What Makes a Dance Appeal to You?

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What Makes a Dance Appeal to You?

PattiForPM
Its clear that many of us differ when it comes to favourite Dances but we also agree about some Dances being ranked higher than others.  I'm interested in just what it is that makes certain Dances appeal to you personally.  Obviously there is no right or wrong here; it is largely about taste and opinion but I'd be grateful if you could spend a few moments trying to explain the factors you consider important when watching our favourite dancers perform.  I know our Comments Sections have allowed this to be expressed in a different forum but bear with me please.

I myself like to see a little comedy, a large dash of sex appeal, a good beat and some interesting close-ups but I don't want to go into too much detail yet as that might stunt the discussion.  Tell me, what do you look for? (And do feel free to give examples)  
Some Dancers who gave a good time, broke all the rules, played all the fools, yeah yeah yeah they blew our minds
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Re: What Makes a Dance Appeal to You?

RYAN
Administrator
The dancing aside, one thing i also take into consideration on this is the quality of song the dancers are performing to. Its very difficult to love a routine or have on ones favourites list if the song is below par or just plain boring. I do think that that helps with the two Blondie behemoths for example, both fine records indeed.

For me, of course sex appeal comes into it (and those interesting close-ups) but i generally wouldn't have that as my main criteria. Ive said many a time on the comments section that i enjoy close-ups of the dancers faces and the range of expressions they convey. Watching Rosie for example in `Blame It On The Boogie` is a sheer joy, with her natural exuberance coming to the fore in her over excited facial expressions.

I also like routines with stand-out moments of quality. An example of that is Sue's solo spot in `Spirits Havin Flown` in which she is gives a ten second master class of elegance.

Im also partial to routines where i find my my eyes darting about looking out for stuff, usually in the audience.

One criteria P4PM didn't mention in his intro was how folk must be naturally swayed by routines in which their favourite dancer features in, or in some cases stars in. I wont name them, but i can think of lots of routines that im drawn to by the quality of watching my favourite dancer perform in (particularly in her younger days).
RYAN
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Re: What Makes a Dance Appeal to You?

The Rubberband Man
I’ll answer this in terms of a routine, and it’s when my favourite girl looks directly into the camera and gives that trademark cutie pie smile of hers.... to me. From that briefest moment in “Shake, Shake, Shake” to the solo “Angel face” bit in “Hands Up”, those few seconds of camera play are what makes the ordinary routines become special routines. The pinnacle naturally being the opening 30 seconds or so of the phenomenal DPIDFI.

For a routine to become officially awesome, there’s a number of other factors that come into the mix. The record being danced to (slow records are at a big disadvantage), the sexy style of the costumes, the technicality of the routine (high leg kicks are good), flattering camera angles and unobtrusive overlays, and the addition of little bits of humour, all in the right measures combine to make some routines more watchable than others.
All bound for Lulu Land
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Re: What Makes a Dance Appeal to You?

PattiForPM
Thanks for your thoughtful replies lads.  I quite agree with those special looks for a favourite dancer RBM and Patti certainly manages to look my way a number of times such as in Don't Stop the Music.  The music quality also plays a role as Ryan suggests although really good dances can transcend and truly enhance an ordinary tune for me.  Costumes are a very big factor which I neglected to mention in my intro but I love some of the choices Flick made and the "what are they wearing for this song" surprise was wonderful in seeing a dance for the first time.  I await other opinions with interest and please don't worry if your criteria have already been mentioned as I am looking at the mix which influences different people
Some Dancers who gave a good time, broke all the rules, played all the fools, yeah yeah yeah they blew our minds
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Re: What Makes a Dance Appeal to You?

Old Grey Whistler
In reply to this post by PattiForPM
An interesting question. I will list some of the qualities that I like to see in a dance. Hardly any dances would include all of these but ideally most would include some

Originality: I like dances like Young Hearts Run Free, Love Hit Me, MaCarthur Park and Tragedy which are quite different and have their own unique identity

Meaningful: Rather than just performing any old moves to a song I like it when the choreography is really in tune to the lyrics. After The Love Has Gone is one of my all time favourites as is You Don't Bring Me Flowers, while I think Suicide Is Painless is very powerful and atmospheric and is probably the most underrated dance of all.

Quick Tempo: When I look back at the tens that I have given, probably 80% are to quick dances rather than the slow ones.  
Costume: Certain costumes can really enhance a routine. Sweet Talkin Woman and Don't Push It Don't Force It  for example
The quality of the set: It was always good when they made a bit of an effort to dress up the set like in After The Love Has Gone, Rainy Night In Georgia or Casanova.

If I like the song then it usually helps me to like the dance but there are occasions like with I Wish, How Deep Is Your Love and Don't Bring Me Down where I feel the songs were much better than the dances. On the other hand, I hate Ai No Corrida as a song but I love the dance.
I don't really have a favourite dancer. I just like them all as groups. As  a result I tend to like solo dances less.
Sex appeal isn't a major consideration as I think they always had that, apart from a few obvious examples such as Grandma's Party or The Smurf Song.
Apologies for such a long winded answer but it was a question that I found that I couldn't give a brief response to!

Without Legs & Co, there would be no show!
Doc
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Re: What Makes a Dance Appeal to You?

Doc
The music is vital, a great routine will be over shadowed if the music is awful. Heart of Glass has a huge head start over many routines because the song is so good. That said many poor songs got dragged into respectability by the girls.
Sandy Borne and Tricia Roberts Appreciation Society
Doc
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Re: What Makes a Dance Appeal to You?

Doc
In reply to this post by RYAN
RYAN wrote
One criteria P4PM didn't mention in his intro was how folk must be naturally swayed by routines in which their favourite dancer features in, or in some cases stars in. I wont name them, but i can think of lots of routines that im drawn to by the quality of watching my favourite dancer perform in (particularly in her younger days).
I'd have say that Rosie's major role in Heart of Glass certainly makes it stand out for me, it's not essential to the routine but it helps. One that I can think of straight away where this is not the case is Night Fever where there's something about Lulu that turns the others into supporting acts.
Sandy Borne and Tricia Roberts Appreciation Society
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Re: What Makes a Dance Appeal to You?

RYAN
Administrator
Doc wrote
One that I can think of straight away where this is not the case is Night Fever where there's something about Lulu that turns the others into supporting acts.
Yeah Lulu is as cute as a button in `Night Fever`, but i also look out for Rosie in it. I like the way she does her super confident strut walking.
RYAN
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Re: What Makes a Dance Appeal to You?

VintageVideos
This post was updated on .
In reply to this post by PattiForPM
There are lots of things I like about my favourite dances. The music, the message, the flow, and also the feeling.

I have to admit I'm not really interested in the technical side of the dances. It's nice to see a routine that appears to be technically demanding but that's in no way crucial to me.
First impressions are lasting impressions
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Re: What Makes a Dance Appeal to You?

PansLegs
In reply to this post by PattiForPM
If the choreography fits well with the soundtrack that's a very good start. That coupled with good coverage, so either an interesting mix of shots or a style that works well with fewer shots, sometimes even a single one (Wedding Bell Blues or Razzamatazz). A mix of close-ups and wide views probably works best, covering all bases. Flick always had an eye on humour and the odd nod to that works wonders during a routine but if it's overdone I find it starts to cross the line for me and begins to irritate.
The outfits chosen by Flick are certainly an influencing factor and there are certain one-piece types of costumes I detest - during the Pan's era these were mostly the flared trousers jump suit variety, whereas later Legs & Co would be afflicted with the dreadful leotards from time to time.

There will always be other factors that I find detrimental to the enjoyment of a routine for which no blame can be afforded to the dancers or Flick's choreography.
The record itself - if I don't like the soundtrack it will difficult not to lose a good few points here, but there are exceptions e.g. I Get a Kick Out of You
Audience - generally I detest audience participation or encroachment into shots as generally they looked so bloody uninterested, undeserving of being there and just obscure our view of the dancers. Luckily this was quite rare during the Pans era and when they were involved it was usually planned and choreographed accordingly by Flick so worked better. I can't stand Hot Love 1, but Let's See Action is fine.
Lighting/shots - As time went on obviously Flick did have greater control over how a routine was shot but sometimes things are just too dark (Midnight Rider, Funky Weekend)

So to sum up, if the choreography fits the record (which is a good one), there's good clear shots of the performance and faces, no audience, a smattering of humour, good outfits... then it should appeal greatly to me.
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Re: What Makes a Dance Appeal to You?

SuPaLu
This post was updated on .
In reply to this post by Doc
How i view dances has changed quite a bit since i first came to this site when Ruby Flipper were the dancers of the moment.The more dances i've seen by different troupes,the more i've learned to appreciate.
The best is when they do a great routine to a great record.Even when i don't  necessarily like the record i can usually find something i like about the dancing.
Part of the success of the TOTP dancers is the connection they make with us through their smiles and gestures to camera.Cherry in Mahogany looking straight through the camera all smiles with her arms out-stretched proves there doesn't even have to be any dancing for there to be a special moment in a routine.
Some routines work well as comedy eg Smurf Song or Ma Na Ma Na.They aren't my favourite type of routine but they are usually great fun and entertaining.
Technical dance ability is something i've learned to appreciate more and more.There is nothing better than watching dancers execute a difficult move;back-flips,cart-wheels,a male dancer holding a female over his head,leaping backwards onto someone's shoulder,doing the crab,the splits.
I love routines which are set in some stage setting eg After The Love Is Gone.I love the sun and the look of the beach.The dancing in this context can tell the story of the lyrics.I think Hot Gossip were able to do this far better eg the sets for Hardest Part or Another Brick In The Wall.
Sex appeal.Well for blokes it is very pleasing to watch beautiful women dancing.It is also of course very pleasing when they are in sexy clothes.However in an ironic twist two Legs routines where they wear bikinis(Lets Go Round Again & Bermuda Triangle)are the least interesting to me from a dancing point of view.Whereas HG's I Burn For You shows the great technical ability of all the dancers male and female so much so i'm less interested that the women are in gold bikinis and the blokes are in less.
Glenn
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Re: What Makes a Dance Appeal to You?

Everything'sRosie
In reply to this post by RYAN
It's a coming together of things, and trying to break it down into its constituent parts can prove near impossible. For me, I think, it's when a cracking tune has clearly got Flick's creative juices flowing. She really was a very special choreographer. To rattle off a few I have a special affection for: Tragedy, Love's Unkind, Sunday Girl, Say When, Razzamatazz, for example; with these the music and original (often humorous) moves just fit like a glove. Add to that the obvious charisma the girls had and the magic flows. It's always a joy to see someone doing what they love to do, and I always get that feeling with them. It shows in their smiles with an authenticity that can't be faked. That's all I can offer, I'm afraid. To over-analyse can break the spell and I'd rather react at a visceral level.  
Queens of My Soul
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Re: What Makes a Dance Appeal to You?

VintageVideos
Everything'sRosie wrote
To over-analyse can break the spell and I'd rather react at a visceral level.
Completely agree. Even though there are some criteria that affect my appreciation of a routine, I wouldn't like to dissect my favourite dances.
First impressions are lasting impressions
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Re: What Makes a Dance Appeal to You?

PattiForPM
Thanks again for all these posts and the insights they contain.  I have a lot of sympathy with the notion of a feeling from these Dances which is difficult to describe and as ER notes it is easy to be over-analytical  and not just accept the joy or emotion imparted.  Despite this I do find it interesting to see what appeals (and does not appeal) to each of you and I think the fit between the music and the Dance is always a big factor.  Tragedy certainly provides a great example of this for me too.  I also very much like the point made about the ladies seeming to enjoy their craft and this adding to the enjoyment for their audience.  I am also glad that some of people's bugbears such as PansLegs' audience interference and the special effects and lighting are attracting mention as they certainly have an influence.  Just watch Disco Inferno!
Some Dancers who gave a good time, broke all the rules, played all the fools, yeah yeah yeah they blew our minds
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Re: What Makes a Dance Appeal to You?

Suefan
Like ER I also think there is definitely a certain visceral gut-feeling as to which routines absolutely hit the spot which goes beyond conscious reasoning, but elements that draw one in include inventive choreography, great dance execution, appealing costumes, unusual setting, connection with the viewer, or a combination of all or some of these elements.  In certain cases there might also be a reminder of past events or places which strikes an additional unique chord.  Such is the case, along with its smashing choreography, wonderful dancing, superb costumes, and high-impact connection, in my great fondness for Silver Lady (x4).

When it comes to the fit between the dance and the song this must also have a bearing.  However, unless the song is so absolutely dire as to be a complete and utter stinker this in itself isn't a massive factor in influencing my enjoyment of the routine.  For me the dances invariably enhance my enjoyment of the songs as without the dance addition I shouldn't probably listen to many of them.

The occasional foray with special effects can also add interest and appeal, and provided such forays are indeed only occasional I don't tend to mind them.  What I'm much less fond of is the inclusion/interference of the audience.  In SF world it is almost always preferably for them to have been banished from shot although again there are exceptions.  For instance Sue's supercharged exuberance to one of the Stars on 45 medley outings has even more added punch because of her interaction with supposed audience participants.
Suefan
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Re: What Makes a Dance Appeal to You?

AC/PD
Legs & Co. certainly delivered with regard to providing entertainment and enjoyment to the watching millions, raising the spirits through their many and varied interpretations. One particular aspect which boosts the pleasure they provide is when the overall cheeriness is noticeably evident through the expressions and interactions captured during the routines by the dancers themselves, the entertainers absorbing and making apparent their own enjoyment of the dance. Not only are the viewers enjoying the performance, the dancers are too!
A secret ingredient to the Legs & Co. dish, the personal personnel pleasure is by no means an essential asset to the base requirements for dance enjoyment but certainly tickles the taste-buds, leaving a warm glow in the pit of the stomach. Instances which can still be tasted include Sue's finger-pointing admonishment of Floid in You're The One That I Want, her stern expression giving way to a broad smile (Only just recalled is the moment in the same dance when, after her ditzy solo spot, Rosie returns to the podium kept warm by Floid and receives a smile from a nearby young lady - she's happy). Further moments of inter-act interactions which radiate warm satisfaction include the glance between Lulu and Gill as Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough, the shining, happy people look between Rosie and Lulu when accompanying the Gibson Brothers for Marianna and Gill's welcoming wave for Anita in Ain't No Stopping, a routine with such togetherness which shows how Legs & Co. are almost a single entity.
Having legs on show also aids the appeal.
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Re: What Makes a Dance Appeal to You?

PattiForPM
Thanks again for these insights.  I am like SF in that certain dances bring back certain memories of times gone by (much as songs can do) and this gives them special value.  I also like ACPD's PPP concept and some great examples there of endearing little featurettes within dances which definitely add to our enjoyment.  Let's face it there are many reasons to enjoy the Dances and as Ryan often notes (and Doc has proven) even after many years you can still notice additional features
Some Dancers who gave a good time, broke all the rules, played all the fools, yeah yeah yeah they blew our minds