1st RockIt Blog – Review of 2013
Hey there! So, I was wondering, does every first blog start with the words “I’ve been thinking about writing a blog for a while”? I think they probably do! Well, this one does too, cos it’s true! I thought it’d be fun to give people more of an in depth look at what we get up to than what you usually see through our Facebook and Twitter, or find out when talking to us at a club, when we’re busy getting drunk and whacking men with our rucksacks. (True story for another time maybe).
Here at RockIt, lately we’ve realised – again – that, sometimes we’re so focused on working towards our goals that we forget to stop for a while and appreciate what we’ve experienced and achieved, so this first blog will be a mini review of some of the highlights of this past year!
So I’ve settled down at home tonight with a nice big gin, sat opposite my cat Harley (he doesn’t do laps despite my fervent encouragement), and here it is. Oh and beforehand I took some selfies of me and Harley for the blog of course, cos what’s a good blog without a photo of a pissed off looking cat? With a woman nuzzling him, telling him how good he smells, and asking him how he got so soft? Well you can’t see that in the photo, but know that it happened.
So here goes. This year started with seeing ourselves on’t telly. For those of you who don’t know, in January myself, Emma and Gemma appeared on the Sky One show ‘Got To Dance’, a competition to find the UK’s best dancers. Last year we’d gone through the long process of an application and audition in Manchester for the producers, and at the end of the year we made it to the first round of judge’s auditions in London. We’d prepared hard, and the experience was fun and exciting, despite not getting through to the next round. We all agree that the best thing about the experience as a whole was the feedback we received, and how we’ve drawn on it to improve and develop our dancing. It was awesome being described by one of the judges, Kimberley Wyatt (ex Pussycat Dolls) as ‘innovative and really cool’, and by another judge, Aston from JLS, as ‘intense’. Love us or hate us, our aim is to capture people’s attention! (We were also left feeling a strange fondness for JLS, as it was Aston who wanted to put us through to the next round!)
I’m not underestimating to say that our choreography (our dance routines), has changed so much since receiving our feedback on Got to Dance. When we came back to Manchester we had an overhaul of our training, and myself, Emma, Gemma and Dominique started developing our performance piece to ‘Redneck’ by Lamb of God, working really hard to develop and vary our routines, which we think makes our dancing much more exciting to watch. We love the power and aggression, and all the formation changes, and it’s still one of our favourite routines to perform.
But of course, it’s not all dressing up in a kilo or so of homemade chainmail and performing, we’ve spent hundreds of hours this year locked away at the epic Olympic Gym in Eccles (home to powerlifting world champion Tania George!) and rehearsing our asses off. The first big challenge of this year was our audition in March for Heresy n Heelz’ Productions at The Alternative & Burlesque Fair Manchester. This was an incredible day. One thing we sometimes contend with as a rock and metal dance act is finding the ‘right’ audience for what we do, and we definitely found it here. The fairs always bring out lots of open-minded alternative people looking for interesting and entertaining performances, and our routines to ‘Redneck’, and ‘Piss’ by Pantera were really well received, by the audience and the staff, and the reception we got actually brought a tear or two to our eyes. With our audition a success, it’s been a delight to go on and perform this year at their fairs in Sheffield, Bristol and Birmingham, and we always have loads of fun, and meet some lovely and interesting other performers. Through Heresy n Heelz, we’ve also had the pleasure of performing at our first fetish club night, Skin Two Midlands, and found our chainmail costumes looking very much at home next to the acres of amazing latex worn!
In order to get more performance work and reach a wider audience – without so much of the associated admin! – one thing we’ve been striving for for a while now is to get signed to an agency. I absolutely hate cold calling agencies, but luckily our Em takes this kind of thing in her stride, and this, along with sending out lots of emails and videos meant that this autumn we finally did it, and got signed to the brilliant Warble Entertainment! The first gig we were hired for was for Warble itself, for their Halloween charity ball, and all nine of our dancers performed, which is always great fun! We also saw some of the more creative and scariest costumes ever, including Pyramid Head from Silent Hill who scared Emma so much that she kept hiding behind people and whimpering. Well, even the most hardcore metal dancer gets frightened sometimes!
Shit yeah, it’s been a great year! We’re looking forward to another hardworking and fun year ahead, especially to our upcoming trip to Cyprus in May, where we’ve been invited to teach and perform at the Kyrenia Bellydance Fusion Festival!
Thanks for reading, and from all at RockIt, we wish you an amazing year ahead, and hope to see you on the road! \m/
P.S. Harley told me to tell you “What up, yo”. That cat’s been watching a little too much Breaking bad if you ask me…
P.P.S. Here we are performing to Redneck by Lamb of God at Cross X Over club night in Manchester, October 2013 – When I was 15 and hanging out at The Ritz on Monday nights I never dreamed I’d be back there performing on the stage nearly 20 years later!