I’m aware that I’ve written about dancing quite a bit on this blog. But I have never performed a solo dance performance in front of an audience before. I have performed smaller group performances.. when I was still a child and more gutsy than I am now. But stage performances don’t come easily to me.
However, since starting university, and of course since starting street dance lessons, my confidence has improved greatly. With this in mind, on Saturday 15th March 2014, the Saturday that just passed, I took part in my university’s Asian Society’s annual cultural show called Dhamaal.
I decided to participate in 3 dances, one of which was the more familiar street act, and the other two being two dances that were new to me, Kandiyan, which is traditional Sri Lankan dancing, and Bollywood dancing.
The sign up for the show took place towards the end of last year, with rehearsals due to start at the end of January this year, but come January, I came to know my friend was no longer able to choreograph the routine for the street/hip hop act. No choreography means no act and so a few people had recommended me to the events organisers and the committee to choreograph a routine instead.
I had never choreographed before and it seemed like such a daunting task, but I took on the challenge purely because I didn’t want the show to lose the street/hip hop act.
After weeks of choreographing and finding only one other person who wanted to take part in this act with me, the street dance performance came together nicely. On top of this, I had rehearsals for the other two dances, one of which was not for me. Regardless I still enjoyed learning both.
Finally, after a week of rehearsals every day, mornings and evenings, the show day dawned on us all. You could just feel the nervousness and excitement in the air, see all the figdeting fingers and twiddling thumbs. It was definitely a new experience. We did a whole show run through before getting into costume and soon it was show time.
Bollywood was the opening act for the show, and I can honestly say I’ve never been so proud of the group of girls I danced with for performing fantastically and without showing the nerves. Kandiyan was also done so well and was definitely one of the best, if not the best, acts of the show.
But for me, the pressure was really on for the street performance. The routine was perfect and we both knew it so well. However I had to have a 3 minute quick change from one costume into my street costume, and start of the act with a solo routine. I had to get it right and not let anyone down.
But, to my surprise, as soon as the music started playing, it was as if everything around me disappeared and I was dancing alone. All the fear was gone and nerves were nonexistent. The cheers towards the end of my solo really helped get me through my part of the routine, and that, along with the huge amount of cheering the crowd did for my partner’s solo, really got me pumped up for the last bit of our routine. The dance ended well, I did my best friend and dance partner proud, and the night ended with a lot of praise from so many people.
Definitely taking part in this next year. I don’t see why anyone wouldn’t want to. It’s a feeling you won’t understand unless you take part in a show like this. 🙂