HOST TO GET THE MOST
STEP FOUR: THE VISIT AND POST VISIT PLAN
By: Kimberly Fitch
Travel and accommodation preferences vary by artist, as do rates and schedule preferences.You can ask your choreographer how they like to work but here are some Rules to Hosting that will make everything run smoothly…
1) Review classroom etiquette with your dancers prior to choreographer’s arrival.
2) Pick your choreographer up in a timely fashion.
3) Allow time for them to get situated before they begin working.
4) Provide water and healthy snacks at the studio for them (brain food!).
5) Make sure they have access to meals while in town.
6) Let them run the classroom their way. This establishes the student/teacher relationship.
7) Be flexible with schedules- not all dancers will dance the whole time. This is ok.
8) Cushion the schedule. The work load is large so a little extra time is always smart.
9) If props or costume pieces are requested do your best to have them ready.
10) Understand the choreographer may need breaks or moments to be alone to decompress.
11) Make sure accommodations are all set so they can sleep at the end of a long day.
12) Constant presence is not necessary but being MIA isn’t ideal.
13) DO NOT let a parent speak to the choreographer regarding their child’s part EVER!
14) Discuss costumes, music and cleaning before they leave!
15) Videotape at the end and throughout when possible! VERY IMPORTANT!
Ask the guest choreographer what they envision. I give sketches and am very detailed, as it’s part of the whole picture for me and I am obsessed with costuming. Some choreographers will leave it up to you. Whichever the case, ask so you know how to move forward.
Come in at the end to make formation charts or do it in the first rehearsal after they leave while the spacing is still fresh in students heads. The choreographer may also provide charts. Designating a trusted team captain for spacing is smart because we all know there is always that one girl that sneaks into the front row or lacks spatial awareness. Small changes to formations are fine but it will affect the flow of the dance so avoid this if possible!
Get a copy of the music emailed to you asap! Today emailing it is so easy so on the way to the airport have it sent to you.
If you can have the choreographer return to clean at a later date that is the best possible solution! If I choreograph a piece I highly suggest booking a cleaning session through my KFiNC Dance Doctor service. In the meantime, videotaping the choreography at the end of rehearsal or while learning sections is an incredible tool for cleaning. I speak often of maintaining the integrity of the piece. This is, after all, why you brought someone in. Promise to stay true to the movement and your piece will be amazing! Videotaping is key!
Hopefully this little guide will help you navigate through the world of guest choreographers! If you have any additional questions, please feel free to email KimberlyFitch@yahoo.com.