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Thread: "United We Stand"--Thoughts

  1. #1
    FORT Fanatic
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    Jun 2003
    Virginia (but raised in SoCal!)

    "United We Stand"--Thoughts

    Well, I've been dancing more years than some of you have been alive, and I have to say....

    Two weeks ago, I wondered who the choreographer was.

    This week, I'm convinced it's my old dance teacher from hell.

    To begin with, the song was not meant to be sang by 10 children with prepubescent voices! But if they felt they needed to sing it...(why, the 4th of July was several weeks ago--is this song a 1970 song?)...they easily could've lowered the ocatve range so it didn't sound like I was listening to Alvin and his very merry Chipmunks.

    I don't really understand what any of the dance moves had to do with the song. As a dancer, I know the most important part of a song danced to choreographed music is to match the lyrics with the song. "United" and "fall" are so easy to come up with steps for, esp. with young children! And she couldn't do that!

    I don't think I've ever seen these kids form a striaght line on cue. Shouldn't that be a hint to throw that step out...?

    So first we see Jordan, Danielle, Taylor, and Tori.

    i hope i never see them as a quartet again. they have all different voices, what made them (them being the choreographer of the dance and the song) think it'd work out? in fact, Danielle should've been with Katelyn ("pure voices"), and Chantel and Lucy ("strong voices") should've been together, leaving Jordan, Taylor, and Tori--with "pop" like voices. Makes logical sense.

    The trio of Katelyn, Chantel, and Lucy sounded really nice, but I wonder who carried that group? Lucy and Chantel have such strong low voices, I was shocked to hear them sing something SO high.

    Speaking of Chantel, she does better on the adult steps, such as the ending "fall"--why, i don't know, maybe it's because she's 13, and skipping around just isn't cute at that age anymore...

    Jordan and Taylor have a gift. The gift to dance and do it well. Jordan didn't overdance, she didn't look awakard, and she seemingly had it all together. I also feel she has the best stage presence. Singing and dancing together is NOT easy, and the fact she still is able to use her head and hips to add to the dance steps really says something about her. Most kids don't know to do that. At 11, the fact she does, means she's probably a natural at this. She's going to be in a music video one day...I just know it. Bravo Jordan, job well done! I noticed when singing "nowhere in the world" Jordan extended her hands, and Taylor shook her finger. To be able to match a movement with a lyric that you weren't told to match isn't that easy, and I applaud her too, at 11, for being able to do that. Great job Taylor!

    And the first rule of dancing (Katelyn!!)--never touch your hair! A dancer is not supposed to distract from the dance, and she did so several times.

    The boys, too, weren't meant to sing together. But they looked adorable in some of the moves they were doing. Definitely 3 solid dancers...

    But back to the stupid moves that I don't get. What was the point of having Chantel switch places in the middle of the song? It looked stupid! She looked out of place, and it took away from the "grooves" the boys were doing.

    They brought back some of these steps I was hoping would disappear into the woodworks. The side by side, the mixing bowl step....

    I don't get the "wall" step either, but I do admit, they did get better as the song progressed, both in dancing and singing. The end was really good, and was what I was expecting in the beginning!

    Bottomline: Can it really get worse?
    Congratulations Tori and Taylor!

  2. #2
    Far From the Place I Love l2hdd's Avatar
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    Jul 2003
    West Coast
    Quote Originally Posted by Dani321
    Well, I've been dancing more years than some of you have been alive, and I have to say....

    Two weeks ago, I wondered who the choreographer was.

    This week, I'm convinced it's my old dance teacher from hell.
    Considering I remember life before CDs or even cassettes, I think it is safe to say I have been dancing longer than most people here have probably been alive too! I thought the choreographer was MY old dance teacher! LOL! Whoever it is needs to step aside and let someone else take over!

    Aside from the wretched choreography, my first thought was "WHY? HOW? What made them choose this song?" The song choices for these kids just keep getting worse and worse! I'm not saying they should all be up there singing Disney songs or doing bad imitations of Britney, I'm just saying whoever decides on these themes needs to remember they are dealing with KIDS! "Love the One Your With", "Bad Moon Rising", "Hey There Lonely Girl" and whatever song it was Chantel did last week are NOT songs a 9 or even 13 year old should be singing!

  3. #3
    Great analysis again, Dani. When the song was over, I couldn't believe how awful it turned out. Like you said, this song should have been done two weeks ago and it should have been knocked down an octave. The super high vocals sounded weak and the kids that were singing together didn't sound well together. I loved all the other group songs, but this one was the worst by far.

    I liked both of your critiques on the dance moves because I can relate. I danced for 12 yrs. and taught beg. tap and jazz for a couple years. My teacher wasn't as bad as the A.J. choreographer, but both of them like to repeat tired steps, like the mixing bowl in this case. Just a few choreographer rantings for the fun of it:

    -the kids need to stop skipping all over the place. For one, it's very hard to synchronize. Second, it's juvenile-looking. Third, it's just a cheap move to get the kids across the stage faster. I can see them doing it in a fast song, but "United" was very slow. A gliding step-touch motion would have been nice to see. Probably half of the kids have had dance training so I'd like to see them show it off. Have the girls do a simple turn sequence across the stage, anything is better than skipping.

    -the little hops and step-ball changes looked odd in such a slow song. Especially with the four girls at the beginning. Tori missed a few and the other girls all looked different doing it. The flow of the dance steps overall was kind of jarring - one moment they're doing these nice flowing arm movements and the next they're hopping around like they're on hot coals.

    -I was afraid the wall-thing was going to turn into a kickline, another taboo move. It fit the lyrics, but not the kids. They're all different heights, so you've got some kids leaning over onto the shorter ones. And the "hot coal" footwork broke the wall up so that it never had a millisecond of cohesivesness.

    -just a strange thing I noticed during Lucy, Katelyn and Chantel's part: did you see how Lucy has practically sitting on one of the other girl's knees? I though maybe she had slipped a bit and was bracing herself against the other girl (forgot which one), but I think it was planned. Makes it more strange.

    Okay, I'll stop now. I wasn't trying to be over-critical necessarily, but I think the kids' choreographer stinks. My ranting are all in fun, I realize the kids are working very hard to learn all these new songs and dances. It's just fun to analyze things that you like. Though some of my opinions are based on how I was taught and may not be correct to someone else.

  4. #4
    FORT Fogey zippy's Avatar
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    Apr 2003
    Pacific Northwest
    Boy, I'm with you, Dani, the group songs get worse every week. I'm no dancer, at all, so if I notice something, it must REALLY be bad. It seemed to be full of little unnecessary jumps, turns, and whatnot just because someone thought they needed "something to do in this spot." Whatever happened to keeping things clean and simple? And the kids couldn't get them right, anyway. I guess that's why they change the camera angle every 5 seconds, so we can't tell what they are supposed to be doing.

    Tori, who seems to have a good sense of rhythm by herself, was dancing OFF BY HERSELF in the beginning. I agree the boys looked good together. But whenever all ten were trying to do the same thing, it was awful. It didn't help that whever they sang "we'll be together" they obviously WEREN"T together.

    Only the three older girls sounded good. I think the group numbers keep showing that the best vocal blends come from the 5 oldest kids. But it doesn't look like that's who America is favoring with their votes.

    The worst part about the group numbers is that IT IS NOT THE KIDS' FAULT. It is the job of the choreographer to know what they can do and make them look good doing it. I'd rather see incredibly simple steps done right, than the coolest choreography done wrong.

    ETA the most important thing: DON'T SKIP, DON'T SKIP, DON'T SKIP!
    Last edited by zippy; 07-17-2003 at 05:42 AM.

  5. #5
    On a positive note, they are all looking more comfortable on stage than when they first started. Katelyn doesn't look quite as scared as the first time I saw her. I didn't think they sounded that bad, I think the dancing was horrific though. I realize that they want to have them show off dancing and singing skills but even britney takes a break from the dancing once in awhile! When you're singing a song like that, you don't need to dance. They shouldn't have even sang that song, but oh well. I think overall it was an okay performance

  6. #6
    I've rewatched "United We Stand" MANY times.. it's my new favorite group performance.

  7. #7
    Aj & clay baby
    It was okay but I am not gunna give the comment I was!!I liked AJ in it though!!

  8. #8
    The song just wasn't fast enough for any dancing.

    The choreographer was Carrie Ann Inaba, one of the Fly Girls from In Living Color, which also included Jennifer Lopez.

  9. #9
    FORT Regular
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    Jun 2003
    I'm going to disagree with everyone and say that I actually liked the group song. True, it was too high, and the dancing wasn't too great, but I thought it was better than Make Your Own Kind of Music. Anyway, the dancing isn't really the kids' faults, it's the choreographer's. (by the way, when the 3 older girls sang, and they all kind of crouched down at the end, it reminded me of Charlie's Angels...am I the only one? lol)

    I thought Morgan, Chauncey, and AJ sounded good together, and I was really surprised at that because they have such different voices. I thought they might clash with each other, but they didn't. The same goes for Lucy, Katelyn, and chantel.

    Anyway, I agree with everyone about the dancing, but I don't think the performance was as bad as all of you say.

  10. #10
    Mmmmmm, cheese tracylee's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    online - is there anywhere else?
    I'm afraid that when it was done I had to quote Simon and say "It was dreary, it lacked energy", but then I realized that maybe it was me that lacked energy when it was done!
    Now, I've always liked Chantel (she reminds me of Kimberly Locke), but at least twice the camera picked up her trying to get past other kids to the spot she was supposed to be in, and not looking real smooth doing it.
    I can only hope for better as time goes on.
    One by one, the penguins are stealing my sanity


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