Written by sophomore Sarah Sigman
It’s Friday night, and it’s been on the calendar for months: your mother planned to go to the ballet with your family. The beauty and perfection during the performance is breathtaking, but what you see is not even the half of it. There is a lot behind the scenes work that is not known to the audience. For instance, when the word “dance” is mentioned, some only think of one genre, such as ballet, but dance is so much more than that. Some of the more common classes that are offered are modern, ballet, pointe, and jazz, but the sky is the limit. Though dance is very important, there is another factor that inspires the dancing: the music.
By definition, music is an art of sound in time that expresses ideas and emotions in significant forms through the elements of rhythm, melody, harmony, and color (dictionary.com). To me, it is so much more than that. Different people find inspiration through different methods, but my inspiration comes from music. It helps me focus, but at the same time, I get so distracted listening to it, getting caught up in the rhythm of the song. Next I’d find myself moving along with the beat, and eventually just dancing, by myself, in my room. Dance is my absolute favorite thing to do above all else. It’s my way to escape the pressures of life. Even though dance can be looked at as a recreational hobby, for more serious dancers it is a very difficult sport.
Professional dancers spend about eight hours a day training and rehearsing. Pre-professional dancers spend about fifteen to eighteen hours dancing per week. I am dancing with G2, the pre-professional company of Gregory Hancock Dance Theater. We practice every day for about four hours after school and also on weekends. Even though it is a rigorous schedule, we know that the end result is going to be great. G2 has the opportunity to dance with the professional company of Gregory Hancock. We have the tough schedule because we need to be able to blend with the adults in the company. We must match their energy, skill level, and technique. A few performances we have coming up are GHDT in Concert on October 4 and 5 and then our modern take on the classical Nutcracker on December 6, 7, and 8.
To prepare for a performance, we have to take an array of diverse classes. I take ballet, pointe, modern, LA jazz, Broadway jazz, contemporary ballet, Bollywood, Scottish Highland, and character. My favorite is Bollywood because we learn about Indian Culture as well as learn their style of dance. It is very fun because we have to show a lot of personality and energy. Bollywood helps me with all my other classes, and it helps me during rehearsals for shows. It reminds me to show emotion in my face as well as my body. Facial expressions have to be more exaggerated during the performance because the audience has to be able to see what is being expressed. The thrill of performance before a full audience gives me a rush like nothing else. I love the feeling of being on stage and dancing for large crowds with my fellow dancers. The whole experience is magical and even though tons of work is put into it, it makes the show a million times better.
It’s Friday night, and it’s been on the calendar for months: it is opening night. We have been rehearsing and rehearsing, and it’s finally time to show the world what we are made of. Well, maybe not the world, but the patrons who are excited see us dance. We are ready and anxious to get this show on the road. Seven o’clock hits, the house lights go down, and the curtain opens. It’s time to do what we love.