Saturday, January 06, 2007

Idea-A-Day Two ~ A Vital Improvement to the Region Dance

Idea Count: 2/20

Title: A Vital Improvement to the Region Dance

Category: Improvements/Upgrades

Feasibility: 8/10

Likelihood: 8/10


I love the region dance. You know it, I know it, we all know it.

Region dances are amazing for two reasons:

(in no particular order...)


I've got good friends. All of the guys I hang out with are Grade-A individuals. There's nothing quite as awesome as walking into the dance in my nice shirt and tie and being greeted by all my good friends in their nice shirts and ties. It's so great to hang out with all the good old fashioned stallions in a non-school setting. There's a social aspect there that's just amazing. Everybody cool is at the region dance. You get to see old friends, new friends, maybe even some Chinese friends.

It's a time to catch up and laugh with your buddies. It's a time to be able to just stand there and smile as you listen to Glen's most recent story of getting shut down by the ladies.

And then, when the music starts pumping, it's a time to line up with the all-stars and show the world what we're made of. You step in unison- you sweat in unison. There are few moments that have more electricity in the air than those first few measures of cotton eye joe or every time we touch, when all the guys are lined up, getting ready to go, eyes darting between one another. Smiles on our faces, we know that what's coming is going to be good. We've been waiting for this all night. For just a little while, everything in the world is going to be alright. You don't worry about anything else, you're in step with the greatest generation the world's ever seen. Austin, Alan, Kyle, Nick, Glen, Peter, Peter, Brad, Harsh. We're all out there, moving together. I can only assume that's how marching in step with an army must be. We're unstoppable, and we're grooving like mad men. Just you try and take a swing at any one of us, we won't let the bad guys win.


This requires no explanation. We all know why. But hey, since when has that stopped me?

At this point in my life, girls are like glaze on the donut. I suppose that, yes, theoretically I could live without them. But who just wants a regular donut? When given the option, who picks plain donuts over glazed donuts? Nobody does, that's who.

And it makes sense. Glazed donuts are better than plain donuts.

That's how it is with girls. The same way that glaze will take an ordinary donut and turn it into a delicious piece of pastral (adj. Of or relating to a pastry) magnificence, so will girls take the world and make it a more beautiful place to live. When they're around the world looks, smells, and is better.

Alls I'm going to say is this: modest mormon girls are the best kind of girls there are. And what better place to find them than at the region dance?


I've done a fair amount of study regarding region dances. I analyze and think about things, that's what I do.

And I often ask myself; what could have made this region dance better?

Aside from the stock answer of more slow songs, it always comes down to communication.

Lack of communication between the DJ and the participants is trouble.

Example: I'm standing there, sweating. A song just got over, and a new one is coming on. The beat is slow and irregular.

I turn to kyle, "Hey, is this slow?"

And he, still catching his breath from the last song, pauses for a moment. He beats his head along with the music for a few seconds, furrows his brow, and beats a few more. "No idea. Is anyone else dancing?"

I scan the gym. "Err, a few..."

He scans the gym. "Yeah, let's go."

I nod in agreement. "We're on the prowl, go go go."

And just then, the beat picks up, an electric guitar busts out a power chord, and all the sudden we're in a fast song. Kyle, who was quick to ask someone to dance, must awkwardly end the slow dance and sort of retreat back in to the shadows. I'm a little luckier, I delayed long enough to be spared the uncomfortable "Oh... it's fast.... haha..." Yeah, it's trouble.

And here is where the idea comes in. We need to increase the flow of information between the DJ and the participants. There is an easy way to do this, and I'm so surprised that nobody has done it before.

It's simple. You get a projector, and hook it to a laptop. Throughout the evening you constantly stream information on to that back wall. Everyone can turn around and see the following things:

  • Current Time
  • Current song, artist, album
  • Duration of song, current spot in song, time left in song
  • The next three songs coming up, the last three songs played
  • How many minutes till the next slow song
  • Total number of songs remaining
  • Number of slow songs remaining
  • Any other special messages. "We found a blue purse." "This is girls choice"
  • Above all, it's going to say "This is a fast song!" or "This is a slow song!"
How is this going to make my region dance experience better? Check it out. Compare and contrast for life:

Without the projector:

I wonder what time it is. I ask Kyle, he doesn't have his watch. I rummage through my pockets, get the cell phone out. It's 8:34. I wonder when this song is going to end, I can't dance to it. It ends, and the mystery song comes on. The conversation we had earlier is replayed, me and kyle scientifically analyze the characteristics of the song. After 30 seconds we realize that it's slow, and scramble to find someone to dance with. I go into hunt mode, and scour the gym for someone not dancing yet. I have no idea who I want to dance with, I'm hoping that someone will just jump out at me once I see them. I run around, a minute passes, still no one available. They're all either dancing or hiding from me. After two whole minutes, I find someone, and we dance. A minute later, the song ends.

And the chorus of ladies says: "Lamesauce (8)"

With the projector

I wonder what time it is. I turn around, it's 8:34, sweet. I see that there's a slow song coming up in two minutes. Who should I dance with? I'm not sure, but I've got two minutes to decide. After some intense thought while I pretend to dance like a gangster, I determine to dance with Girl A. As I see the song dwindling to the last 30 seconds, I gravitate in her direction. No way am I going to get beat to the punch. As soon as the first beat of the slow song starts, I'm boldly asking this girl if she'd like to dance. She glances over at the projector. It's a slow song, that's for sure. And it's only four minutes long, that's good. She sees that there are going to be seven more slow songs after this one. She agrees to dance with me. We dance the full four minutes, have a good time. I laugh, she laughs. The dance ends with a hug, things are good.

Why is the projector important? Because region dances are full of decisions. The more information we have, the better decisions we can make. At this point, region dances are full of mystery. I have no idea how many slow songs there are going to be, I have no idea when the next one is coming. I don't know when cotton eye joe will appear. What if I'm getting a drink when it comes on. I miss the party!

When I know that there are nine slow songs throughout the evening, I can plan accordingly. I know who I'm going to ask, and I locate them before I have to. There is nothing quite so frustrating as searching the room for someone while everybody else is dancing.

The projector makes my life easier. It helps me make good choices. It helps maximize the region dance.

After all, as the level of information we have goes up, our power goes up with it. We're able to make better choices. The projector will make the region dance a much better place.

Comments, concerns? Lay 'em on me. Anything else the projector should tell us? Leave me a message. Yeah buddy.


Courtney said...

ooh, nice idea! the slow song/fast song thing is really frustrating.

question: can you figure out how to accomplish the projector thing before my b-day party? that would be most excellent.

Rachel Frost said...

Oh, my gosh, no kidding. I'm just as confused as you are when it comes to the whole fast song/slow song thing. The only real difference is, I don't ask someone, they ask me. I would like to see that more girls get asked. I see the same ones get asked all the time when there are a couple of really awesome girls (friends of mine) and they never seem to get asked! Find a solution for that while you're at it, k?

Nathan said...

Kay, so get this. January's region dance is at my stake, and I'm on youth council. I love this idea so much, I'm printing out your blog post and showing it to my superiors. Can't say how far it'll go from there, but I'm gonna try to get this thing started for ya. :-D

Awesome idea!