The Wedding Gigger

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Call me crazy, but I don’t really care for those gigs where someone browses the photos on your website and picks out which costume they want you to wear. This creeps me out. Or when they ask you to create a special dance just for them to Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You.” This is why I generally steer clear of wedding gigs.  There is something about the planning of a “special day” a once in a lifetime event (we hope it’s once in a lifetime right, but all us performers make bets on it by the way) that makes people crazy and think they’re Bob Fosse or  Nigel from SYTYCD. And just for the record there are just as many Groom-zillas lurking out there as Bride-zillas. “I’d like some flamingo! Oh yes! But you know, not too much of the awful singing stuff – you know something light and fun like Gypsy Kings!” *

These special-requesters tend to be people who will never be pleased with anything you do so generally when I get their phone calls I try to give them a really high bid so they won’t hire me.  But here’s the thing about wedding gigs: They pay you. Pretty well. and. . . most people DO want to have a beautiful day so once I get past the booking and actually do the dancing, they can be kind of fun and lovely: someone else’s once in a lifetime event where I get paid to dance and eat their buffet. 

Recently I was asked to choreograph one such number – it can’t even be described as flamenco really, so I’ll call it a Wedding Rumba.  It is a very good example of something one can do at a wedding and please the general audience.  Fun, high energy.

*A special educational note: “real” flamenco is supposed to have a live singer, guitar, and palmas. Most people don’t want to pay for all this, however and there is always a fine line to walk between educating audiences and giving into what they want. Although, I prefer working with live musicians, I tend to be a little more liberal-minded when it comes to these things on the flamenco spectrum.

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About Holly Shaw

Holly Shaw is a San Francisco Bay Area dancer and choreographer who has performed as a soloist with Yaelisa and Caminos Flamencos off and on for several years. Shaw is the creator of the Eve’s Elixir project, a platform for artists of contemporary world dance wanting to bring new ideas to traditional dance forms, and has produced several shows in San Francisco. Her flow between contemporary modern dance, flamenco and Middle-eastern styles makes her a unique choreographer. Shaw has spent years training Bay Area dancers in technique and improvisation, challenging them to dance from a deeper level and uncover their unique style.

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