Here’s another video of me playing drums for dance class. It’s a little longer than the previous video I posted, and it’s a little more exciting. In this video, I’m playing for the first two exercises in the “warm-up” portion of a jazz dance class. The camera is set up in such a way that you can see the students in the background as I play. The first part is their opening stretches, and the second part, which is a little more up-tempo, is cardio training and isolations.
I never plan what I’m going to play for these warm-up sequences, and I rarely play the same thing twice. The instructor sets the sequence of the exercise and I base my playing on that structure–changing my patterns to fit the shifts between the character of the movements. In some classes, a warm-up can last up to ten-plus minutes and can have tempo changes and shifts in meter. Longer warm-ups can take weeks for the students to learn and teachers may add to the structure as the dancer’s abilities improve. As you can see this opening warm-up is fairly short and straight forward.
The reason the second part is abbreviated is that my phone/camera and the cup of coffee it was leaning against, wound up on the floor, creating a small puddle under the piano in the dance studio. I couldn’t stop playing, so the remainder of the exercise features a shot of the dance studio’s ceiling accompanied by the sound of my drumming–all of this was edited out. The cause of this debacle was that the camera and coffee configuration became destabilized due to the vibrations created by my drumming and the dancers’ movements–the floor is springy. The instructor used recorded music for the next part of the warm-up because I had to mop up the coffee spill.