Updated: Mar 18, 2020
2018 Spring I started working with a lovely group on teenagers in South Jersey for Alyssa’s Quincenera. Her court included 12 dedicated and committed teenagers who were not familiar with Salsa because only 10 percent of the court were Hispanic.
It’s a pretty big deal to immerse your self into a culture through body movement without much exposure to it. It’s definitely nothing to sneeze at. Imagine trying to learn how to Irish river Dance…like right now…oh, and you have to perform it in front of 100 people in about 2 months. Yeah scary thought right? Well these kids did it, they put their best foot forward and worked as a team to be apart of Alyssa’s culture + tradition. It was awesome to be apart of that process to be apart of making Alyssa’s Special Day even more memorable. We started off with a Waltz number by Ed Sheeran followed by a Salsa number by Marc Anthony and ended with Mi Gente by J Balvin. I'll share the video footage with you in my next newsletter.
1. Consistency + Scheduling
Have a conversation with your court about realistic dates + availability. I want to start this process about 4-6 months before your Quince. This will ensure a lower amount of absences + also give room for the occasional acts of God, such as weather storms or even the common cold.
2. Music + Mix
Your music is the boat carrying the performance. You want to ensure you include songs which are meaningful to you and your family but also exciting + entertaining enough for your choreography. Imagine if you were one of your guests, would you be interested in listening to these songs? Don’t forget to consider your audience when organizing your performance.
As you are considering your music, you should keep in mind the dance styles you’d like to learn + perform. Don’t limit yourself to one style or the only style you know. When you hire a choreographer they will assess the court’s ability as well as suggest dance styles that are suitable for your court. My choreography process starts with assessing your song selection, dance styles, as well as your court. Based on that I am able to construct a creative direction for your Surprise Dance which best suites your Quince.
4. The DRESS
Consider the style + length of your dress for your Surprise Dance. Share your dress style/design with your choreographer so they can consider it within the choreography. The last think you want is your dress being stepped on, not to mention your dress can be used within the choreography, which always makes for good photos.
Your energy while performing your surprise dance will determine your performance and how much your guest enjoys watching your court. Being nervous is only natural, but you want to remember why you are there. And although you may not be used to dancing in front of a crowd + audience you want to think of this as you have been selected to be apart of a memorable performance for loved ones. As long as you are having a good time + enjoying yourself, your guest will enjoy themselves + your performance.