Huge congratulations to Cheryl Stenz and the Newtown High School dance team! After winning their conference title a few weeks ago, yesterday they won the Connecticut State Championship in the lyrical category with their Turn To Stone routine. The music for this routine was edited by Squirrel Trench Audio. Here is their winning routine:
Just finished remixing a fun mashup of several songs, including Britney Spears’ Work Work, into a unique solo routine for a young dancer in Bethel, Alaska. This unique remix features custom drum and bass additions for an exciting, never-before-heard audio foundation for choreography. Here’s what her mom had to say after listening to the finished piece:
“THANK YOU MORRISS!!!
I love it, and my daughter keeps saying, ‘That is sooo cool!’
It is perfect!”
In the online world, vast distances can be spanned with a single email. Thanks to the internet, working from Western Massachusetts, I have edited and remixed songs for dancers, not only all over the United States, but also in Australia and Canada.
So it wasn’t too big of a surprise when I got a music remix request from a repeat client who lives in Bethel, Alaska last week. When Delilah Hodge contacted me last year, I noted that she was in Alaska, but didn’t really think much further about it. But when she emailed me for a couple of new songs to be edited and remixed, I was a little bit more curious since my brother and his wife live in Fairbanks, Alaska. Not being completely familiar with the state, I searched on Google Maps to find out how far of a drive it is from Bethel to Fairbanks. You would think that that is a reasonable request to ask of Google Maps, but there is only one hitch…. you can’t! There are no roads from Bethel to Fairbanks, nor from Bethel to anywhere else. The only way in or out of the town is via river or air.
So this got me curious…. what is life in Bethel like? And even more interestingly, what is DANCE in Bethel like? I mean, how many dance students can there be in a town of 6,000 people, where the people are probably outnumbered by moose, and surrounded by miles upon miles of vast frozen tundra? I had to find out, so I asked Delilah to tell me a little bit about her dancers! If there is a dance studio in Bethel, I would like to know what their name is and more about it!
Here is what Delilah told me about dance in Bethel:
“The name of our dance team is Delta Illusion Dance Company. To make a very long story short, our town is extremely transient and if you’re not born here you came up to work. For three years we had a lady teaching dance in our town. She worked full-time at the Dental Clinic, and taught dance classes in the evenings and on weekends. Looking back, I realize how much she truly loved dance because she must have been dead tired after working all day, yet she never got frustrated or upset when children didn’t listen or parents (who knew nothing about dance at that point) complained about the price of tap shoes and leotards.In 2008, the dance teacher asked the parents if they would be interested in forming a competition team. Five parents agreed, although we had no idea what she was talking about. We we lured in by the costumes, the fact that our girls would keep active (which is important in a small town), and the added bonus that we would all get to travel to San Diego. When we got to StarPower in San Diego, we were amazed by the level of dance and intensity the other teams brought. Not to take away from our teacher, but we were recreational dancers with girls who still needed reminders about pointing toes and looking up. That trip opened our girls’ eyes and made them more serious about dance. It made them realize there was more to dance than just going to a class every evening. They were hooked.In 2009 the dance teacher and her husband decided they wanted to move closer to their roots and start a family. We were devastated, but she agreed to do a year of classes/comp routines via Skype. She met us for a comp in Vancouver and that was our last time with her.This part is where the true blessing/kismet/miracle happens. In 2010, four parents were determined to continue dance for our girls but were struggling with figuring out how. One of the parents contacted a studio in Florida she had sent her daughter to for summer camp. The owner of [Studio] in Florida has been an absolute blessing to us! She agreed to have the four girls come down for 2 weeks in the summer and lent us a studio and her two comp team instructors. We have been working with them ever since! Over the years, through pure randomness (or miracles, as I believe they are) We have found other people who help. Two women who live in L.A. help with choreographing and cleaning routines. One of the staff members for our school district took tap from the age of 2 and offered some classes when she was here. She moved in 2012, but this fall we finally got her to come up once a month and instruct. An Optometrist in town has danced since she was little and will help out when she has time. The biggest stroke of luck occurred when we found out that one of our teachers in a tiny village is married to a well-known Russian dancer, who retired after 20 years with the Russian Ballet. We try to fly him to Bethel as often as we can, but as of right now that is one weekend every other month. His wife is talking about transferring to Bethel next year!The four original parents got a business license and pretty much started a dance studio. Although we have no actual studio hence the name Delta ‘Illusion’, our community has been very supportive by letting us practice free of charge in school gyms and cafeterias along with the gym at our local college. We do the the comp team which has traveled to many cities in the lower 48, but we also offer dance classes and a week long bootcamp for the community to give back and spread our love of dance. When teachers are not in town, one of the parents holds practices and cleans routines. You would be surprised at how much we have learned about dance, considering only one parent had any dance experience and that was high school cheer.The team started with just 4 girls but has now expanded to 23 members (including 3 boys).Although this condensed version of the story makes it seem as though everything just fell into place (which in a way it has), there have been many ups-and-downs and obstacles. The one thing I have learned is that if you are truly passionate about something, there is a way to make it happen.”
Just got finished creating a custom pom routine remix for a dance teacher in Lexington, Tennessee. This fun remix was just under two minutes in length, and featured five songs with spiced-up rhythms and beats, all at a tempo of 142 Beats Per Minute (BPM). I hope the studio has great results with it! If you need custom music for a Pom routine, just send an email! Here’s what Whitney had to say about the finished mix:
“Thanks Morriss! I love it!!!! You will definitely have a repeat customer! Thank you for giving so much attention to the details- you created a lot of depth with this piece of music.”– Whitney Durham, Nov 6, 20131852 Dance, Lexington, Tennessee
It’s been quite busy for music remixes and edits over the past several weeks. One of the latest requests is a Michael Jackson song re-edited/remixed for a 7-year-old tapper, with a duration of 2:20 for the routine. Michael Jackson was an amazing musician, singer, dancer and entertainer. Pretty much every one of his songs has a catchy beat and great structure. He is one of my favorite artists for music editing and remixing.
After completing and uploading the latest MJ remix for the tap routine, the dance parent had this to say upon first listen:
“Oh my goodness, this is PERFECT!! You are a genius! Thanks so much!”
It’s great to know that another tapper will have a spectacular remix to dance with. When you are ready for flawless music which is a cut above the rest for your next dance routine, just let me know.
I am beaming proud of Shaunessey for her best performance to date… which garned her being awarded the Number One tap routine in her age category, as well as the First Place soloist in the 9-11 age category at this weekend’s StarPower regional competition in Springfield MA. I could not be more proud! Choreography by Lesley Weber. Music by Rhythmic Circus; much love to them for sending me the Minus-Taps mix from their amazingly tapalicious FDFMN song!
Right at the peak of Regionals competition season, heading into recitals and possibly Nationals, there is much that needs to be worked on. Some of you are also getting ready for a new season of routines, which means new choreography, which means new music.
When you are ready to start working on the next season, and need musical inspiration, then look no further than a Squirrel Trench Audio custom remix. Every piece of music is worked on individually and uniquely for YOU and your dancer’s needs. There is no cookie-cutter process, and you will not hear your music used by another dance studio. For dancer teachers who love great music, we think the difference between a piece of music which is custom crafted just for you and your dancers is a difference that can be FELT throughout your process of working with your students. You KNOW that this music is YOURS and YOURS ONLY which is something you can feel great about.
We’ve created custom remixes for a number of dance studios throughout the country, including Beatles remixes, Michael Jackson remixes, Janet Jackson remixes, hip hop remixes, movie/Broadway soundtrack medleys, and many others. We’ve also done scary horror-movie themed remixes, and Dancing Through the Ages medleys. We can do recital opening/grand finale numbers such as this fun Wizard of Oz production.
If a Squirrel Trench custom remix is just the ticket to get your choreographic creative juices flowing (especially for your teen, junior and senior groups), then the process is easy. Just email me (email@example.com) or give me a call at 413-535-0621 to discuss the ideas you want shaped into the music for your routine. Pricing varies depending on the complexity of the project, but is generally in the range of $89 to $129.
Call or email me when you are ready to get started!
Yesterday I had the treat of seeing four performances by Rhythm Dance Company in the DanceXplosion regional in Worcester, Massachusetts, that used Squirrel Trench Audio original remixes and edits. It was a great pleasure meeting studio owner and choreographer Nicole Newman Kelley in person after working with her via email for the past several months to get her routines’ music produced.
Today’s spectacular RDC group numbers included:
- Valerie ’68 by Amy Winehouse (small group jazz)
- Get On the Floor, an original hip hop remix featuring On The Dancefloor with will.i.am (large group hip hop)
- Glamourous, a rockin medley which starts with a cover of Glamourous Life (large group jazz)
- Rhythm Nation, an original remix of the Janet Jackson classic (Production Line)
Congratulations to RDC on spectacular performances for these songs and all of the others performed this weekend.