May 17, 2010

Oh the DRAMA!!!

So if you haven't seen The View, CNN, Good Morning America or any other news outlet in the past week then you have missed the video above & the DRAMA that surrounds it.
Here are my thoughts:
I feel SO sorry for these little girls. They are 8 years old!! They did not choreograph this routine or pick their costumes. And if you don't know anything about dance, let me tell you something:  These may be some of the most talented 8 year olds I have EVER seen!! Shame on all the news media outlets that decided to objectify these children to the backlash that was clearly NOT their own decision. These little girls are not trying to be "sexy" or anything like that. They are simply "copycats" of the Single Ladies video. (Which is a copycat of its own!)
With that said; Do I think it is inappropriate for their age? Yes. Do I think that the choreographer and parents are at fault for the backlash their children are now receiving? Yes. Do I think it is a National News Worthy Controversy? ABSOLUTELY NOT. The parents and choreographer should take those talented children and have them do a breathtaking ballet routine or a simple jazz routine that isn't Beyonce. And don't go blaming Beyonce about her dancing! She is in her late 20s and it is THE PARENTS JOB to decide what their child watches NOT THE CELEBRITY! 
In all honesty, I do not think that the costumes are bad at all! They look bad when the 8 year old does the Beyonce grind to the floor but the costume itself is freakin cute if you ask me. In fact, I think I had one similar when I was 10. I was dancing to Bette Milder though so no one cared and if I can find a pic or video of it I will post it for your thoughts! 
Here is where this controversy hits home for me. My Mother has her own dance studio and she works extremely hard to make her dancers classy! Until you have run a dance studio for 20 years, you have no idea how difficult it is to keep your routines new and fresh without pushing peoples buttons. Trust me, people have some really strange things they get upset about too!  
Music these days is extremely hard to edit. I bought an edited version of something the other day and then realized that it said "pissed", "ass" and "bitch" throughout the whole song! Edited my BUTT! I want my $1.29 back!! If anyone really knew the amount of time, energy and money it took to get the music alone suitable they would maybe take a step back before complaining. 
Don't get me wrong, I am not saying that I think the routine above is acceptable but I do know that the teacher/studio owner has a hard job. The song itself was suitable and like I said before I think the costumes are cute. It is the movement that is harsh and really that is because the choreographer lacked creativity in making it less like the music video for her dancers. 
When it comes down to it, it is the dancers parents job to decide what they believe is right for their child. No one else gets to say what is or isn't okay for their children. You and I can choose not to let our children do this routine or even take dance at this studio but we cannot tell these children that they are doing something wrong. I hope that this controversy doesn't keep these young ladies from dancing because they are CRAZY TALENTED!!

May 6, 2010

Le Jazz Hot!

Welcome to the my countdown to My Mother's 20th Annual Dance Recital. This is where I post a picture & story from the past each day until recital. Today happens to be... the 20th Dress Rehearsal at SCD!! That means... only 2 pics left!

"Le Jazz Hot"
Oh,  how I loved this piece! All my Teen & Senior girls in 2007! I miss the days that I dressed half my women as men. Awe, memories. What am I talking about?! Now I have real men!! 

Back to the wonderful "Le Jazz Hot" piece. The song itself is just amazing. From the Victor/Victoria soundtrack. The lovely Julie Andrews! I mean, you can't get much better than Julie Andrews. The accents you can hit choreographically with this song are fabulous. I had a ball doing this piece. And let's face it, I could not have done this one without my lady in red... Katie Parish. She was made for this one! I think the only thing I would change if I had this one to do all over again would be that I would have my "ladies" in heels and not jazz shoes. (This was before I decided that all my dancers would wear heels each year. Now, it is a must.) 
I don't remember if this piece won all that often. I thought they were fabulous but it was definitely a different kind of piece for competition. Very musical theater, no tricks or anything fancy. I just hate when things need to have fuete' turns or giant leaps when the piece itself would look so much better without all that non-sense. I do know that this routine was picked to dance in the showcase at JUMP! which means it was our highest studio score that day. Yippee! Yay girls! 

Regardless of how they scored it will remain in my top 5 favorite pieces I have ever choreographed. LOVE IT!!

May 5, 2010


Welcome to my trip down memory lane, where I am posting one SCD picture and story, a day,  from days gone by as a countdown to the 20th Annual Recital!! 

The birth of Hip Hop at SCD! Sure we have had all boys hip hop since year 1 and we always took hip hop at convention and such but this was our first real hip hop company routine. (Unless you count Jump! hehe) "Tiddlywinks" was performed by the teens and seniors in 2001! Gregg Russell did the choreography and they were awesome!

Now, for those of you that know My Mother's background in dance. Having her company do a hip hop routine was not only completely different from anything she had ever done but also genius! This is what makes her so great!! Hip Hop was not something that was trendy and going to go away. (Unlike the horrific thing most schools call contemporary these days.) Hip Hop, like it or not trinas, was here to stay. You cannot be a working dancer in today's world without training in all fields. The more you know the better. Instead of taking the snooty, I will not do hip hop route, she bit the bullet and her kids loved her for it. 

 For the "Shannon Moment" of this routine:  What the heck are Tiddlywinks? Why on Earth is a hip hop routine named Tiddlywinks? She also called them Skittles! Um, Mom they are dancing to "Rapper's Delight" by The Sugarhill Gang! Where did you get Tiddlywinks? Anyone? Got a clue on this one? Miss Michelle and I laugh about it daily!

May 4, 2010


Welcome to my trip down memory lane, where I am posting one SCD picture and story, a day,  from days gone by as a countdown to the 20th Annual Recital!! 
The studio has been very fortunate to be a part of big celebrations in the great state of Oklahoma. The first was HUGE for me as a kid. Not only because it was the biggest audience I had ever performed in front of or because I am a HUGE SOONER FAN, but because Sam Noble was an amazing man who had made an impact on my life!! 
Still at a loss... we danced several times in honor of the Sam Noble Museum of Natural History at the University of Oklahoma!! 

Our first performance was at Dad's Day! We were performed Jurassic Park with The Pride of Oklahoma! We still are the only non-university group to have done that!! We then went back in the spring and performed in the field house but this time just with our recorded music. Jurassic Park also happens to be the first routine we had ever win a Convention 1st Place Overall award. (and for you new kids... this was a BIG DEAL!! they only gave 1 out of 100 routines!! again, none of this everyone gets a trophy crap!) 

On a personal note: Jurassic Park was a really great event for my entire family. My brother was in the routine... He played Fred Flinstone. Oh the memories. My Uncle, who helped get us the gig, had these huge dinosaur balloons that he blew up at both events. And for my Daddy, well, the man calls Owen Field, Mecca! So, naturally he was just giddy. I have toured all over and danced in some pretty cool places but this remains one of the coolest. 

Another event that was super cool was also fairly recent. 
In 2007, the Great State of Oklahoma turned 100! The SCD Company was asked to perform in the Centennial Parade. It was a big honor. They were scarecrows and naturally Mom couldn't have them going empty handed... so all of them had brooms! Oh those brooms!! 

The scarecrows were a big hit! Everyone along the parade route loved them and talked about how energetic and fun they were. Miss Michelle was the ring leader and that made it even more fun! The parade aired on PBS live! Super cool. I attended and was pretty jealous that I was not out there dancing. They all looked great. And check your local school libraries because they are all listed by name in the Centennial book that was given to each school in Oklahoma. Again, I am jealous! 

May 3, 2010

Beat with a B-E-A-U-T-Y!

Welcome to my trip down memory lane, where I am posting one SCD picture and story from days gone by as a countdown to the 20th Annual Recital!!

"Body Beautiful"
Body Beautiful Baby! This dance was one of my favorites. I wasn't even in it! 

They mixed this song from the "To Wong Fu, Thanks for Everything! Love Judy Newmar" Soundtrack with Vogue by the obvious artist. They had stools and steps (the same steps that are currently being used by Miss America) and they had some fierce costumes. Amanda looked like a freakin' rock-star on those stairs and it was a new direction in choreography for Miss Shannon. 

On a personal note:  I never spell beautiful incorrectly because of this routine. I sing this song every time I write the word. Every time. No lie!! 

May 2, 2010

Double Trouble

Welcome to my trip down memory lane, where I am posting one SCD picture and story from days gone by as a countdown to the 20th Annual Recital!!
 "We Go Together"
 This may be a somewhat selfish post but hey, it's my blog so I can do that!

These two routines happen to hold a very special place in my heart. They were the first two routines that my mother ever allowed me to choreograph for competition. Yes, I did 2 little Jr. trios with my cousin Megan in years past but this... these were actual GROUPS!! While it may not seem like a big deal to anyone else, it was HUGE for me. 

I started my choreography with "We Go Together" and I can still remember every rehearsal I had with them. I was probably a little over confident in my abilities and my mother was just as willing as ever to allow me to teach these girls. (She must have had a back-up plan because I was only 14 years old and a freshman in high school!) I do remember after one rehearsal when Mom questioned if I was going to finish the routine in time for competition. Of course! Although, I admit I was a bit nervous about it myself. But have no fear... my girls didn't let me down. We finished and cleaned...And let me tell you... They got a Perfect Score at one of their competitions!! This was the beginning of a beautiful relationship... I have choreographed over 25 routines on these amazing dancers!
"Papa Ooo Mow Mow"

Now moving on to "Papa"! How I love these girls!! These girls broke the mold! I don't know why but for some reason we didn't have a lot of time to learn this routine so, we did something we never did back then and learned the entire routine in just 3 hours. We do this every August with almost every routine now, but back then that just seemed like way too much information at once. Oh, take another look at the picture... they are SEVEN!! Yup, that's right! These kids not only learned their routine in 3 hours but were the youngest of our company members! 
So, while these 2 groups of kids were my first real students they were also my saving grace. They may never know it but they helped me to survive high school. I hated everything about high school. I felt like an outsider with big boobs and dreams that others laughed about to my face. These girls grounded me and made me see the bigger picture. They made me feel like I belonged. They have always made me feel that way. I look forward to seeing them update their Facebook pages with pictures from college, weddings, and now their children. I'm not sure that Mom had this connection in mind when she allowed me to choreograph for them but it has been one of the best gifts I have ever received. 

I love you girls!!

May 1, 2010

The Blues Brothers!

Welcome to my trip down memory lane, where I am posting one SCD picture and story from days gone by as a countdown to the 20th Annual Recital!!
"Blues Brothers"
Oh the stories that come with this routine! 
This routine is my Daddy's all time favorite. Every time we bring up old dance routines Dad picks this one. It was a lot of fun to perform I will say that. 
Now, note I said fun to perform... NOT rehearse. I do not know why but I just hated rehearsing this routine. I watch videos of it now and all I can think is "why can't you all clap on the beat?!!" I just remember practicing that music change so many times and clapping and clapping. Apparently, there are those of us in this routine that are a little "rhythmically challenged!"   
Remember earlier this week when I said that Miss Shannon made us dance with our costumes? Well, she was at it again with this one. The younger girls in this routine stripped their suit pants and  gave them to us big girls. We then slid on our knees downstage (the front of the stage) playing the guitar! Yup, that's right! Those lil pants turned inside out and made bright blue guitars. Now, who thinks Miss Shannon does drugs? Nope not a one! She is naturally this nuts! This routine won quite a few awards if I remember correctly and I am sure that stripping those pants helped! :) 
We took this routine to Los Angeles in the summer of 1998 and performed at Encore Performing Arts Nationals! Unlike other nationals this was not a competition but a real show in downtown Los Angeles. You had to score high enough at their regional showcase to qualify. Obviously the whole group didn't go but a really good portion of us did. An alumni joined us and learned to routine and we added some younger siblings as well. There was a portion of the routine when 3 girls tumbled downstage. One of them happened to tumble right off the stage into the orchestra pit! Ahhh!!! Have no fear, those Bahner children are resilient! That child popped right back up and back onstage to finish the routine! A-mazing!

So friends, what was your favorite SCD routine of all time? Please comment and share!


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