Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Tainted victory

I was so engaged by the Dance Queens Awards. I can admit to being competitive, I was raised by people who thought that was important. As I monitored the nominations, my excitement grew. All the big names were there. People I have worked with, people I have learned from, people whose work I have long admired. Legends. And us amongst them.

I'll not be disingenuous - I believe we are the best dance show working the grid right now [edit: at least, I did think that, til I saw what IMAGE are doing]. I took all of the things I observed in other dance shows, added it to what I know about live music audiences, mixed it up with some monkey spit and an overweening need to control everything with my name on it, and set up a show I would want to go to see. I work damned hard, seven days a week, and we produce a fresh and original show every single week, for almost two years. I don't know who else is doing that, because I don't go to other shows, because if I did, my dancers would never make it through rehearsal. But I do know I wanted the dancers I work with on the nominations list. I think they're worthy.

So as our names were added to those illustrious others who are famous across the grid, I felt we were taking our place amongst them. I felt it was right. We draw upwards of 60 avatars every week to our show, despite the fact it is on at midnight. Again, I don't know which other shows can say that - but it's a pretty impressive feat. I've always taken it to mean we are doing what we do right.

I even got my nails done!
Coming into the voting week, I was told we couldn't win anything. We were outsiders, unknown, and it seemed as though at least one committee member was actively campaigning against us, with mixed up schedules and disappearing nominations. We were determined to show up anyway, or at least, I was, because I really loved this concept. Our own awards! Peer recognition! An awards ceremony! Seriously, I thought all of those things were a really cool addition to the way I live my Second Life.

And then I was asked to present, which was just icing. Oh, hello Mohna Lisa Couture, I will be needing a new gown! Even though the awards ceremony started at midnight in my reality, I was determined to be there.

And then guess what happened?

We won. We won a lot. We won so many I couldn't find any more original ways to say thank you, and you three who read this know I am not short on words.

It was glorious, amazing. Our group chat was full of joy and wonder, especially as dancers in different timezones logged on and learned what was happening. It was just so unlikely, we cleaned up, and to this minute, I do not know how. I mean ... we gave the voters all the access we could. We supplied what videos we could, we provided links to photos, and of course there were shows they could attend. But these things are so often a case of people rounding up their friends to vote for them. And we didn't think we had any to round up, so we didn't.

I went to bed at 5.30am and woke at 11am. For a few minutes I just lay there thinking "wow ... wow .... wow". It's a long time since that has happened to me. I may have been a child the last time I was that happy.

And today, as my muse crept up on me and started whispering in my ear, I thought, "you know what? Bugger the secrecy and competition, I think I want to blog my creative process" . I was so inspired by the camaraderie, the open-hearted generosity of spirit that it took to make these awards happen. I thought I could extend that feeling, explain what makes me "tick", what makes me dance, engage with commentators, if they exist. Enjoy the dancing aspect of my dancing. And share it.

And I will still do that ... I guess ...

As I opened my blog to write the first post, to share the song I am going to work on, and tell you what ideas I have for it, I noticed there was a new post on the Dance Queens blog.

Nottoo Wise, who came up with the Cuties concept is stepping away from the process. I don't know her very well, we don't chat, but as an avid follower of the blog, it is all too apparent that she's been under immense pressure from people who think something completely opposed to my experience of the awards. And in case you're thinking "well that's easy for you to say, you won," let me confess, that I, too, made my complaints about the process known to her. I had my say :-(

I cannot tell you how awful it all feels now.

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