How to Join a Zoom Meeting for Elayn’s Dance Classes

You will receive a notice with the following information:

Join Zoom Meeting
https://zoom.us/j/516202646
*Note: this number may change with each meeting

If you received the notice by email, there may be phone numbers listed, you don’t need any of those, only the link above.

When you follow that link in your Internet browser, you will come to a window that looks like this.
1. Choose Cancel in the top window (it takes you to a site where you can download the app and open an account. This is not essential.)
2. For fast access today, choose “join from your browser”. This is also easier for networks that run a little slower.
**If you have time and want to download the Zoom App and open an account, it is a free service with great options, but this is your choice, it is NOT required.
Enter your name and touch “Join” (this means to join the meeting, not the website)
Touch the button to join using Computer Audio. A second screen will come up asking you to confirm Computer Audio.
You will now be entering the meeting where you can use the Zoom audio (turn your SL audio off please) and you will be viewing SL through my screen so you can see my edit windows.
In the future we will explore all the other collaborative features Zoom offers us, but for today, join the class and ENJOY!

Getting Emotional about it…

For all my Lelutka Mesh Head using friends in particular… did you realize that you can control the animations that show emotions on your head by chat command? A lot of people don’t know that the Lelutka creator makes this openly available!*
I’m including an excerpt from the website but please visit the link and read the info first hand. This is a really cool feature to include in your choreography or machinima!

Mesh Head – Animation API
If you are developing a product and you would like to include some of LeLutka’s facial animations in your product, there are a few ways you can control the animations that are installed in the LeLutka head using chat commands on channel 7780.
Commands
play [animation name] — Plays an animation
stop [animation name] — Stops an animation (not necessary unless it is a looped animation)
list — Returns two animation lists on channel 7779 (added in 2.1, so make sure your head is up to date!)mood:[anim1],[anim2],[etc.] — a list of all mood animations
expr:[expr1],[expr2],[etc.]  — a list of all expressionsNote: due to SL’s limit of 1024 characters per chat message, if the head contains too many animations (80+) to fit in this many characters, the list may wind up being incomplete. It is unclear how important this feature is at this stage, but if it turns out to be widely used, this will be revised to cut the list into multiple chat messages, most likely using “mood+” and “expr+” tags to add to the respective lists.
If you are planning to communicate with someone’s head, and the object starting the animation does not belong to the head owner (such as a couch that several people might sit on), then the command must start with the key of the owner of the head.
e.g. /7780 cab64911-5c77-416f-862e-30283ab88d25list
or if the item you are creating is a wearable item or gesture (so the owner of the item will be the same as the owner of the head), you can skip the uuid
e.g. /7780 list
Decoding Animation Names
LeLutka’s head animations use codes to indicate what sort of animation it is. The first tag indicates what major category the animation belongs to.
e.g. l.+.smile01
m (mood)
Mood animations are priority 1 animations which are usually very minor facial animations meant to be mixed in randomly with the head.
u (utility)
Utility animations are priority 2 animations which primarily control the eyelids, with the exception of the blink animation which is priority 3.
l (looped expression)
Looped expressions are priority 2 animations.  Note that if you start a looped expression, you must remember to stop it when you wish for it to stop! Looped expression started using these commands will not light up in the expressions browser on the user’s HUD, so the only way they will be able to stop it is using the “STOP EXPRESSION” button on the HUD. Looped expressions will be maintained by the head script until they are intentionally stopped using either the HUD or another chat command.
s (single play  expression)
Single play expressions are priority 2 animations.
Expressions (l or s) have a secondary tag which indicates whether it is a positive (+), negative (-), or neutral (0) expression. For example a smile is a positive expression, while a frown is a negative expression.
Animations List
mood animations
m.happy.clench
m.happy.doubt
m.happy.glance
m.happy.relax
m.happy.serene
m.happy.smile
m.happy.smile2
m.happy.smirk
m.happy.soft
m.happy.swallow
m.happy.talk
m.neutral.balm
m.neutral.brow_lift
m.neutral.glance
m.neutral.inhale
m.neutral.loose_jaw
m.neutral.mouth_shift
m.neutral.movement
m.neutral.purse
m.neutral.scan ground
m.neutral.squint
m.neutral.swallow
m.neutral.talk
utility animations
u.blink
u.closed
u.partlip
u.relaxed
u.sleepy
u.suspicious
u.wide
expressions
(looped)
l.+.monalisa
l.+.rockstar
l.+.sexy
l.+.smile01
l.+.smile02
l.+.wink02
l.-.disbelief
l.-.dislike
l.-.ego
l.-.sad
l.-.snarl
l.0.betterthanyou
l.0.ismellarat
l.0.lipbite
l.0.photo
l.0.yell
(unlooped)
s.+.hubba
s.+.mwah
s.+.sexy
s.+.wink02
s.-.ew
s.0.eyeroll
s.0.flutter
s.0.hm
Note that there is no guarantee that the animation you wish to play will be in the version of the head being worn. The above list is from the released Simone head.

*All heads work fundamentally the same and some creators make the channels and commands more or less publicly available. Please contact the creator and/or developer website for your preferred brand for more info.

Essential Skills for Dancers in Second Life

Edit: I’m separating out some of these items as they are not so much ‘skills’ but ‘recommendations’. While no less valid, the two just aren’t the same.

One of the first questions that people ask when they consider that they want to be a Dancer/Choreographer in SL is “what do I have to know”? OK, honestly, the first question is usually “How much money will I make?” and that one is easy to answer! But the first real question involves what skills a person will need. Historically, in an effort to make the dance world appealing and welcoming to new people, we have minimized the skills that it takes to actually “do what we do”. The common response is “Oh! We’ll teach you what you need!”  But I have to wonder if we are doing the best service to people when we say this. I personally see a lot of people come into classes under prepared with basic SecondLife skills and it results in a lot of frustrated students. This doesn’t help anyone. So I’d like to look at some of the absolute basic skills needed to enter into this hobby successfully. 

Support Dancers:  This is NOT a ‘lesser’ position in the dance community. As a support dancer, you have the ability to make or break a dance set despite best efforts by the choreographer/designer. So knowing your basic skills is important to you and to the choreographer you dance for. 

Wardrobe Management:
Know how to: 
copy items within your inventory. 
  create folders for costume parts. 
Know the difference between Wear, Add and Replace
Use appliers and save body copies with layers applied
Use your mesh body brand alpha layers and alpha save objects
Remove/disable scripts in clothes and body parts
Modify, save and CREATE shapes to use in specific costumes
Use the EDIT screen to modify costume parts to fit correctly
Use the edit screen to modify body parts
SAVE an outfit FILE to easily and quickly change clothes AND body
Create, Save and Send notecards including saving objects and LMs that might be included in the notecard.
Viewer Management
Know how to:
Use the Avatar menu to refresh avatar appearance and attatchments, stop animations and remove yourself from animation HUDs. 
Set your Hover Height to zero unless specifically directed to do otherwise by the choreographer
Use Transparency veiw (Ctrl+T) to check for mover height and hidden prims and parts before a show
Create landmarks to arrive at exactly where you need to be to stand on your mover
Derender people, objects and world types 
Use your Quick Preferences settings to minimize your own viewer lag
Use your Online Communication settings to minimize distractions
Use your movement and view settings
Use your cam controls to set your point of view where it needs to be at any time. *Learning to use your mouse and keyboard shortcuts for this is beneficial!
Use the Local chat, private group and private IM windows including separating the windows to keep important conversations visible
Use your voice and sound settings and how to turn voice OFF when it’s not appropriate
Have a working knowledge of what lag is and how to minimize it for yourself and your impact on simulator lag. 

Choreographers:  You have the added responsibility of knowing how to use complex tools and applications as well as using people’s avatars in a public venue. How you represent those people in a set may determine if you have people who are willing to work with you in the future. 

Building:
know how to use ALL of the menus/tabs in the EDIT screen. 
Move, Resize and position prims and objects
How to work with coalesced and linked object groups
How to color and texture objects
How to add, remove and modify contents including scripts
How to pack (add) and unpack (remove) objects and scripts from other objects
How to copy, paste, drag and share scripts and objects
Know the difference – by icon – between animation, object, coalesced objects and scripts in inventory.
Scripting:
While you may not need to write scripts from scratch (though this is helpful) you should know how to work with scripts
Know what a channel assignment and channel command look like and how to change them when the script permits
Know how to use Notecards in HUDS and tools that allow nc’s to control script functions. 
Know where to find and how to use basic scripts for texture scrolling and object rotation. 
Have a working knowledge of what coordinates are and how the mover systems use them. 
Have a working knowledge of animation priorities and how they affect the way animations interact.

I realize this list looks long and daunting and intimidating to those new to SL but first of all, it’s not expected that you be an expert at everything. Many tasks are things you can ask friends to help with. But in reality, everything on that list are BASIC skills in Second Life building and functioning. If you don’t have these skills today, find the resources to learn them. Classes at places like Builder’s Brewery. Find a mentor to help you learn. Videos on YouTube are helpful.
One of the most inspiring parts of dance creation in SL is learning so much about the systems that allow you to express your creativity. ALL of your creativity!

MST Choreo HUD SOLO

This is another of the Core Tools found in the new and UPDATED MetaHarper Show Tools System.
I’m giving this video it’s own page so it doesn’t get lost in the tools that are more directed at the stage set itself. This little guy deserves a page of it’s own! I’m also including the direct link to the MetaHarper instruction page for the Choreo HUD – Dancer/Director Edition. Not only is that HUD also a truly valuable tool, but the instructions are the same and well written.
I have found this HUD to be a real benefit in building my animation sequences. I love that I can make alterations in the timeline on the fly without fiddling with Notecards or reloading the HUD constantly. It may not be the only HUD I use, but it’s become a very valued tool in my arsenal. I hope you all find it helpful as well!

MetaHarper Show Tools UPDATED!

The Videos are starting to roll in as the new and updated MetaHarper Show Tools system rolls out! And the updates and wonderful. The system continues to impress me with the ease and intuitiveness of it’s use, the streamlining of commands and actions, the robust abilities while remaining very low lag. Overall, it’s a great addition to any performers repertoire of tools and toys to make Second Life magic happen.

The first set of videos will address the Basic Tools in the system. Future tutorials will include the Optional Components; The Camera Tools, The Costume HUD, The Special Effects scripts and tools. This one purchase of tools includes SO MUCH to use to create wonderful performances to exercise your deepest creativity!

There will be separate Tutorials and Blog posts about the Choreo HUD (Dancer and a future version – be excited! trust me!) and about the more advanced features and so many fun tips and tricks. BTW… have you SEEN the Animesh Understudy: AKA Cache Bot?

The Core Tools

“newAct” AKA the MST Performance Engine –  This is the brains of a performance. When rezzed on the ground, it looks like a simple triangular prim and contains most of the information about a particular act or stage set. It can include information about which props to rez, which scripted camera settings to use, and which choreographed sequences can be run. It is meant to be renamed something specific to one of your acts.

MST Venue Centerpoint – This is a single prim you rez on the ground to define the general location of your performance area. Typically you rez this in the middle of your stage floor or stage template before using any of the other MST tools. You should rename this with the name of your stage. If you are planning on creating an act for someone else’s theater, you should rename it to match the name they have chosen for their theater’s centerpoint.

MST_mover – This is a square sheet you can rez on the ground. You can have avatars sit on this to ride it in a smooth timed movement path, or link it with objects you wish to move. You should rename this to match the role of the avatar or object you intend to use it to move.

MST Choreo HUD Solo – This is a wearable HUD. You can place it on the ground, copy in your animations, and then pick it up and wear it to arrange the animations into a nice timed sequence to support your acts.

~MST rezTracker – This script can be placed in your stage props to allow them to be rezzed and derezzed quickly.

MetaHarper Show Tools and July Classes!

I’m so excited! I finally have my hands on the NEW Beta version of the MetaHarper Show Tools and you guys are gonna LOVE the updates! I’m in the process of filming the VIDEO SERIES which will serve as a tutorial on all the basic and then advanced functions. What is taking so long? I film a function the way I’m accustomed to doing it, and then realize that Arrehn created an even easier way to do it! so back to the camera I go. But fear not, the start of the series is just around the corner.

Be sure you are SUBSCRIBED to the YouTube Channel with Notifications (that’s the Bell) turned on so you don’t miss anything!

CLASSES!
I’ll be teaching the MetaHarper (MST) Show Tools in the Summer session of Let’s Dance ! Classes at Dance Queens. Here’s the schedule! Don’t have the MST tools? Don’t Despair. Not only are they incredibly affordable ( $500L for the ENTIRE suite of tools!) but if you are currently a member of a dance troupe that is part of the MST network, you may have access to the Tools Suite for free! Ask your troupe leader if they have a distribution HUB to give you the Tools.
A Maybe note: There “may” be a limited version of the tools available at the classes to learn on while at the DQ classroom. Still an idea….

AND THERE’S MORE!!!
Keep your eyes and ears out for the July Dance Queens Raffle ! It might help with the class.. just sayin….. 😉

These MST based classes will be an INTRODUCTION to the main parts of this all inclusive system of performance tools. No prior knowlege of Performance Dance or Choreo Tools is required but if you are brand new, please plan some extra time. I always stay for an hour after class to offer individual assistance.
SCHEDULE:
Tuesday July 9, 4pm to 5pm SLT – Intro to the System and Using the Performance Engine to do ALL the STUFF!

Tuesday July 16, 4pm to 5pm SLT – The Dance/Sequence Hud is a one person HUD designed to help you to VERY EASILY build your dance animation sequence. This HUD also serves as a tool to access the other parts of the MST system.

Tuesday July 23, 4pm to 5pm SLT – Setting Up Your Home Practice/Build Area, Making a Venue location template, and Loading the Rezzer

Tuesday July 30, 4pm to 5pm SLT – Using the Movers to create dance Formations and move around the stage area

Rules of the Jungle

I choose not to do ‘exotic’ or ‘burlesque’ style dance in SL but the rules really are not too different, just more needed for girls who do. Link to the longer article is attached. Bottom line: you are walking stilettos high into the jungle, know how to deal with tigers or get eaten.

THE 21 LAWS OF BEING AN EXOTIC DANCER

There is no way to sugar coat this. You are walking into an environment where all eyes are on you. Some eyes will be lurking in the shadows and others will be breathing down your neck, staring right into your soul. 

Make your way quietly to the main stage and, within seconds, you’ll realize that the spotlight is really a microscope. You’re looked up and down to the point of examination, from the tip of your toes to the top of your crown; from every tiger stripe and tattoo; to the way your fishnets squeeze and cuff your backside. 

You are indeed on display for the jungle to see. 

In this environment, objectification is to be expected, especially when you’re on all fours twerking in a thong. You may find comfort in the dim red light, but know it doesn’t hide any blemish or imperfection. In reality, the spotlight is glaring and unforgiving. It doesn’t matter if you’re naked or topless, alongside the brass pole, you stand exposed in more ways than one. 

Can you mentally handle the microscope? 

The conversation about life in the jungle continues. The first installment of the 21 laws (The 21 Laws of Surviving a Gentlemen’s Club) dealt with the patron’s agenda. Now, Darius and a select group of smart and savvy dancers have collaborated to examine what it takes to be an exotic dancer. 

The 21 Laws of Being an Exotic Dancer is the sacred text that deals with the intricacies of a racy profession that is based on providing asexual fantasy while being entrenched in a carnal reality. Few jobs (especially legal ones) require you to balance, contrast and merge the following dichotomies: 

Business vs. Pleasure 

Predator vs. Prey 

Lies vs. Truth

Fantasy vs. Reality 

http://www.varsityclubinc.com/the-21-laws-of-being-an-exotic-dancer

The MetaHarper Choreo HUD v 4.0.20* PART 1

Elayn introduces the Updated MetaHarper Choreo Hud in this first part of her 2 part series. In this video, she explains how to purchase or update a current hud, how to transfer animations AUTOMATICALLY from any other HUD, How to Invite, Animate and enjoy the HUD with your friends!


MetaHarpers Choreo HUD (Dance Edition) Version 4.0.20
You can quickly explore your animations and create animation sequences. If you’ve used other freestyle dance HUDs in the past, we believe you’ll be blown away by its ease of use and unique fast performance, even in crowded and challenging scenarios where other tools fail.

  • Allows you to browse, search, cache, navigate, and play thousands of animations.
  • Invites up to 80 avatars in the same regions at once to animate with you.
  • Quickly creates sequences of animations that can be saved and played back later.
    https://marketplace.secondlife.com/p/MetaHarpers-Choreo-HUD-Dance-Edition/16497039

*Please note: In the time it took to publish the video, there was already an update to 4.0.20! No functional changes that you would notice and you will receive the most recent version when you update.

The MetaHarper Choreo HUD Part 2

Elayn introduces the Updated MetaHarper Choreo Hud in this second part of her 2 part series. In this video, she explains how to edit the Config Notecard, How to create Sequences right on the HUD, how to save sequences to the notecard, and how to use the TIMER to assist with choreography!

MetaHarpers Choreo HUD (Dance Edition) Version 4.0.20


The MetaHarper Choreo HUD is a product of MetaHarpers of Second Life created by Arrehn Oberlander.
You can quickly explore your animations and create animation sequences. If you’ve used other freestyle dance HUDs in the past, we believe you’ll be blown away by its ease of use and unique fast performance, even in crowded and challenging scenarios where other tools fail.
You can quickly explore your animations and create animation sequences. If you’ve used other freestyle dance HUDs in the past, we believe you’ll be blown away by its ease of use and unique fast performance, even in crowded and challenging scenarios where other tools fail. – Allows you to browse, search, cache, navigate, and play thousands of animations. – Invites up to 80 avatars in the same regions at once to animate with you. – Quickly creates sequences of animations that can be saved and played back later.

LiveStream Classes!

Hello Fellow Twinkle-Toes!
Well, the LiveStream classes are going GREAT so far -at least as far as my growing but novice skills at using the applications will allow it. 🙂 The comments from students about the format allowing them to actually see my screen during class have all been terrific. I’d like to expand a little and consider many topics that have been previously difficult due to the reliance of the edit, inventory and viewer windows. Considering, I’d like to make a couple of points and request some feedback!

  • During the LiveStream experience, you ‘may’ have both screens open at once but it is by not means required. Computer capabilities vary and so can this experience. If you wish to watch only in SL or YouTube that is FINE! Currently, I only follow chat in SL but as my skills increase, I will open up the Stream chat and follow it at the same time allowing you to fully participate as an observer in YT only.
    -Please choose to listen to either the SL voice OR the YT stream voice, but not both. Not only is it computer resource heavy but you will hear an echo. Choose which works best for you.
    -I am trying to come up with a seating arrangement that will allow those who do not wish to be seen on camera to remain out of camera range. However, I do show the local chat, so if you don’t wish your name to appear there, keep that in mind. I do turn off nametags (at least I try).
    -Consent to appear on video is required in SL by the TOS. (FYI to all of those who enjoy videotaping shows). So attendance at the class, which is announced as LiveStreamed, will be considered consent. I will always strive to comply with the wishes of those who prefer to remain off camera.
    -I will post the recordings of the LiveStream on my Blog Website and Channel as long as the recording quality is reasonable. There are never any guarantees. Please consider the recordings as a reminder while you practice what we did in class.
    -This medium allows some great opportunities for expanded classes! What would YOU like to see that has been difficult before? Building classes, Particle creation classes, Wardrobing tool classes, Inventory management classes, What ideas do YOU have?

Coming in July… MetaHarper Show Tool Classes! That’s right folks. Finally open classes in using the MetaHarper (MST) family of show/choreography tools. Watch the Calendar for dates and class descriptions! As always, at the DQ Classroom.