Welcome back to my blog or if you are new, welcome! I’m really happy you stumbled upon my crazy blog and my crazy life! Today’s post is about the first dance competition of the 2017 season. It’s crazy how fast it came. Check out my past competition blog posts here and here!
As you all probably know, I’m a competitive dancer. I’ve been dancing since I was 4, on pointe since I was 10, and competing since I was 11. I was on my studios very first mini team and have been there ever since. This season, I was cast in two dances, Line Team-a character/jazz piece to Uptown Girl about Alice in wonderland (as a big Alice), and Large Teen Team-a hard hitting lyrical/contemporary piece to Out of the Woods by Taylor Swift. It’s been a pretty crazy season. We got a couple new dancers from out of studio as well as many injuries. A girl, I’ll call her Bailey, suffers from anxiety and couldn’t compete. We found this out a month before our first competition. We’ve had a senior dancer, our team captain, suffer from a hip injury, taking her out of all her pieces. A mini dancer gave us a scare with her maybe sprained ankle. A girl with a black toenail. A dancer with tendonitis. The list could go on and on. Still many people are injured including my friend who is performing a solo and is in four other dances. That plus drama and other cray cray stuff has made this season more hectic than previous ones.
Most of the pieces were scheduled to compete Sunday and all of mine were on Sunday. I had to get to the studio at 9:30 AM, hair and makeup done, even though I wasn’t to perform until 2:30. We did a quick stretch and warm up. You could sense a nervous energy bouncing around the air. A couple of girls were competing their first solos, others competing for the first time EVER. All of us girls tried to put on an act that we were relaxed and chill but even the most advanced of us had jitters. The little ones couldn’t hide their jitters as much, running about and talking nervously.
We did a long warm up class, led by our teacher Ms. C. The class calmed me as I felt my body bend and contract. It was just like any other day. We began to turn. I felt a little off-balance which worried me because I had turns in one of my dances. I kept turning until I felt on my leg again and took a deep breath. It would all be okay.
We drove to the competition. I wouldn’t compete until several hours later so I watched in the audience with some of my friends who were also not dancing yet. We saw some AMAZING dances. The anxiety I had started to rise up in my stomach. I took a deep breath and swallowed it back down.
As we watched people from our team kill it on stage, we cheered super loud and stood up in our seats. The Seniors nailed it for sure. Contemporary small team did very good too, except a small bobble towards the end of the dance.
It made me a little nervous realizing that soon, it would be me on that stage.
It was awards. Even though I wasn’t in any of the dances, I wanted to go support my team. As they were getting the trophies and plaques ready we Juju’d on that beat, whipped, nae naed, and basically danced our heart out. I love awards because it’s so fun to dance before and get the awards. Seniors did amazing, as expected. They got first overall and most entertaining act! Contemporary got 7th overall which is huge in a category of twenty. After the excitement of awards wore off, we needed to get ready for the last two dances of the weekend. My dances.
I got changed in my metallic long skirt and lacy crop top. I also laid out my costume for Uptown Girls because we only had fifteen minutes in between the two dances. The nervous energy was all through the air. We were all visibly nervous. Before we knew it our number was called and Out of the Woods was playing on stage. I thought I did good afterwards. This dance is basically like a panic attack because we are supposed to be running away from “the woods” but also we had to be “the woods” at the same time. Half of the time, you are little red riding hood, the other half the queen of the woods.
We left stage everyone happy but we had no time to celebrate. We must have looked ridiculous, running across the street in our costumes full speed to the dressing rooms. I threw on my Alice costume and propped my black and white bow on my, now pretty messy, bun. We ran back, wearing comical Alice costumes and sassy red Queen costumes, carrying fake roses, faces sweaty, wearing lyrical shoes. It must have been quite a scene.
We got backstage with a couple of dances ahead of us. Whew. I helped set up the rose props on the sidelines and began to practice my turns.
I’m one of the only big Alices. The other two are a lot older than me. They are very nice, but they aren’t my age. The rest of the Alices are little ones. 9-11 year old “minis.” The little girls looked extremely nervous so I gathered them around. I looked them in the eye and told them we were playing a game. The facial game: a game where we give our best facial expression and pass them around the circle. This was a game our dance teacher taught us when I was a mini dancer. It always got me in the zone. The girls perked up and we started to play. We played and I could see the girls get more focused and concentrated. Out of the corner of my eye. I could see the red heart chair being set in the middle of the stage. The music for our dance began to play. Luckily us Alice’s don’t come on until later in the song so I wasn’t worried.
I gave my best pep talk and put my hand in the center of our little circle we made. The little girls hands started to join mine.
“3, 2, 1 ALICES!” We half whispered half screamed, throwing our hands up in the air.
Then it was my cue. I nailed that dance. I did the best facials I have ever, my turns were clean, a judge smiled at me. I did it. Actually no, we did it. I couldn’t have done it without the whole team, our teachers, and my parents.
We ended up getting 2nd overall for Out of the Woods in a big division as well as a Judges Choice Award. We got 3rd for Uptown Girls, Best Costume, and Sparkling Performance Judges Choice award.
I was exhausted but happy. It certainly was a great day.