Dreamed Dance Style: Gel Tapping

Moments ago, I woke from a dream about a sport new to me called Gel Tapping, which I was looking up on YouTube in the dream and deciding to follow the career of one particular performer who was quite talented at.

Gel Tapping is a prop-based breakdance/streetdance performance, that uses a kind of pliable-resin prop that is tapped, clapped, or otherwise used percussively rhythmically throughout the performance. Performance is judged by a team of 20-ish who stand around nearby as a crowded-in audience among any others gathered, judging on various metrics.

My original half-awake FB status about it here is as follows:

Just woke from another long dream where I was researching a sport I’d never heard of that had become fairly well established, called Gel Tapping.

It’s a mixture of breakdance, with that kind of gymnastics that uses a ball prop, except the ball is a molded ‘Gel’ of various shapes used percussively on the performance surface during the set.

Each performance begins with a standard ‘two-move open’ and progresses from there at the GelTapper’s design, juggling the Gel as a prop during their breakdance, tapping the Gel on the performance surface or clapped in their hands/self rhythmically.

The Gel is about the size of a small saucepan minus the handle, is made of a kind of jelly-plastic that is molded to the performer’s desired shape and has a small degree of pliability but otherwise retains its shape, and is hard enough to be tapped on the floor percussively, but can be visibly bent with the hands slightly but reverts back to its original shape on its own.

The Gel is juggled, flipped around like a soccer/basketball, and tucked onto the performer’s person creatively during their breakdance-like set, and judged by a panel of about 20 judges on various metrics for innovation, rhythm, backer track mixing if any, gel stats and history, and others..

In thinking about it some more, the Gel is a kind of resin object, possibly made of ballistics gel, that is manufactured and molded by the performer’s team, which includes the single performer, a coach/choreographer, a music mixer, and the Gel maker — and the performer can be all of these positions or just the performer. YouTube channels of some of the artists include a spotlight video on the performer, other crew like choreo/etc, and the Gel itself like details of its creation/manufacture, size, pliability, and a hands-on close-up demonstration of its handling.

The gel can be balanced on oneself, tucked into oneself, rolled around oneself, slapped/clapped against oneself or the performance surface.. think like a soccer-juggling performer, or a Harlem Globetrotter doing various single-person maneuvers with a basketball, mixed with how a floor-routine gymnast uses a ball prop, but all while attempting to maintain a rhythmic tapping of the Gel to produce some kind of percussion tap sound, steadily throughout the performance. It can be tossed in the air, bounced off the floor/performer if possible, etc, as long as the rhythm established by the two-move open is largely maintained.. each missed beat should be demerited uniquely, against the timing score.

The Gel is incorporated into the performance as a kind of centerpiece in some places, balanced on top of occasionally like a handstand or creative balancing act from, as a kind of hand-hold occasionally to spin around like a kind of sideways climbing-wall grip-point, a point of friction to propel oneself sideways to slide along the performance surface, in addition to its use as a percussion instrument.

The rhythmic use of the Gel is similar to how acoustic guitar players tap on the body of the guitar for rhythm (example: Andy McKee, but not necessarily complex, up to the performer’s style/pacing). There is a backer-track music of a desired style/mix that need not be original music, much like how floor-routine gymnastics or figure-skating events often aren’t (and receives no demerits if aren’t).

A move from a ‘two-move open’ is a standardized choreography that sets the pace of the rhythm of the percussive use of the Gel, such as tapping the Gel on the floor, clapping it against oneself, etc, that is ‘named’ kinda like how skateboarding/snowboarding tricks are named, and can be invented by the performer but are named-moves that are, from that point on, allowed to be used by anyone as opening (and therefore ‘open’ for all) moves. The rest of the performance need not necessarily develop move-names/etc and just be the body of the performance collectively and include references of others’ performances without naming them directly, but not so obviously copied.

Some whole performances can be standardized, like how a martial arts performer has a set routine to perform before judges, and performance of those standardized routines could be its own judging class, but generally whole performance duplication is for beginners and imitators (but is valid to be imitated) like how some YouTubers perform dance covers of various pop music choreography.

There are organized competitions with certain requirements for performances, exhibitions, video tutorials of current performers instructing beginners, advanced, and expert techniques, and channels for how to make a Gel, rules on creating mixes, developing choreography concepts, and more..

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