Author Topic: Dance skits.. why?  (Read 2917 times)

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Offline veraca

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Dance skits.. why?
« on: September 08, 2011, 02:04:26 am »
I realize we had a new category for dance skits this year, but... Why?

I know they generally require effort and work, but there were so many this year and were back to back, that from what I can tell that's why the audience choice was a Chair. Really. Not just one, either. Four chairs on stage with rave music and lights. When a chair can beat out all the actual competitors that's just pretty sad.

Is there a way it can be better organized in the future perhaps?

I don't want to be cruel and mean and say to ban all dance skits, because out of the many, two were pretty nice to see. But on the flip side, I heard another convention had a special Dance Competition so that any skits that were of the Dance category were to be put into the competition.

I thought the Cosplay Contest generally was for Skits (dialogue) and Walk-On's. Not for dance skits and showing off your choreography, as cool as it may be.

Please do not get me wrong. I enjoy seeing dance skits. But a cosplay contest that felt like 70% dance skits, and 30% skits (excluding the walk-ons, and the 2 or 3 skits that count more toward walk-on), is probably why the audience got bored and voted for a chair. I loved Chair, yes. I didn't vote for it. I'm still numb with shock it won Audience Choice. That is one proud Hilton Hotel, holding an Audience Choice Award plaque in their lobby for a... chair.

At the very least, could someone explain the difference between the Traditional skit and the Dance skit awarding? If they have a different set of awards based on costume and dancing difficulty that can be explained to the public during the awarding at the end, that would be nice to know.
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Offline majinekochan

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Re: Dance skits.. why?
« Reply #1 on: September 08, 2011, 08:48:27 am »
As far as I could tell, there wasn't seperate awards for dance skits. So why have a seperate category?

Offline oslapedo

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Re: Dance skits.. why?
« Reply #2 on: September 08, 2011, 12:39:48 pm »
I agree, dance "skits" should have their own show or simply not be allowed. If my friends weren't always in the costume contest I wouldn't bother going because having to sit through so many repetitive dance routines is a bore.
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Offline superjaz

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Re: Dance skits.. why?
« Reply #3 on: September 08, 2011, 12:43:59 pm »
Once thing I was wondering some of the skits seemed like a lip synch prefomace, it feels more like it should be in the karaoke contest.

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Offline veraca

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Re: Dance skits.. why?
« Reply #4 on: September 08, 2011, 01:03:52 pm »
The Nyan girls were adorable and made that entire room silent cause we didn't want to scare them, and wanted to hear. It was the most respectable audience ever. I was thoroughly impressed by the audience during their performance.

But, I hate to say, that lip synching one felt way too long, was hard to hear the lyrics which seemed to be the point, and they were kind of awkward. No real harm to their costumes meant, but the choreography wasn't the best. I hate to say the same thing about Ninja of the Night's skit. After seeing them so much and seeing their sound effects and 2-person choreographed one at AkiCon2010, this skit was.. kind of mediocre. Especially compared to other skits I've seen from the group.

If they are going to do dance skits as a cateogory, perhaps having a different set of awards and judging would be needed, since we already have it for the Costumes and the Skits. That said, I realize it's harder for the judges to have 3 different criteria in mind when judging, but don't they do that several hours earlier in the day before it's shown to the public anyway?

And if it does become too chaotic to have the dances during the normal contest, it could be theoretically seperated into two different contests at two different times. I'd really feel bad if they were banned based on this year's or past years, because almost always there are dance skits, there's usually at least one or two that people don't mind as much.
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Offline Runa

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Re: Dance skits.. why?
« Reply #5 on: September 08, 2011, 06:37:08 pm »
<snip>
If they are going to do dance skits as a category, perhaps having a different set of awards and judging would be needed, since we already have it for the Costumes and the Skits. That said, I realize it's harder for the judges to have 3 different criteria in mind when judging, but don't they do that several hours earlier in the day before it's shown to the public anyway?

And if it does become too chaotic to have the dances during the normal contest, it could be theoretically separated into two different contests at two different times. I'd really feel bad if they were banned based on this year's or past years, because almost always there are dance skits, there's usually at least one or two that people don't mind as much.

We added the dance skit category because people wanted us to score dance skits differently from regular skits. We 20 skit entries - 9 dance skits and 11 regular skits.

We judged 37 costumes from NOON to 4 PM; 22 were walkons, the rest were people who later entered skits.

 Skits are never judged during the tech rehearsal because we don't do the complete skit at that time and the judges are not present. So the skits are always judged during the cosplay contest. The judges - who were our 3 Guests of Honor - were instructed that the criteria for assessing regular skits was on the acting, writing, lip synch with recording and other acting-related criteria while the dance skits were to be assessed based upon choreography, synchronization, and other dancing related criteria. After each act, we quickly discussed what we saw and wrote the average score on the judging sheets.

The three Guests of Honor were told that they could make up whatever awards they wanted to and that the only "requirement" was that they pick a "Best in Show" as the top prize. The information they had for each entry was skit type ( dance/regular), entrant skill level (novice, Journeyman, master) and group member badge types (child, minor or adult). They deliberated and came up with the final list of prizes. I believe they felt it was more important to maintain the differentiation between beginner, intermediate and expert entries than it was to differentiate between whether the entrants danced or acted (besides, they'd already used differing criteria when scoring them initially).

We have no control over the quality or quantity of entries. If we'd made dance entries a separate event, then we would have had only 11 skits and someone would likely have complained that there were too many walkons (22) and not enough skits. I advertise cosplay as much as possible trying to encourage more skit entries. I've set up "appointment times" for tech rehearsal and costume judging so that in general most entrants will be hanging out no more than a half hour waiting for their turn (most other conventions, by the way, will NOT let the entrants leave until everyone has done the tech rehearsal and costume judging). If you can find a way to recruit 30 groups to perform regular skits, then all those entries would nudge out the dance skits you don't wish to see.
« Last Edit: September 08, 2011, 06:39:27 pm by Runa »

Offline veraca

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Re: Dance skits.. why?
« Reply #6 on: September 09, 2011, 01:06:30 am »
Thank you for clearing that up for me, Runa.

I realize now why it'd be harder to request the judges to make different awards for the Dances and the Costume/Skits if they were doing them on the spot. I always had imagined the set-up at the rehearsal was almost a complete rundown of the music to make sure it was working properly?

I'm not holding the staff responsible for the quality of the dance skits, but I do understand what you mean about people then asking "why were there so many walk-on's?" if there were so few traditional skits entered.

I do still wonder if it'd be plausible to hold the dance skits in their own event, seeing as how it got a fair amount of attention this year as it's own category, and how we almost always seem to have at least 3 dance skits. Though, I guess in that regard, 3 dance skits for an average is not enough to merit it's own event.

I am curious if there'll be different dance skit criteria mentioned in the awarding? I probably am blanking on it, but I can't think of the Nyan girls or the Moogles, or NOTN, having gotten anything other then the normal awards I've heard before. Would it be odd to give them some sort of specialty dance award, such as Novice/Journeyman/Master Dance skits, or just a single "Best Dance Skit" award?
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Offline Washougal_Otaku

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Re: Dance skits.. why?
« Reply #7 on: September 09, 2011, 10:41:02 am »
I know they generally require effort and work, but there were so many this year and were back to back, that from what I can tell that's why the audience choice was a Chair. Really. Not just one, either. Four chairs on stage with rave music and lights. When a chair can beat out all the actual competitors that's just pretty sad.

That's not really the full issue.  My skit, for example, featured a chair, and there was no dancing in it.  Well, maybe a little shaking of the hips to the Zoot Suit Riot, but that was it.  The chair was a frequent thing, and it didn't help that the MC "added" that you could vote for the chair, too.  I'm willing to be money that if this wasn't said, then the chair would've had a lot less votes.
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Offline oslapedo

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Re: Dance skits.. why?
« Reply #8 on: September 09, 2011, 11:13:06 am »
Me and my friends added a chair on our tickets before he said that. It sounds like you're blaming a silly audience on your lack of appraisal, but in actuality your skit was just incomprehensible and confusing.
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Offline Washougal_Otaku

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Re: Dance skits.. why?
« Reply #9 on: September 09, 2011, 11:20:49 am »
^ I didn't say that everyone who wrote it did so on account of Zach Marsh, did I?  And as for me, I don't really give a crap if anyone voted for me or not.  I wouldn't have voted for me, either.  There were a few that would've won my vote over me.  I wasn't even trying, really.
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Offline Jamiche

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Re: Dance skits.. why?
« Reply #10 on: September 09, 2011, 01:25:57 pm »
Guys, keep it cordial.  You can agree to disagree on this issue.

The vote happened... whether or not we choose to keep this as an option is something to be discussed over the next year, AFTER elections and staff sign-ups.  Same can be said of dance skit vs other skit.

You are more than welcome do state your opinion on the issue... bickering is not welcome here.
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Offline TurboSaiyanJason

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Re: Dance skits.. why?
« Reply #11 on: September 13, 2011, 03:38:41 pm »
IMO the dance skit category did add a new twist from the same-old of previous years.

And actually Washougal, if it came down to one-person skits I would have picked yours over mine. I know mine was funny and silly, but yours looked more organized AND had a good dose of humor. You actually were a good example to me of how a solo skit can do just as good as a 5 or 10 person skit. I had doubts about my own entry, but I still walked out there and did what I could to make the crowd smile.

Also keep in mind that the crowd we live, work, and cosplay among appeals to randomness. It's possible that if you ask anyone who was in the audience, other than underwear on someone's head (my skit), inanimate objects doing a skit all their own is about as random as you could get, at least this year.
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Offline veraca

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Re: Dance skits.. why?
« Reply #12 on: September 14, 2011, 01:00:53 am »
Very true. And really, the chairs were during the half-time portion, weren't they? It was something to keep the crowd entertained. I was more surprised by the mini-rave that happened during Closing Ceremonies honestly, because I could see that going really bad fast...

That said. Since people will continue on with Dance Skits, is there any form of suggestions people could give to these brave souls who want to dance in front of a large crowd? Such as dances to try a learn, a suggestion for length and maybe lighting effects if you want it? I'd say suggest a type of music to help the crowd get into it, but that is up to personal preference.
Though I feel a performance done lip-synching to a song to which the lyrics aren't well heard and it just... looked awkward... How could that be improved? More movements, different version of the song...?

Also, if the Walk-On's are all organized together (during the performance), could it be Dance Skits go after and then the Skits?

And I'm still wondering about those short walk-on seeming dance/skits that were so short, I would've pegged them more as Walk-On material.
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Offline majinekochan

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Re: Dance skits.. why?
« Reply #13 on: September 14, 2011, 08:45:12 am »
my advice for dance skits:
DON'T just get up there and do 3 minutes of caramel dansen, UNLESS you actually do the full dance, or have more of a plot to it, as in "why" are they caramel dansen. Is dancing it gonna save the world or something?

DO make sure your cooreography fits your characters and that you can do it in costume. Also KNOW your cooreography, there's nothing quite like getting up on stage and forgeting it all.

DO Pick a style of dance you're comfortable doing. If you don't know ballet, don't do a ballet skit.

DO Dance well, UNLESS that's your schtick.

Offline Washougal_Otaku

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Re: Dance skits.. why?
« Reply #14 on: September 14, 2011, 02:13:35 pm »
And actually Washougal, if it came down to one-person skits I would have picked yours over mine. I know mine was funny and silly, but yours looked more organized AND had a good dose of humor. You actually were a good example to me of how a solo skit can do just as good as a 5 or 10 person skit. I had doubts about my own entry, but I still walked out there and did what I could to make the crowd smile.

Wow, thanks.  Honestly, I only worked on it for about two days.  I just came up with the idea and slapped stuff together.  Thank you for the compliment, though.
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Offline Runa

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Re: Dance skits.. why?
« Reply #15 on: September 15, 2011, 05:01:28 pm »
my advice for dance skits:
DON'T just get up there and do 3 minutes of caramel dansen, UNLESS you actually do the full dance, or have more of a plot to it, as in "why" are they caramel dansen. Is dancing it gonna save the world or something?

DO make sure your cooreography fits your characters and that you can do it in costume. Also KNOW your cooreography, there's nothing quite like getting up on stage and forgeting it all.

DO Pick a style of dance you're comfortable doing. If you don't know ballet, don't do a ballet skit.

DO Dance well, UNLESS that's your schtick.

Sounds like fodder for a panel....or at least something to add to the Skits 101 class that we frequently offer at Kumoricon.


As for the RULES, the Dance skits do have to fit in the same time limit as the regular skits. The only reason we have not been strongly enforcing the time limit rule up until now is because there were so few entries that allowing one or two to go overtime wasn't going to cause any issues. If we wind up with a far larger number of entries, then we will definitely be watching the clock as well as judging content.

Next year, I will be sure that they mention that "Chair" is NOT allowed since it is not an entrant (its appearances on stage are "exhibition" only). We only mentioned Chair's "win" at Closing Ceremonies because we were shocked at the large number of votes it pulled in.  ::)

Offline veraca

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Re: Dance skits.. why?
« Reply #16 on: September 21, 2011, 06:49:25 pm »
That's a good idea to get something into the Skits 101 panels, since so many groups like to add in dancing of some sort into their performances.

Speaking of "Chair", when I saw how many votes it got I thought it was a joke honestly o.o; So many! Only at a convention I suppose.
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Offline xxToki

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Re: Dance skits.. why?
« Reply #17 on: August 21, 2012, 12:22:39 am »
I suppose the dance skits would win more approval by the audience if they weren't overrun by some pretty generic dances. ^^; From my personal experiences -- dance skits, when done well, are always the most entertaining and impressive for me to watch. I keep getting butterflies when I think about my group performing our dance skit this year that we choreographed on our own.
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Offline Runa

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Re: Dance skits.. why?
« Reply #18 on: August 25, 2012, 12:55:16 pm »
Again, it will be up to the judges as to whether or not they give prizes for "regular" vs "dance" skits, or for each skill level... much of the decision for how to award prizes is based upon the distribution of entries in each category, which won't be known for certain until the time of the competition.

Generally speaking, there have to be at least 3 entries in any particular category, otherwise, it would have to be combined with others (the ONLY exception to that rule is for youth/child entries, where we award a prize even if there is only one entry, rather than combine them with Novice.)  This is what happened w/ dance vs regular skits last year - there weren't enough in each category, so the judges decided to not separate them. The DID score the skit types appropriately, but chose to award prizes differently. We'll see what happens this year.

Also: we are trying one more time with the "audience choice". Remember: CHAIR is NOT allowed to be selected as a "winner" because its performance this year (sitting on stage being a chair) will be a repeat of last year's "performance" and it's therefore not eligible for anything.

PS: someone has made a lolita "chair-tan" costume... hmmmm wonder who THAT is?  ;)