2011 Baseball Dance
Hey Everyone, Billy Schultz (creator and producer of DT) here. The story:
In January of 2011, I performed a piece at Triskelion Arts’ Comedy in Dance Festival as a guy who as a consequence of losing a bet had to be in a dance festival. Since he knows nothing about dance, he’s decided to do a much of baseball moves to “Take Me Out To The Ball Game.” Somewhere near the beginning of the performance I was nervously improvising and told the audience I was going to “dancify” baseball.
2015 Getting Weird in a Studio
2013-14 was dedicated to devising and directing a large performance art piece. The piece went well, but at the end of it I realized I wanted to make something that would appeal to a larger audience. Since I was performing a lot of physical comedy, I began a practice creating an original comedic dance move every day. I called the project “Dance Move Daily.” The more random and absurd, the better. All I wanted to do at the time was make playful, absurd, ridiculousness. It was therapeutic, cathartic and was really great for a while. Then, pretty suddenly, it became boring. So….
Out into the World
I took the project from the studio to the streets. Connecting to a larger audience and sharing with others became a priority. I began by just doing the absurd stuff I was doing in the studio out in the world. Then I began experimenting with themes.
Some of my experiments, in order of the playlist that follows: My nephew over holiday break, me as an English tourist talking to German tourists, one called To Russia with Love, at a local cupcake shop, at the park with some skaters, at a hardware store, a series about a Wizard and Rooster who explore public art, and eventually back into the studio for a serious called “Tribute to the Masters” (non-dancers trying to imitate famous dances.) Sometime during all this experimenting I had the idea to have dancers use videos as inspiration for dance. Dance-ify.
Dancify That Videos
So, dance-ify-ing started as a video series. I worked mainly with dancers, although there were a few actors and clowns that participated as well. All in all, I made videos with over 100 dancers. Here are a few of them. In order: Joe Monteleone & Shelley White, with Dance Films Association, Emily Pacillio & Emily Craver & Shannon Nash, Breckyn Drescher & Hannah Garner, WT McRae & Jeremy Williams, Carolyn Barry & Maryann Peterson, Pia Vinson, and Deborah Lohse & Mark Gindick.
At some point someone mentioned to me that the concept would make for a great live show. So, on March 4, 2016 we did it. The show was 2.5 hours long. 8 dance teams, 4 judges, interstitial acts… it was LONG. It was also a ton of fun. Enough people stuck around that I knew the idea could work and since then, we’ve been doing the shows every 2 months.
Though occasionally I do the show with dancers, it has for the most part migrated to the sketch comedy world.
Developing this show has been a blast. I’ve met a ton of amazingly generous artists along the way. People who have taken time out of their busy schedules to make videos, or given me great feedback on the show. Couldn’t be happier with it. Next up, I want to make it a TV show. Stand by! And while you do, I hope you’ll come to a live show!