“We go together
Like rama lama lama ka dinga da dinga dong
As shoo-bop sha wadda wadda yippity boom de boom
Chang chang changitty chang sha-bop
That’s the way it should be
In January, I was approached by the director of my Alma mater’s spring musical. A classmate of mine had suggested my name to her. The director was in need of a choreographer.
I’ve taught dance since 9th grade, helping fill in here and there- while only officially teaching since November of 2016. I have danced since I was 5, and continued to do so throughout college.
So, I agreed to meet with the director to make sure my schedule worked with her schedule. Monday’s and Thursday from 3:30-7:30 p.m. and Saturday 9 a.m.-1 p.m. I would be teaching choreography to a bunch of high school actors, many of which are still just learning how to move their hands and feet at the same time. But I was up for the challenge.
Now the dance I teach is tap, jazz and ballet… musical theater is soooo different yet so similar. It’s about bringing the songs to life through movement. Lucky for me, my best friend in highschool was in most musicals and both of my dance teachers were either in musicals or choreographers for musicals. During my many years at dance, we were able to do a few musical numbers; wizard of oz, little red hat, etc.
But again, I was up for the challenge of teaching 48 students to move all together.
It was seriously one of the most extraordinary experiences to be able to watch this show come together. From no one knowing their lines to melt downs to freakouts… it was never dull…. But these kids lived for this. They were drama students after all. They thrive on pressure, stress and chaos.
Watching them struggle to move their hips to finding the timing that works there was always room for improvement. But then came the day of the show… this was it. Sink or swim. Their acting, dancing, and lines were what they were… now they needed to bring it, and booooyyyy did they bring it.
This group of kids were the star athletes, National Honor Society members, Student Government officers. They were the honor roll students. They do it all. Staying there 12+ hours with school, practice, homework, tech week, “hell week”, meetings, they managed to get it all done, while they may have not loved every second… but one day they will.
I watched so many of them over the last 3 months turn into such different individuals. The quiet girl who talked to no one at first, found friends that she hangs-out with outside of school now. Students learned determination, persistence, resilience, “coachabilty,” disappointment and rewards as simple as a giggle from the audience with a perfectly delivered line.
It was a gradual build up and finished with a bang.
I’m so insanely proud of those kids and everything they managed to accomplish in a few weeks.
However, I am so happy to have a few extra hours of my life back, but look forward to the next musical whether I have any part of it or not is irrelevant. Knowing what those kids work through they will have my unending support in anything they need.