Last week was the first time I’ve ever danced onstage. In my life. I took ten weeks of ballet last year as a PE credit, but there was a reason my class didn’t perform at the end of the quarter. After study abroad, I figured why not take the leap and do the junior dance in our annual event put on by Frelon? (Frelon is the student run dance troupe.) I mentioned it once in a previous blog, but after dancing onstage all of last week, I know that this experience deserves more attention. Frelon is annually one of the biggest events on campus, but I didn’t realize what that would look like on our first rehearsal as a full company. The audience of Dalton Theatre was full of dancers waiting to go onstage as the student directors gave directions. For being totally within my comfort zone (safely on K’s campus), I was completely exhilarated and terrified.
The junior dance was first up during our first few rehearsals because it’s traditionally one of the biggest groups. We all lined up and felt incredibly awkward, looking over at each other as the lights went down. And then… there it was, Macklemore singing “Dance. Dance. Dance! Dance!” We started, and inevitably we all messed up, our spacing was off, and we were cracking up the entire time. But there were also parts where I felt spot on, choreographed and dancing in time with everyone else. It was liberating, and something I’ve never done before, not because I haven’t had the opportunity, but because I was always terrified. After study abroad I knew I could do it. I hiked a mountain range in a day, I biked 100 miles in a weekend, and I explored Shanghai and Hong Kong. What was stopping me from something as trouble-free as dancing at K? Even as we rehearsed leading up to tech week I was incredibly self conscious, but when the lights were up and we had an audience (even if it was just the other dancers), adrenaline was running high. I finally did something I’ve always wanted to do because I finally had the courage.
Thursday was opening night. The audience was full, but not quite sold out. The mood backstage was excitement; everyone was enthusiastic because those of us in Frelon were finally unveiling all our hard work to our peers. The theme for the junior dance costumes was superheroes, and Margaux stood onstage chanting “Dance! Dance! Dance!” at the beginning, summoning all her superheroes to the stage. My heart was pumping as we ran down the aisles and onstage and friends began shouting for us. The show was sold out on both Friday and Saturday nights, so the energy escalated with each performance. The excitement from the dancers was reciprocated by the audience, building the positive vibes. It’s a huge campus bonding night, and after each curtain call we all ran into the lobby of FAB. Everyone who had been in the performance let out a huge scream that I bet could be heard from downtown. It was an amazing experience, and I just made participation in the senior dance a prerequisite for living in our house next year