Monday, November 12, 2012

Switching Dances Off the Centerpoint

Switching Dances Off the Centerpoint 121112

When you switch dances when doing either Freestyle or Sequenced choreography the place to do it is the centerpoint of the dance. Almost all dance makers now start their dances at the centerpoint with the avatar facing forward. The dance loops at the centerpoint so the motion is smooth at the loop. This makes it much easier to switch dances at the loop because the dancer is at the centerpoint for the ending of one dance and the beginning of the next dance.

But, what if you want to switch a dance away from the centerpoint? Maybe, you like only the first part of a dance or the music makes a change. If you switch to another dance that starts at the centerpoint, you get a noticeable jump.

There is another solution ... use dances that start off the centerpoint. There are three types of dances that start off the centerpoint:
  1. Couples Dances - The individual parts of couples dances start off the centerpoint.
  2. Chair Dances - These dances start either behind or next to the centerpoint about 1 m
  3. Sequenced dances - These are dances that contain two or more animations that are done in a  sequence. The Michael Jackson sequence from Sine Wave or the TIS Mega dances are examples. Snuma Whitfield also offers sequenced dances on SL Marketplace for free.
Here is the start of Snuma's dance HR3_4 on the choreography grid taken from above. This dance starts about 1 m to the right.

It is a challenge using dances that start off the centerpoint since you have to match your desired switching point from the first dance (Dance A) with the starting point of the off-centerpoint dance (Dance B). Also, if you want to switch from the off-centerpoint dance (Dance B) to a different dance that starts at the centerpoint (Dance C), you have to find a place where the off-centerpoint dance crosses the centerpoint.

I think this is a niche dance area that needs filling. I would love to see a pack of off-centerpoint transition dances of maybe 2 or 3 seconds each of different styles. For example, they could be categorized as starting 1 m to the left of the avatar with a pack containing hiphop, house, latin and other styles. Another pack could start 1 m left and 1 m back with hiphop, house, latin and other  styles. All of these transition dances should move the dancer back to the centerpoint in 2 or 3 seconds.