I was the first student to arrive at the auditorium on Saturday. (If I’m not running late, I’m obnoxiously early.) I hung up my costumes, claimed a spot at the mirror, and started working on make-up. The dressing room filled up quickly. Even though we were all different degrees of nervous, there was no bitchiness backstage. The women all worked together applying eyelashes, makeup, glitter, zipping zippers, laughing and paying compliments.
We did a quick second dress rehearsal, running through all 31 numbers and the Finalé. The rehearsal scared me all over again. The stage was a great deal slower than the dance studio’s hardwoods. It felt almost sticky and my turns fell apart. After that disaster, J promised another run-through, which we finished just before the auditorium doors opened. Then the show started. The atmosphere backstage as we all listened to the music of the staff’s opener (and the audience’s reactions) was tense and excited. “My God – there are real people out there!”
I was thankful that my numbers were both in the first act. I felt really good about how my dances went. Then I just waited. Toward the end of the show, another student and I were out in the hallway practicing for the Finalé… when we almost missed it. One of the teachers came running out to find us, and we made it onstage just in time. Oops. At least we did it well.
Watching the recorded performance at the cast party afterward was painful. I have gained a lot of weight, and I did see all my awkward moments and minor mistakes. But, considering that I was so terrified that I would go blank, turn the wrong way, fall out of my dress, miss a turn or pull J down, I am more than satisfied with how I did in both. I’m not going to pick them apart.
Well, now that I’ve done a Showcase, I don’t feel the need to ever do one again. I spent 5-6 months having lessons on these two routines, and I don’t begrudge the time spent. It paid off. But it is a large investment in time, money and energy to learn a routine for a number that is only about 2 minutes long. J would probably clarify that not only was I working on learning the routine(s), but also getting better at the technical elements of the dances I chose, not to mention the performance aspect which has always been a nightmare for me. That is all true.
I feel amazed that I actually enjoyed performing. I think a lot of that is due to the hypnosis CD I’d been listening to. That was a good investment, too.
- Being afraid to do something is not a good reason not to do it. (I seem to keep revisiting this one.)
- I can do more than I sometimes think I can.
- The professional dancers are so much more than we see in our lessons. Seeing them perform so many routines, including their “pro” routines, was amazing.
- Recalling how patiently my teachers, especially J, helped me to learn the choreography almost chokes me up. I know this to be true for several students. Teaching adults with hang-ups has to be harder in many ways than teaching little children.
- Watching ordinary people perform outside their comfort zones can be inspiring.
- I love that I did something that made my kids say they were proud of me.
- I like the sound of applause when it’s for me. No. I love the sound of applause when it’s for me.
- There’s something about wearing a tiara that just makes you feel great.
One of my “101 in 1001” goals is to periodically do something that scares the hell out of me, and then write about it. That is one of the reasons I did Showcase – because I have always been really, really afraid to. Now it’s time to tackle something new. I know everyone is weary of me mentioning it, so this post will be the LAST one dedicated to the topic of Showcase. There are more important things in the world! Thank you for bearing with my self-absorption on the matter.