UCAR > Communications > Staff Notes Monthly > June 2001 Search

June 2001

SCD's dance mavens

SCD's "Wild Wild West" takeoff included (below, left to right) Bob Campbell, Lana Soller, Steve Hammond, Mary Haley, Aaron Andersen, Lynda Lester, Tamara Rittner, Tim Scheitlin, Ethan Alpert, Joan Fisher, Jeff Boote, and Scot Colburn. (Not shown: David Mitchell and Tim Barnes.) For the past several years, Mary and Lana have orchestrated SCD's ever-more-complex dance routines at the Spring Fling lip sync. Here's what Mary told SN Monthly about the making of "Wild Wild West".

We were originally looking for a hip-hop routine that would have good costuming potential and slick dance moves. Scot Colburn's girlfriend came up with the "Wild Wild West," which was a perfect fit. (Scot was one of the dancers and also a zombie from last year's "Thriller.")

As for rounding up Tim Scheitlin, he said it was the "promise of fame and fortune and the lure of celebrity status." (Which he is still waiting for, by the way.) Aaron Andersen, who was Kool Moe Dee, said the key was "Lies, coercion, and peer pressure: 'Honest, it won't take that much time', 'We can get so and so to do it if you'll do it', etc." He did admit to having fun, though.

This was Lynda Lester's first year in the lip sync. She's a former ballet dancer, so she was the most graceful of our cast. Her reason for joining the lip sync was "my body was turning into mush and I needed to get some exercise."

As for the return members from last year's "Thriller," Ethan Alpert stated it best: "It's like the Mafia. Once you're in, there's only one way you can leave."

For the choreography, we had the Will Smith "Wild Wild West" music video, which Lana and I started studying in March. We perused some line-dancing sites on the web for extra steps, and got coaching on some of the more fancy country-western moves from other members of the lip sync. It really was a group effort! The rappers came up with their own moves for their solo parts. I thought Ethan Alpert did a particularly nice job with his role as Sisqo. Those moves were not easy, and he figured them out on his own.

The secret to the precision dancing was to break down the steps and do them ad nauseum over the course of many, many rehearsals (2-3 a week, starting in March, and on our own time, of course!). We even videotaped some of the rehearsals so we could watch ourselves and make improvements where necessary. Everybody agreed that the dancing was a lot of fun. We also got to know co-workers that we don't normally interact with, and developed a good relationship with them. For me personally, this made the time spent on the lip sync worth it.

We are already making plans for next year! Rehearsals start next week. :-)

—Mary Haley

Lana adds: The reason I keep doing it is for the opportunity to interact with my co-workers on something that is very fun and watch folks find hidden talents they never knew they had. It's always a thrill to watch someone like Scot, David or Bob become much more open and outgoing after performing the lip sync a couple times. Maybe it's just that I get to know these intriquing individuals better but I also think they become more extroverted in general. This is a good thing!

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UCAR > Communications > Staff Notes Monthly > June 2001 Search

Edited by Bob Henson, bhenson@ucar.edu
Prepared for the Web by Jacque Marshall
Last revised: Thu Jun 21 11:00:53 MDT 2001