Graziella Baratta Ventura, former Ms. United States 2008, triple threat, dance and fitness pro, and image consultant shares her latest thoughts and projects.

Monday, November 30, 2009

The WOW Factor is in the Sense of the Beholder

A "wow" factor doesn't always come from the most difficult of feats. In fact, it's all in the "illusion", and what is most pleasing to the eye...
or any other sense for that matter. I am talking about dance and choreography here, but I think this idea applies to many things...such
as cooking, fine art, fashion, makeup, literature, you name it. Sometimes simple= spectacular.

There is so much that goes into a great show that it isn't always obvious to the average person. I've recently worked with a college
dance team to "clean" and prepare their choreography for performance. The girls I work with are very talented, but it takes great
patience, perseverance and practice to get a group of 15, 20, even 4 dancers to all be in sync. Their choreography wasn't all that
technically advanced, but I spent hours defining and refining each and every 8-count. If the movements are simple, but the entire
group dances as a unit, it can be amazing to watch. Even as a soloist, sometimes simpler is better because the audience doesn't
have to "think" so much, they just sit back and enjoy the simplicity of the art.

What I've learned in my 10+ years in the dance industry is that simple can yield a "wow." I started to realize this in my early competition
years in high school and college when I would include in my routines things like triple turns, switch leaps, a russian jump into a split,
a leg extension fall into a split, heck- anything ending in a split! I did nothing but horrify half of my audience who feared for my safety,
while the other half clapped with glee. When I began to replace my death defying tricks with simpler choreography, I gained more
points and applause- go figure!! The simple= spectacular idea holds true especially with a large group of dancers, making it easier to
create a "clean," audience- pleasing performance. But don't be mistaken, simple doesn't mean easy. Making a dance clean is
tedious work. In fact, this assistant choreographer does nothing but "clean" the routines of the New York Radio City Rockettes-

Next time you're itching to outdo yourself & impress, reconsider the basics and polish them to the max like the Rockettes do!