal" concept is just an experiment for now. However, if you would like to see more event recaps like this in the future, please let me know in the comments down below! If you want to know more about how you can go to All Star Dance Camp, email me at MiahKDance@gmail.com!
Miah n' Spenser