The Dance Ensemble puts on one dance showcase each semester. All of the pieces in the show are choreographed by students in the club. This semester, I taught contemporary, ballet, and tap classes and choreographed two pieces for the show. Here’s a behind-the-curtains look at the choreography experience.
Tuesday, September 9th: Here’s where it all begins
Tonight was the first night of my dance classes this semester. I’m teaching three classes and choreographing two pieces for the fall dance show. The contemporary class will be dancing to “Tee Shirt” by Birdy and the ballet and tap classes will both be dancing in the same piece set to “I See Fire” by Ed Sheeran. We have six weeks to choreograph the pieces and get them ready for the show. The show is October 19th which seems so far away now, but I only have 5 more weeks of teaching before the show.
I had a great turnout (dance pun intended) for all of my classes tonight. The first week is a drop/add week, so I know I won’t have this many people next week. I taught a few sections of choreography this week and I’m already excited about all of the pieces.
Tuesday, September 23rd: Halfway already?
It’s so hard to believe I’ve already taught three of the six weeks of dance classes for the semester. Tonight, I finished choreographing nearly all of “Tee Shirt,” which is very exciting. There’s still lots to do for “I See Fire,” though. I’ve taught the ballet and tap classes separately up to this point, but next week I’ll start teaching them as a 1 ½ hour combined class. I’m starting to panic a bit about “I See Fire” because I only have three weeks left to put this piece together. Most of the pieces for the Dance Ensemble show are about three minutes, but “I See Fire” is five minutes long. That’s a lot to choreograph and teach!
Tuesday, October 7th: Crunch time
I have one week of classes left. One week. That’s kind of terrifying, but I’m also starting to get excited about the show. “Tee Shirt” is looking pretty good so far but “I See Fire” still needs a lot of work. Since “I See Fire” is so long and involves some partner work, I’m still not totally done teaching the dance yet. And I only have one week left. Yikes!
Sunday, October 12th: Extra rehearsal
This afternoon, the Dance Ensemble held an extra rehearsal for all of the dances. We didn’t have much time (15 or 30 minutes per dance), but something is better than nothing. I’m still feeling nervous about “I See Fire.”
Tuesday, October 14th: And then it was over…
Tonight was the last night of my dance classes. The “Tee Shirt” rehearsal went very well and the dance is looking very clean. The “I See Fire” rehearsal also went well and I’m feeling much more confident about both pieces now. The dancers got their costumes tonight- we have several drawers of costume pieces that we can use for the show or we have the option to order costume pieces as long as they aren’t too expensive. I found enough of all the pieces I wanted to use in the costume drawers, so I did not order any costume pieces. Now that all of the dancers have their costumes and the dances are completely finished, I’m starting to get excited for the show. T-minus four days until show time!
Sunday, October 19th: Just dance, it’ll be okay
I just finished dancing in the show and I’m feeling tired, sore, and very happy! This morning, we had our dress rehearsal from 9:30 to 12:30 and then were required to be back at the auditorium at 3 to stretch and prepare for the show.
One of my favorite feelings in the world is the little burst of adrenaline I get every time I step onstage to dance. Participating in the Dance Ensemble shows lets me keep feeling that awesome adrenaline rush and it has opened up even more doors for me as an artist. And now, in addition to dancing in the shows, I get to choreograph pieces for the shows!