When Jeanette Geslison was rehearsing IFDE’s American Western, her husband changed the lyrics to the song – and before they knew it, they were filming at BYU’s famous Creamery
July 3, 2021 marked the drop of the International Folk Dance Ensemble’s (IFDE) new music video titled “Boot Kickin’.” The YouTube video shows off the group’s American Western dance style.
Though the film was initially created to highlight the dancers and their performance, it wasn’t the only thing to pay attention to. If you listen closely to the song, you might hear some familiar buzzwords:
“Say, the Creamery stays open until midnight / And flutternutter is my favorite delight / And peanut butter trail’s alright / Let’s head over to the JFSB / Or the ESC Observatory...”
Did he just say the Creamery? Flutternutter? JFSB? You aren’t mistaken, those are in fact the correct lyrics to the song “Crave Ice-Cream.”
In an interview with IFDE’s artistic director Jeanette Geslison and her husband Mark Geslison, artistic director over Folk Music Ensemble, the duo shared how their husband-wife collaboration led to a new song and a very late night.
IFDE has been performing their American Western for a number of years. A top contender for international dance festivals, the group likes to showcase American heritage when performing abroad.
To enter their dances into international festivals, the routines must be accompanied by live music. The Mountain Strings Band, a group within the Folk Music Ensemble, provides the live music for this IFDE performance.
The dance routine already had a song to which it was choreographed. However, the song was under copyright. To prevent having to pay a copyright fine and in an effort to make the song lyrics more cohesive to BYU values and standards, Mark took the bones of the track and restructured the music to create a new piece.
When it came to rewriting the music, Mark said it took all but a few hours. “Students just started throwing some words around and somebody said the word ice cream. I thought, ‘Well that's fun,’” he said. “I asked some of my students what their favorite flavors are. They started mentioning some of them and I was thinking, ‘I can create some rhymes with these flavors and bring the flavors into it,’” said Mark.
Luckily, the choreography of the dance didn’t have to change. The dancers now perform to an all-original composition made exclusively for the BYU version of IFDE’s “Boot Kickin’.”
Due to the lack of performance opportunities brought on by the 2020 pandemic, Jeanette made it her mission to create more dance films for her dancers to have that performance experience.
With the filming of the dance already in mind and the new Creamery-inspired lyrics already written, ideas for shooting locations began to brew.
“Mark was actually the one that said we should film this at the Creamery and I thought, ‘Well yes, of course! We have to film it at the Creamery,’” said Jeanette. “We also wanted to have a secondary place to shoot because it's always nice to have location variety on a film. We felt that a rodeo was a great environment.”
Arrangements were made to film at the Creamery on Ninth as well as the Lehi Round-Up Rodeo grounds.
“I contacted the Creamery and they let us come at midnight. We filmed all night long from midnight till seven in the morning. That was the only option because, you know, they're open during the daytime, so that was it,” said Jeanette.
Jeanette commented that she was worried she wouldn’t be able to stay awake for so long, but with adrenaline pumping through everyone’s veins, she said it turned out to be pretty easy.
Though very specific to the campus culture of BYU, Jeanette hopes the video can have a larger impact. “I hope it will create some awareness about Brigham Young University and the fact that we have a thriving dance and music program here,” she said.
Keep an eye out for more IDFE dance films to come. Later this semester viewers can expect to see a traditional hoedown as well as a performance inspired by Tibetan culture.
To see “Boot Kickin’” and to keep an eye out for their new videos, visit their YouTube channel. To see videos by the Mountain Strings Band, visit their YouTube channel here.