Ahhh reminiscing about show weekend which now, two weeks on seems like only a distant memory. The lead up to which can be the most stressful few weeks in a dance teacher's calendar but the rewards on show night are just the best.
The preparations for United States of Dance started in March 2018, literally straight after Dance to Fight Poverty 2018. The venue needed to be booked way back then and I knew that if I wanted to do a second year at Springwood I had some logistics which needed ironed out to ensure a successful show for 2019.
I started the creative just before summer 2018 and worked on the pieces and music choices through the holidays to start on the creation of 'Act 1' during the winter term. Some classes had Christmas dances to do for light night and such like so the pressure was on to get the pieces for show looking sharp with not a lot of tie for some. We still managed to fit in good technical lessons and creative sessions during that term to keep their classes well rounded.
With end of winter term racing in, the show was starting to come together with tickets ready for sale and costume lists released- countdown was on...
January to March term raced by and we managed to get rehearsals done with no snow days! Show week was here...
Show week is a strange week because during the start of that week everything admin, planning and preparation was done and I just had to wait patiently until Thursday for set up day whilst running through to do lists in my head over and over.
So Thursday arrives, car packed with costumes boxes, clipboards, folders... and there's no way to describe the mixture of excitement and fear when you enter an empty venue and know you have 24 hours to create a theatre. The team at Springwood are great and and along with our sound engineer we transformed the hall and it's neighbouring 'shed' into a 700 seater theatre with backstage changing zones. With the time ticking on, and the Friday night kids almost ready to descend, the sound and lights are switched on- and that's when the show adrenaline kicks in.
Team Friday starred kids from Melrose, Jedburgh, Duns and Kelso Seniors whilst the Saturday crew were all our Kelso classes and one senior Duns squad. Across the weekend- 412 dancers, and they put on a stellar show! The atmosphere backstage and at front of house was buzzing all weekend and the team spirit and camaraderie was second to none. Some children had back-to-back dances and their chaperones and team mates had them covered, helping them with their quick change and waiting for them to be ready. Every dancer in every single group hit that stage with beaming smiles, huge energy and SHONE! Starting off with our Musical Theatre Air hostesses taking us across the Atlantic and landing in New York where our minis stole the first half as miniature Statue of Liberty and we traveled by 'yellow taxi' to Broadway! Our journey continued across to the Whitehouse in Washington with 'Powerful' politicians, and down through to Las Vegas with our acro squad and to California. The second act seen us drice through the dusty roads of 'Memphis' and visit a 1950s american diner before reminiscing with a Grease medley. Our junior dancers took us to New Mexico before we took in the sights and sun of Miami before finishing in the Disney capital- Orlando, with a show from Disney Princesses, Villains and Mickey & Minnie. The backstage crew had the groups prepped for stage, hyped up and kept the show running smoothly from song one all the way through to song 44, the on stage party finale!