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kookiekween99

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What's the B&W Ball like?
« on: February 21, 2012, 06:50:40 PM »

So this will be my third year going to Fanime, but it'll be my first year going to B&W Ball. You see, it's my senior year of high school, and I can't afford to go to both Senior Ball and Fanime, so I obviously chose Fanime. My friends and I thought it would be a good idea to use Fanime's B&W Ball as our Senior Ball. I was all psyched about this idea until I realized: both my date and I have never done any sort of structured dance before.

When I brought this up to my friends, they were like "Don't worry about it. Fanime has dance lessons!" But then my date didn't like the idea of spending hours in dance lessons when we could be doing other stuff. I decided to try and prove to him that it wouldn't be as hard as he thought, so I went on the Fanime Youtube channel and watched a few of the dancing tutorial videos. I have to say, I was completely lost. Like, have you ever seen on tv when someone's all like "Oh yeah, it's super easy!" and then they do a super complicated thing and the main character looks completely lost and embarrased? That's how I felt watching the videos.

So, I guess I have a few questions.

-Are the dance lessons in person as difficult to follow as the videos? I'm thinking maybe an in-person instructor might help me figure it out better.
-Does it take a super long time to learn all this? If my boyfriend has to spend a whole lot of time in dance lessons, he's going to try to talk me out of the whole thing.
-Do we need to know all the dances? There's a lot of Youtube videos in the playlist, and I'm worried about learning one or two, let alone 12.
-Are people going to get mad if we mess up? I don't want to be stressed out during the dance, I want to actually enjoy myself.
-How do you know what dance to do? I usually listen to more of the kind of stuff that's played at the dance-that-is-not-a-rave, so I have no idea what dance goes to what type of music.
-Do you have to dance the whole time, or is there somewhere where you can sit down and chat?
-Is it fun?

Sorry to be asking so much, but if I'm using this as my Senior Ball, I want everything to go perfectly!


TL;DR Version: I can't dance. How much effort do I need to put in to have fun?
« Last Edit: February 21, 2012, 07:00:21 PM by kookiekween99 »
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Makise09

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Re: What's the B&W Ball like?
« Reply #1 on: February 21, 2012, 08:34:58 PM »

I went to the Black and White Ball in 2010(missed last year unfortunately) and speaking as someone who has no dancing ability AT ALL, I can say the Ball was still a lot of fun. And no one gave my friends or myself evil glares for not knowing the dances. I just managed a semi waltz for the whole night   :D Its a really great event because everyone is there to just have fun with each other.

I know in 2010 they did have tables and chairs set up around the dance floor so I imagine they had them last year and will have them again this time around so no worries there I think.

Though I've never been to any of the dance lessons so I can't anything about them or what their like.

Anyways, I hope I helped a bit!
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tkdteo

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Re: What's the B&W Ball like?
« Reply #2 on: February 21, 2012, 11:12:06 PM »

So this will be my third year going to Fanime, but it'll be my first year going to B&W Ball. You see, it's my senior year of high school, and I can't afford to go to both Senior Ball and Fanime, so I obviously chose Fanime. My friends and I thought it would be a good idea to use Fanime's B&W Ball as our Senior Ball. I was all psyched about this idea until I realized: both my date and I have never done any sort of structured dance before.

When I brought this up to my friends, they were like "Don't worry about it. Fanime has dance lessons!" But then my date didn't like the idea of spending hours in dance lessons when we could be doing other stuff. I decided to try and prove to him that it wouldn't be as hard as he thought, so I went on the Fanime Youtube channel and watched a few of the dancing tutorial videos. I have to say, I was completely lost. Like, have you ever seen on tv when someone's all like "Oh yeah, it's super easy!" and then they do a super complicated thing and the main character looks completely lost and embarrased? That's how I felt watching the videos.

So, I guess I have a few questions.

-Are the dance lessons in person as difficult to follow as the videos? I'm thinking maybe an in-person instructor might help me figure it out better.
-Does it take a super long time to learn all this? If my boyfriend has to spend a whole lot of time in dance lessons, he's going to try to talk me out of the whole thing.
-Do we need to know all the dances? There's a lot of Youtube videos in the playlist, and I'm worried about learning one or two, let alone 12.
-Are people going to get mad if we mess up? I don't want to be stressed out during the dance, I want to actually enjoy myself.
-How do you know what dance to do? I usually listen to more of the kind of stuff that's played at the dance-that-is-not-a-rave, so I have no idea what dance goes to what type of music.
-Do you have to dance the whole time, or is there somewhere where you can sit down and chat?
-Is it fun?

Sorry to be asking so much, but if I'm using this as my Senior Ball, I want everything to go perfectly!


TL;DR Version: I can't dance. How much effort do I need to put in to have fun?

Kookiekween,

Well, first off, thank you for choosing to spend your weekend with FanimeCon this year.  So I am going to try and answer some of your questions in regards to BWBall, but first a few things about it. 

BWBall is a semi formal event where convention goers can get dressed up a bit and go out dancing and have a good time.  Our main goal is to provide an elegant evening of music and dancing for everyone to enjoy. So onto your questions:

Dance lessons - They are provided on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday leading up to the Black and White Ball which will be on Sunday night from 6pm-12am.  The dance lessons are there to help you learn some of the formal dances to the songs that will be played at the Black and White Ball.  The dance lessons will be broken down even more than what you see in the video.  The video is to provide a glimpse of what you will learn at the dance lessons so you can choose which dance you would like to learn and also review steps if you may have forgotten them after your lesson.  They do not take a long time to learn and we usually only teach 2 or 3 basic patterns for each dance.  Also, if the dances seem too difficult we also have private lessons during the weekend where our instructors will teach smaller groups of maybe 2 or 3 couples so you get more individual attention. You do not have to know all the dances for the ball.  We want you to have fun and not have to stress about learning all the dances.  The best thing would be, find a dance that is fun for you and your date and learn that one.  There will be plenty of time to do the dance(s) that you like.  During the other dances you can either take a break and sit and watch other dancers or you can take pictures and stuff.  The event goes for 6 hours so you can come and go when you like, you do not have to be dancing the whole time.  Don't worry if you don't know the dances or if you mess up, the event is supposed to be fun and we understand that not everyone is a ballroom dancer or will remember all the steps. 

So during the BWBall, keep in mind that the event is a popular one and space does fill up somewhat fast.  We are working to see if we can get a bigger venue than we had last year but we will see about that.  But regardless, during the event, there is a big screen where the name of the current song is playing is posted.  Right under the name of the song is the name of the dance that you can do to the dance.  And underneath all of that there is a list of the upcoming 5 dances so you can plan ahead if the dance you like is coming up.  There are also tables around the room that you will be able to sit and take a break if needed.  There will be water at the event too if you need something to drink.  The only thing is there is no coat check, so please plan accordingly.  Basically don't bring too many accessories because you will not have a space to secure it or store it. 

Although I can't promise you that things will go perfectly according to what you would like to happen, we do try to make the event a elegant and memorable event.  Since I have been part of BWBall, we went from 300 people and have grown it to an event where more than 2,500 people coming through.  People do enjoy the event but at the same time, we know we can't please everyone.  If you want you can look on youtube for people's personal videos from the previous years.  Just as a side note, the playlist for the Ball is done by requests through the forums.  We do not take requests during the BwBall so if there is a special song that you want to request, you can go to the forums and suggest it.  We will review it and put it in the playlist if we feel it fits in with the rest of the dances. 

So I hope that helps with some things. Please let me know if there are any other questions that you may have. 

- Jim
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kookiekween99

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Re: What's the B&W Ball like?
« Reply #3 on: February 22, 2012, 01:03:43 AM »

Ah, thank you both! I was kinda hoping for some perspective from both an attendee and a staffer. It makes me feel a lot better that it won't be quite so rigid as I originally imagined.

I have OCD/anxiety/perfectionism (a fun combo, I know) so I tend to plan things out according to a specific plan, imagine everything that could possibly go wrong, and then freak out when things don't go according to plan. This thread would be me imagining everything that could possibly go wrong.
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MPLe

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Re: What's the B&W Ball like?
« Reply #4 on: February 22, 2012, 04:52:25 AM »

Ah, thank you both! I was kinda hoping for some perspective from both an attendee and a staffer. It makes me feel a lot better that it won't be quite so rigid as I originally imagined.

I have OCD/anxiety/perfectionism (a fun combo, I know) so I tend to plan things out according to a specific plan, imagine everything that could possibly go wrong, and then freak out when things don't go according to plan. This thread would be me imagining everything that could possibly go wrong.
To add onto what the others said, you don't want to show up to Black & White Ball. It's always *too* much fun and we don't want your head to explode because of how awesome it is. It's best if you just stay in your hotel room to prevent yourself from being hurt. :)
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kookiekween99

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Re: What's the B&W Ball like?
« Reply #5 on: February 22, 2012, 09:57:37 AM »

Ah, thank you both! I was kinda hoping for some perspective from both an attendee and a staffer. It makes me feel a lot better that it won't be quite so rigid as I originally imagined.

I have OCD/anxiety/perfectionism (a fun combo, I know) so I tend to plan things out according to a specific plan, imagine everything that could possibly go wrong, and then freak out when things don't go according to plan. This thread would be me imagining everything that could possibly go wrong.
To add onto what the others said, you don't want to show up to Black & White Ball. It's always *too* much fun and we don't want your head to explode because of how awesome it is. It's best if you just stay in your hotel room to prevent yourself from being hurt. :)
But I have to make sure the staff's jobs aren't too easy. You guys know how to clean up fun-induced exploded head, right? :D
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MPLe

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Re: What's the B&W Ball like?
« Reply #6 on: February 22, 2012, 11:54:42 AM »

But I have to make sure the staff's jobs aren't too easy. You guys know how to clean up fun-induced exploded head, right? :D
Hmm... I'll have to remind Con-Ops to come up with a plan for that. More planning!
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Charis

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Re: What's the B&W Ball like?
« Reply #7 on: February 22, 2012, 03:25:00 PM »

We are working to see if we can get a bigger venue than we had last year but we will see about that.

A favour: do you think you guys can post ahead about this?  I remember there being some to-do last year with the smaller venue, and knowing in advance what to expect as far as that would be super-helpful.  (We actually wound up not going because we saw the line, despite really enjoying the Ball in previous years; I'm really hoping to be able to go this year, and doubly hoping it's not up against the Masquerade again.)
Either way, thank you!
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tkdteo

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Re: What's the B&W Ball like?
« Reply #8 on: February 22, 2012, 04:05:00 PM »

We are working to see if we can get a bigger venue than we had last year but we will see about that.

A favour: do you think you guys can post ahead about this?  I remember there being some to-do last year with the smaller venue, and knowing in advance what to expect as far as that would be super-helpful.  (We actually wound up not going because we saw the line, despite really enjoying the Ball in previous years; I'm really hoping to be able to go this year, and doubly hoping it's not up against the Masquerade again.)
Either way, thank you!

Charis,

As soon as we get the venue down, we will post about it on the FanimeCon website as well as on the forums.  As for the schedule, we will know more about that as FanimeCon weekend draws near, but again, we will post as soon as we start finalizing things more and more.  Last year, the line was a bit long due to the smaller venue and many people have commented that we need a bigger venue.  So keep checking back for updates, we will probably know more after March or so (that is just an estimate by the way, not a definitive time table). :)  To put on something as "awesome" as some people have described it, takes a lot of time and prep but we are dedicated to bringing you the best and entertaining events at FanimeCon.

-Jim
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Charis

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Re: What's the B&W Ball like?
« Reply #9 on: February 22, 2012, 05:00:40 PM »

Jim - totally understand that there's time involved, and my comment wasn't meant as any kind of nag -- just a question as to whether that information would be put up anywhere.  As I recall, last year the venue change wasn't posted in advance, and that's what got quite a few folks blindsided.  Hearing that venue information will be posted is excellent news, and I really appreciate that. :) Thanks!
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OniCourseMusha

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Re: What's the B&W Ball like?
« Reply #10 on: February 26, 2012, 01:09:19 AM »

B&W Ball was a lots of fun.  Got to dance with many different type of people.  I personally think this is a lot more fun than my senior prom since B&W Ball has a lot more variety in terms of dances such as waltz, swing dance, tango, etc.  This was the event that got me into ballroom dancing to this day.
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hikarihoshi28

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Re: What's the B&W Ball like?
« Reply #11 on: March 02, 2012, 11:33:35 AM »

I went to the B&W Ball in 2010 & 2011. Even though it's a formal event, it's not stuffy at all and you certainly don't have to know every dance to have fun. That being said, if you could find a dance class before you go to Fanime (perhaps one at a community college), I *guarantee* you will have 100 times more fun than if you don't know any. If you don't have means of finding a dance class ahead of time, you might considering picking one or two dances and going to the respective lessons. That way you don't spend too much time, but you'll still know a little.

The lessons are a lot of fun; I went to one for foxtrot with my cousin. Even though we had never danced like that before, we learned enough in one lesson to dance it satisfactorily.

One thing to keep in mind for the ball is that many dances use what is known as a "line of dance". This means that all the couples move on the floor in the same direction, forming a sort of circular freeway. Faster couples move on the inside, slower stay to the outside. One problem last year was that the room was so crowded it was sometimes impossible to follow the line of dance. Part of the problem stemmed from people standing in one place on the floor doing different dances than were being played. 

My point is, no one's going to bite you for being a beginner; I've been there myself. ;) But it really soured the experience when people clogged up the dance floor because they paid no attention to the line of dance. Hopefully the room will be bigger this year (space wasn't a problem in 2010). In any case, I think you'll find the ball to be a good substitute for prom---hope you'll decide to come!
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Okach

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Re: What's the B&W Ball like?
« Reply #12 on: March 11, 2012, 11:31:29 PM »

In response to the OP:

For the ball, the only thing we're going all dance police on is no line dances/conga lines/limbo on the floor; yeah sorry, it disrupts couples on the floor and can be a safety hazard (we had a couple of people that got footstomped with heels because someone didn't look where they were going).  Okay, and the dress code (which is a headache of a different sort). 

Anyways, to lay it out - a whole bunch of people have worked and are working hard so that you can have lessons and a ball.  We would love for you to drop by - above all, we want you to have a good time.  Some of us will be around Stage Zero during the con for demos; feel free to drop by and chat! 
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xichisex

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Re: What's the B&W Ball like?
« Reply #13 on: May 22, 2012, 02:20:14 PM »

I want to go this year because I have a dress this year instead of a man's suit to wear and Ill be escorted instead of vice-versa. I mainly didnt go last year be ause it was too crowded and devilishly hot.

Will the venue change this time to a larger space?
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Re: What's the B&W Ball like?
« Reply #14 on: May 22, 2012, 03:37:59 PM »

I want to go this year because I have a dress this year instead of a man's suit to wear and Ill be escorted instead of vice-versa. I mainly didnt go last year be ause it was too crowded and devilishly hot.

Will the venue change this time to a larger space?

Yes, it will be at Parkside Hall
« Last Edit: May 22, 2012, 03:55:49 PM by AbsolutelyCursed »
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Re: What's the B&W Ball like?
« Reply #15 on: May 22, 2012, 04:54:00 PM »

The FAQ tells all :).
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Re: What's the B&W Ball like?
« Reply #16 on: May 23, 2012, 12:59:26 PM »

I sent you a message about the Emperor Norton Ball, or the "Other Ball" happening that weekend. ;)

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Re: What's the B&W Ball like?
« Reply #17 on: May 23, 2012, 06:31:37 PM »

@LordMoufMouf - err, what?  To who?
« Last Edit: May 23, 2012, 06:39:01 PM by Okach »
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kookiekween99

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Re: What's the B&W Ball like?
« Reply #18 on: May 23, 2012, 06:35:38 PM »

No, they sent me a message.
« Last Edit: May 23, 2012, 06:47:47 PM by kookiekween99 »
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Re: What's the B&W Ball like?
« Reply #19 on: May 23, 2012, 09:38:29 PM »

Ah, gotcha.  I was actually planning to check out the room on Thursday night during the meet and greet (can't attend anytime else except past midnight on Sunday).
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