Losing Myself at SDC

Natalia '20
The stage is dark and I’m waiting behind a wing for the soft tones of singer Dean Lewis’ voice to fill the air. I breathe against the heavy black curtain and look towards the lights across the stage. They turn blue and the guitar strums tell me it’s my cue to go on. I take one last breath, close my eyes, and step out in front of the audience. Everything around me fades away. The lyric, “There is a swelling storm” is the last thing I hear before I lose myself.

Every year, after coming back from Winter Break, hundreds of Lawrencetians gather in the Kirby Arts Center for Spring Dance Concert auditions. The atmosphere is bubbling with excitement and nerves as students learn a few eighths of choreography and hope to impress their fellow student choreographers. Auditions take place over two days and, after much debate about who to take, [Director of Dance] Mr. [Derrick] Wilder chooses from the student choreographers preferences and the lists are posted on the Kirby Arts Center board. It’s an exciting beginning for many and a bittersweet ending for others. For the former, it is the start of a long process that ends with two performances at the end of April.

Being a choreographer this year was a challenge well worth the effort. It involved organizing myself and my dancers. I was fortunate enough to have a co-choreographer. We constantly leaned on one another for support, ideas, and laughs. We were lucky to have gotten a great group of girls that were willing to work hard while having fun. Our rehearsals were always filled with sweat and giggles. After my co-choreographer and I got our dancers, we scheduled three months worth of rehearsals leading up to the week of the performance. In a blink of an eye, it was tech week and we were riddled with nerves.

Tech week came faster than we anticipated and with it came last minute rehearsals, costume fittings, and light cues. It was a crazy week but when the curtain went up on Friday night for our first official performance, we were ready. Our dance was fourth, which means we stood in the wings for nearly ten minutes trying to calm ourselves before we went on. During the dance before ours, we gathered around in a circle, fingertip to fingertip, and breathed. After a few counts we grabbed hands and shook with excitement. Dancers ran off stage as we positioned ourselves behind the curtains. The blue lights came up and guitar strums signalled our beginning and I stepped out on stage. After those first few moments everything else disappeared. It was just us and the music.The rest of the world didn’t matter because for a few seconds we were lost in the best way.  

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