Two options you can choose from!
1) a choreography or structured improvisation you want to work on, to a recorded piece of music, or one you've done before that you want to bump up to the next level of amazing... maybe for a competition or other important show
2) raise up your improvisation skills in front of an audience, to prepare for an upcoming performance with live music, or to feel more prepared to GO FOR IT at the next opportunity!
*ANY* STYLE PIECE IS WELCOME!!
Traditional, Oriental, fusion, experimental, cabaret, folkloric, lyrical, stylin', comedic, romantic, meditative, dark, fun-lovin'... you pick! I don't play favorites with styles, but I do help you make sure your message is consistent and effective for your intended audience, so you'll have the most impact and feel the most confident.
"If you are getting ready for a high-stakes performance, you want this kind of support to get there.
Dancers from beginners to experienced professional performers feel the pressure. How do you deal with it to really nail it fearlessly onstage?
Tired of feeling judged in the dance world?
Like you have to live up to everyone's expectations? (or your own perfectionism?)
Dancers may feel (or at least fear) judgment from their peers in the dance community or members of their classes. They may not always feel the support from their peers that is necessary to get to the next level. They may feel "held in a box" by the opinions of others. Or they feel they can’t share themselves fully onstage, for fear of being judged. Maybe they don’t even feel welcome.
They may even be such perfectionists that they feel they’ll never be as good as they want to be. These feelings can keep talented people from sharing their art… not being able to realize their full potential. And honestly, what a shame that is. Are you one of those people? 🙂
If you have any of these concerns, BYB will help you to open up your perspective, to find a deeper sense of confidence and control that will satisfy both you and your audiences. Not fake smiles. Genuine feeling.
Would you like to have a focused experience of preparing for performance, no matter what your performance goals, where the goal is NOT to judge you but to fully empower you?
…with HONEST FEEDBACK that doesn’t traumatize you, because it’s delivered with respect for your capability to progress and reach your goals?
…with PERFORMANCE TOOLS that are tailored to your needs, your level, and your personality?
....where you are inspired by the progress and SUPPORT OF YOUR FELLOW DANCERS to reach for new heights in your own work?
You are ready for this.
This online series is based on my successful Performance Prep coaching series model, specifically geared towards preparing for a live performance, which I ran for more than a decade in New York City, inspired by my experiences in numerous acting classes. This model I have converted into an online group program. The BYB series will enable you to work towards specific dance performance goals whether your performance is in a few weeks or in several months. It’s quite simple: You will make extraordinary progress as a performer within the period of our course. If you are ready for that, if you are ready to BRING YOUR BEST, no matter what level you are at, then join us! I’ll give tailored feedback to dancers of all styles and levels of experience, and help you make powerful and comfortable choices in showcasing your work, for a hafla, stage show, or competition.
WHAT'S UNIQUE ABOUT THIS SERIES
What was really confirmed for me in the first runs of the BYB coaching series (and in the 15 years prior as I honed my special solo-within-group coaching format) is the awesome power of group support for a dancer's solo journey.
It may seem like a strange set-up, to receive private coaching lessons in front of other dancers, and have that actually feel comfortable. But it really works, and I think it's a big reason why many previous attendees return to my coaching series--about half of the dancers from one session to the next have been repeats, in fact. Having the support of the group alongside my tailored, specific feedback builds that willingness to try new things, and finally break through to the next level. It gives you the confidence to soar on your wings.
Since the first BYB, I've added extra support through the process in the form of additional "wildcard" coaching blocks, and once the new site is functioning well, private advice threads that you can open with me, to get personal attention and have a place you go back to as reference.
And what if you don’t have upcoming performance plans, but you still want to join in the fun?
Don’t worry: Even if you don’t have a specific performance to prepare for, you can join in our online showcase after the close of the series, for all the Bring Your Best! dancers ready to participate.
The 2019 BYB will be longer than the previous BYBs, to allow for...
1) more time to watch the starter videos and set goals for yourself;
2) more time to watch and absorb all the content packed into the other dancers' live and recorded feedback sessions, in addition to your own;
3) more time to keep up the fantastic web of support by sharing positive feedback with each other;
4) more time to accommodate any schedule challenges like trips or shows you are involved with during the series; and of course
5) more time for making your own major transformation. We'll also be formalizing the "final show" version of your piece so that you can get some final feedback from me on it. We'll schedule a virtual party at the close of the series, with everyone sharing their final pieces online and celebrating your accomplishments.
Note that this will be the ONLY RUN OF BYB IN 2019. This series needs the space of the new year leading into spring shows, haflas, and competitions. So if you want in, now is the time. 🙂
"BUT... I'M NOT SURE I CAN AFFORD IT..."
You may think BYB is expensive for a dance coaching series. Fair enough, compared to some coaching you might sign up for. But I'd like to gently ask you: Can you afford to be only partly satisfied with your performances? If you are a professional dancer, can you afford to lose jobs or teaching opportunities because people saw that you lacked confidence under pressure? The ones who win, whether it's that feeling of satisfaction or a competition trophy, or landing a workshop teaching gig, are the ones who can hold it together, and send all their shine out into the world.
It's not just about your dance technique, and you probably know that by now.
It's about creating a special experience for the audience. And you deserve to be that person who shines, who lifts the audience up and feels powerful while doing it, the one who inspires the crowd.
I'll be honest here, and please forgive me for tooting my own horn 🙂 : I will give you the kind of targeted, personalized coaching in this series that you have likely not yet received before (...and that is even if you have worked with me previously). I will see something in you that you were not aware of before, something that might be absolutely critical to the impression you are making on your audience. I will share with you, without judgment, what I think will most help you, and I'll give you the support you need to get there, to truly flourish. I'll help you capitalize on the positives and fix the negatives. If something's hurting you (and there is ALWAYS something that is), we'll address it and work through it. If it's about bringing out your secret magic (and there's always that too!), we'll give it a bigger spotlight. BRING YOUR BEST! is for those of you who are really serious about breaking out of the box you've been holding yourself in. You are ready to reach a new high as a performer, to really bring your best.
To help you afford the series, I have made a payment plan option available, and you'll notice that the price is the SAME as the pay-in-full-upfront option. I don't want to punish you financially if you genuinely need to space things out. That is my commitment to you as a dancer: I want to make this as possible for you as I can, because I know that what you learn in BYB will absolutely change your dancing, and perhaps even your reputation in the dance scene and your work.
And I don't want you to have to skip it because the chance may not be there again. I do have a thank-you bonus of one additional "wildcard" coaching block (value $50) for those who pay in full at the beginning, because it does enable me to turn that investment quickly and directly into tech and services at the Ginger City site. But everyone will still get two wildcard blocks anyway, to keep getting support during your coaching journey, especially when you are in a pinch getting ready for a big show or when you want to be sure you are on the right track before recording a video for my feedback.
We already have several of the satisfied pioneers from the first Bring Your Best! series getting excited for this one... and I'm excited to have you join this group too.
HOW THE SERIES WORKS: ADVICE FOR FIRST-TIMERS
If it's your first time in my coaching series, you can get a sense of how the process goes, by witnessing the work of series veterans who will present first, and then preparing your own video. Join as early as you can, to be part of watching others' work, even if you need a little extra time to record your own first video. If you are brand-new to working with me, I would encourage you to pick a piece you are already a little familiar with, but that you want to do something new with or just develop and take that piece to the next level, but if you have your heart set on a new piece, it's certainly do-able! If you really want to prepare for improvisational performance, you can apply yourself to freeing up your patterns and approaching your music fresh each time - even with different songs each round if you choose.
If you are not sure which dance option is best for you, we can touch base over email or in a short phone consultation to determine the best goals for you right now. Just reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org or to me on Facebook (personal profile Ranya Renee or within the Ginger City Community group) to set up a meeting!
Here are some words from some of the amazing dancers I've been lucky to work with:
“In my opinion, my dance has catapulted to a whole new level since the first Baladi Coaching session. I’ve felt the difference in my performances over the summer and also felt it contributed to very positive outcomes in my first solo competitions. People (including judges) have shared great feedback and those who know me more personally have commented that they almost didn’t recognize my dancing. One actually said, “Did magic fall into your head or something?” Now, I’ve also worked hard mentally during this time and listen to several audio books that were complimentary to improving mindset BUT my decision to do Ranya’s program WAS the catalyst for my new approach to dance, physically and mentally. She is extremely in-tune and insightful so she challenges you to step out of your comfort zone in a way that isn’t too much. It’s a little scary but you can see she believes in you and wants you to be your best you so your feel safe in your attempts. The group setting also offers you great insights. You get to observe others challenging themselves and can observe how it all can apply to you in some way. I don’t think I would’ve gotten as much from private sessions as I did from the group set-up. Highly recommend this class to anyone who wants to level up their dance!
– Raena of Dallas-Ft. Worth (Ricki Lascody)
Before I met Ranya I felt like I wanted to speak but I had no voice. Through Ranya’s coaching methods she has taught me how to unlock my potential and become a really effective performer and artist. Now I feel like I can truly connect with myself, my audience and share my voice through my dance. Learning how to dance from my core, how to focus my attention and use of breath work through Ranya’s methods has really transformed my dance. I cannot recommend Ranya enough. If you truly want to invest in your dance and take it to another level, invest in Ranya, you won’t regret it!
—Roslyn Hart, New Zealand
“I highly recommend online coaching with Ranya Renée. I really appreciated how positive Ranya’s critique was for myself and everyone else. Not once did I feel threatened or judged. She created a very safe and supportive atmosphere and I appreciate that she shared some of her own personal struggles and process. I also liked working an a small group for the conference sessions. At first I was intimidated to be critiqued in front of others, but as we got going I found it was helpful to see everyone else being critiqued too. Often the concepts and skills they were working on were applicable to me personally, and I was able to listen to and evaluate all the critique in a more objective way than when it was just my own feedback, if that makes sense. I LOVED seeing other’s personalities and musicality come through their dance. It was inspiring and made me that much more excited about my own creative process and interpretation.”
– Bobbie, Victoria, BC
“Would just like to say how much I enjoyed working with Ranya on her initial coaching class. I am not a tech person but learned a lot about taping my routine.. submitting it to her for critique….video conference..etc. Don’t let any fears on the tech side stop you from signing up… If I can manage it anyone can! The one-on-one part of the coaching was excellent as was working in the group…The first time I met everyone online was a little nerve-wracking as I didn’t know what to expect, but as the course went on these sessions became a favorite part of the experience. I have no problems in highly recommending this course and feel my dancing improved a lot in a short time.” – Jim, Saskatchewan
Participants in my in-person New York City Performance Prep and the first Bring Your Best! online coaching series have said that my coaching series “adds up to much more than the sum of its parts” and that the group sharing really enhances the learning experience… I think you’ll agree!
All BYB4 members get access to the brand-new Ginger City Membership with Pioneer member privileges! That means you'll get access to all the benefits of membership, including regular technique and musicality classes, Q&A sessions and video archive, with the option of continuing after the BYB course ends, at the same discounted pioneer rate that is ending Dec. 8, 2018. After that date, the only crew that can access the pioneer rate is BYB4 members, during the month of May 2019 at the close of BYB.
If you haven't already taken Breathwork for Performance, you can get access to it at a special rate of $99 (current regular rate $199), or get your access for the videos if you took the course before, so you can refer back. Look for this option AFTER you checkout for the course in the shopping cart (links below). Breathwork for Performance is an integral part of my coaching method, so it's a natural pairing with the Bring Your Best! coaching series. You will be absorbing and applying these concepts to accelerate your progress in the series. You can gradually absorb and integrate this work into your piece with plenty of reinforcement of these powerful practices. Calming your nerves, preparing to go out onstage, settling into yourself, connecting with your music, connecting with your space, connecting with your audience, self-acceptance and "uplift," letting go of self-doubt or feelings of judgment from others... ALL OF IT will be in there for you, with practice you can directly apply to your performance piece for the coaching series! Good thing to work on before the start of the series.
Get your act together from the beginning by mapping your music! This short and practical video training is INCLUDED as a bonus for Bring Your Best! coaching series members, so you'll have a starting point if you need some inspiration for this important part in the Performance Prep process! You'll see how I map my own music when preparing to work on a piece for a performance or for a class I'm teaching, how I count the rhythmic cycles, find the phrasings, and assign imagery to melodic sections to help me distinguish each in a unique way. If you have been procrastinating about approaching your music, then, my friend, procrastinate no longer, with this easy-start method!
Learn powerful techniques for WORKING THE STAGE, no matter what kind of stage you are performing on. Putting your attention towards your use of the space, awareness of body line, and how to manage the invisible lines of energy between you and your audience... you'll learn practical tools for creating floor patterns and choreography, as well as how to set your piece with a connection to the audience (and to the band if you are working with live musicians). I will break down how you can change the way you set your piece appropriately for theater stage (raised or not raised), or restaurant/club, or even less formal settings. This video training is INCLUDED as a bonus for Bring Your Best! coaching series members, to help you set your plans in motion on stage...and not freak out about choreography!
2019 BYB4 BY WEEK
This is a tentative schedule and may change to some degree based on your own personal show dates or deadlines, but to give you an idea, read on! If you have a busy time during the series time frame, or a week or two where you are traveling or in show prep mode, you can adjust your sessions around that - we can accommodate. Sometimes people double-up and do two meetings in one week when close to a show deadline, sometimes people spread them out if they need to. We plan around people's schedules as much as possible in advance, but even if something comes up last minute (like illness) we can generally work around it.
PRE-SERIES PREP: Online forum discussions to get us started, watching my training videos and asking any related questions, setting personal goals for the series; learning how to work with the technology of the live meeting service, making sure you have decent equipment and internet connection for smooth participation; learning how to upload your videos to either YouTube or Vimeo.com if you are not tech-savvy. We’ll also start setting the general series meeting time slots. If you have previously done BYB or my Baladi Coaching Series, and want to submit your first video during this period, this is recommended, and you can be among the first to share your feedback in the group, showing the new folks what it's like!
BONUS MEETINGS IN JANUARY/ FEBRUARY: For those of you who sign up early, you'll get in on some juicy content when it is first offered live. Including FREE GINGER CITY MEMBERSHIP classes!
MID & LATE FEBRUARY: First live meet-and-greet meetings; if you are new to the series, this is where you'll start working on your first video, to submit one week after the meet-and-greet. If you join early though, you can get started early in videotaping yourself as you build your routine.
LATE FEBRUARY: You submit your first video. I review this Round 1 submitted video and send you detailed video feedback. Then you can also watch others' feedback videos, and give supportive and SPECIFIC feedback to others based on my guidelines for giving feedback (training video and discussion for this). If your show is earlier, you may want to submit by mid-February. Others can submit by late Feb.
LATE FEB-EARLY MARCH: First live solo coaching session meetings using my conferencing service – each dancer gets 30 minutes of focused time, while others witness and support. These meetings generally last 1-2.5 hours depending on how many dancers are doing slots that day. If anyone wants to use their 15-minute wildcard block, they can do it at the end of the session after the others have danced. If you are not dancing that day, you still can attend and watch. If you can’t attend, you can watch the recording of the video after I post it to a private page for group members only. The more of these you can watch, the more you will benefit, though you are not required to watch them all. You'll have the chance to tell each other what you most enjoy about each other's work, and take notes for your own work!
EARLY-MID MARCH: Following your goals for this round, you submit your Round 2 video, upload it (to a private or unlisted page) and submit the link to me so i can review it.
MID-MARCH: I review your Round 2 videos and send feedback videos back to you; you can post your videos and watch others’ shared videos too
LATE MARCH: Round 2 live meetings -- And those of you with shows who need extra session before your show can do these earlier!
EARLY APRIL: Following your goals for this round, you submit your Round 3 video, upload it (to a private or unlisted page) and submit the link to me so i can review it.
EARLY-MID APRIL:. I review your Round 3 videos and send feedback videos back to you; you can post your videos and watch others’ shared videos too.
MID-LATE APRIL AND FIRST WEEK OF MAY: Round 3 live meetings to close out the series! If you have a show to get in earlier, then no problem: we can work your Round 3 session in earlier, in November. We will need to have everyone's live sessions and feedback videos, including any needed makeup sessions, wrapped up by May 6th.
SHOWCASE TIME! I’d like to schedule these final showings of your work a few weeks after the close of the series, in late May or early or mid June, but if everyone is ready earlier, we will do that. We'd choose one or two dates for everyone to be there live. It would be great to have everyone there at the same time(s) for these, since the slots will be very short, just mainly about looking at and appreciating everyone’s progress through the showcasing the final pieces.
REMEMBER: It is ok to have your live and recorded meetings for any round in the opposite order, like doing live first then recorded. If you have a question about which is better for you, just let me know!
POST-SERIES: Wrap-up and final assessments, and looking ahead to what is next for you in your development based on your progress and remaining goals!
Access to the video trainings and other videos will be for the duration of the series, or keep your access by keeping your Ginger City membership active.
Q: I love the idea of this… but I have a show deadline BEFORE the completion of the series! Can I accelerate my progress and my feedback sessions so I’m ready for my show?
A: You can do it! We can arrange for you to double up your recorded and/or live meetings leading up to your live show. No problem at all. And you can still attend others’ meetings and support their work right through to the end, and also let us know how your performance went! There are also wildcard blocks that you can use for a quick pep talk before a show, or a short review of your last practice video before the performance.
I have found, in my almost fifteen years of running targeted coaching series, that the 6-9 weeks period is quite practical: short and focused enough to create a strong drive in participants to challenge themselves, and yet long enough to see real progress—it amazes me every time how people just step up to their next level. For this series, I decided to spread things out a little more to allow for the greater complexity in your pieces and more time to enjoy and absorb others’ work too. But you can definitely get your sessions done early if you need to, and still watch others’ progress in their remaining sessions! Some choose to use their performance video as their final video submission (or their first or second video submission!) and that is fine.
Q: This sounds a little “hi-tech” for me… I’m new to video sharing and web conferences. How do I know if I have the right equipment and skills for this?
A: If you are not super-technical, don’t worry! We can help you get set up. In fact, some previous series participants have learned how to use a webcam and how to do video uploading through preparing for this coaching series! So I know it is possible to bring you quickly into the digital age, if you are not already there. The conferencing service also has its own online tutorials, and you can even test your equipment with them before starting the series to be sure you are set up and ready to go for the live meetings (it’s pretty easy!).
If you are concerned about privacy, your links can be password-protected if you wish (by using a free account on Vimeo.com you can get several sharing options including password-protection, for example) or shared by private links.
A webcam (either on your computer or your phone’s camera) is needed for live video feedback, but even if you don’t have this set up, or if you prefer to have us look at your video in the live session instead of dancing live, you can still participate by submitting video in advance for me to give feedback on during the live session. It’s ideal to be on the call via video so we can see you, but if you need to audio-call in on a particular day, you can do that: My conferencing service offers the option to call in and has country-specific phone numbers if you need them.
Many computers have a built-in webcam that is decent, but you may have more flexibility and better quality with a separate webcam. I have found from my own experience that the popular Logitech C920 HD (currently around $50 online, but you may find it cheaper too–just make sure it’s that model) has great quality, even for capturing dance (which not all webcams can do as well, since most are oriented towards more “talking head” uses.
Lighting matters! Make sure you are not "backlit" when recording or in a live session, and I'll be providing some helpful advice on this before the start of video submissions, for those of you who are new to the world of online coaching!
Q: When are the live meetings and how long are they? I don’t see specific dates and times for those yet….
A: These will be scheduled and set after people start to sign up, so that there are at least 3 meetings per time slot over the course of the series, and they will run between about 1.5 and 2.5 hours per session, depending on number of participants per meeting who have their dedicated time during that meeting. Basically, we arrange the meetings at times that are convenient for small groups of members, even if people are on the other side of the world from me or from each other! Other coaching series participants can also join as observers to witness the work and take notes. For each session we will have a minimum of two participants, so you have someone (besides me!) there to witness your work. Most of the big learning happens when you are watching each other, actually! So this has become a key element in my coaching method, and past participants have agreed that this makes the learning process even more effective than private coaching.
We translate times into Eastern Time – New York; you can look at http://timeanddate.com to convert to your time zone; World Time Buddy is a great app for iPhone too for keeping track of times in other zones) but we can definitely have different times to accommodate whoever signs up. This has been easier than it sounds!!! I’ll suggest some potential times, see who is free, then add new times if needed to get a consensus. Some people work during the days, others are free then.... someone free at 10pm EST might be in Asia enjoying their morning, or on the North American West Coast in the early evening. We find ways to line it up! Facebook polls have been useful for this process. Because it’s a very small group, it’s been relatively easy to find a handful of times that fit everyone in the series. And remember you will have the option for a makeup too, if you are missing any dates. As long as we have at least another dancer observing your session, it's a meeting. Best if we can have at least two dancers per meeting, and this is usually easy to arrange.
We’ll finalize exact times together after you register and we’ll narrow down the times in polls so that everyone can attend at least one meeting live per round so they can dance live (or show their prepared video), and then of course you can watch the other meetings’ recordings the day after the meeting was held.
In the past coaching series, we have had members from across the USA, Canada, Australia, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Sweden, and Germany. We manage to find times for at least a few people to meet live, and we all catch up in the Facebook group in sharing and watching videos and feedback. Even two participants plus me can witness each other’s work, but we’ll try for more people in each time period. Some meetings may be longer than others. All meetings will be recorded so you can catch them later if you have to miss one.
Q: I can’t make every live meeting in my preferred time slot, or I might have to leave early or arrive late for one or two. Can I still join the series?
A: Yes! It’s best if we know your plans by the time we start the meeting, just so we’ll know if you are arriving late or leaving early….that way it’s not a surprise, but this has not been a big deal. I’ll have your sound and video muted when you join the meeting, automatically, so it won’t be disruptive if you need to join late on occasion. I recommend that people be there for at least two of three sessions of others’ meetings (in addition to watching and commenting on their shared videos and progress) so you get to know the work of the others and they get to know your work. In general, people try to attend as much as they can because they learn so much each time, and it’s fun to be there for each other live when possible. But the recordings are a good way to catch up too. I’ll arrange for a makeup session at the end of the series, if needed, for anyone who still needs to make up a meeting, based on your schedules.
Q: I’m not on Facebook and I don’t really want to join it… Can I still participate in the series’ discussions?
A: I am working on forum functionality for my new and improved membership website but we may still end up using a secret Facebook group for some things. In the past, series members who didn’t want to have their real identity on Facebook for whatever reason did set up a “pseudonym” profile so that they could still participate in the group, and that seemed to work out fine for them. There are ways to share discussions and videos apart from Facebook too though, so don’t worry, you can still participate and we can accommodate that. Facebook does offer some easy, accessible functionality for people who are on it regularly or who know to check it, so it’s ideal if everyone can do it, but we can work around that if needed, for sure, and we are able to share videos through direct email links easily too. Just let me know if you do have concerns.
Got questions not answered here?
Contact me directly at email@example.com or on Facebook via my personal Ranya Renee profile or the Ginger City Community group page. I will be making myself available for phone or video meetings with dancers who are seriously considering series participation and who have specific questions they want to ask before joining.
Pay-in-full and installment plan options available. Limited to *12 registrants* for the BYB 2019 coaching series - ONLY 4 SPOTS LEFT!!
As soon as you join, you can start talking with me about your piece and your plans... or if you need help with your direction for the series!
By the end of December, I'll add you to the secret Facebook group where you can meet the other participants and start discussing your goals for our time together! We’ll start discussing available time slots for the first live meetings. And we’ll also go over tech requirements and answer questions to make sure everyone is all set up before we start the live meet-and-greet meetings and coaching sessions.
After you register, you’ll also be given access to the online videos and links to welcome materials, which will be on a page on my website, with any PDFs or other materials added there over the course of the series too. Then you can start prepping and getting excited about the series!!! You’re going to love it.
Pay-in-full and installment plan options available.
This run of Bring Your Best! registration is limited to *12* dancers (JUST FOUR SPOTS LEFT!, for maximum personal attention and a tight community of support on your journey. Remember, that's it for all of 2019, this is the only BYB run, so if you want to do BYB, this is your time!