On the Wednesday night before the show, all the props and costumes were transported to the Yates Memorial Centre, where the final preparations for the show would take place. It was also the night of our lighting rehearsal. Every group was given 15 minutes on stage to run through their dance so that decisions could be made on the position, colour, and timing of lighting. It wasn’t the most interesting night of show prep, but it was important all the same.
Thursday night was more exciting, albeit hectic. It was our full dress rehearsal, so we had to be in costume and have our hair and make-up done as if it were the night of the show. We had to keep to the show’s schedule, so after a number ended, you had to stay clear of the hallways that lead from the stage to the dressing rooms or else you would get knocked over by dancers who had to quickly change into their next costume. Dancers can choose to be in up to four numbers in the show, so depending on where your dance is scheduled in the program, you either have a lot of time between dances, or you are already in the process of shedding your costume as soon as you’re off stage. The dressing rooms are also quite crowded with all of the dancers’ costumes, make-up, hair accessories, street clothes, coats, and bags scattered about. It’s very chaotic, but still a lot of fun.
Your nerves kick into high gear come the day of the show. In order to combat my nerves, I tried to get a good sleep (which was a bit of a challenge with a 5-month-old), ate as healthy as I could (the snack tables the dancers set up in the change rooms can be too enticing to resist), and practiced the dance steps in my head whenever I had a moment to myself. There were also last minute rehearsals we had to attend early in the afternoon so we could go through some last-minute changes. Then you have to do your make-up, get into costume, still your heart from leaping out of your chest, and dance.
Lucky for me, there were two evening performances this year, one on Friday, and one on Saturday. So if you screwed something up on Friday night, you could try to redeem yourself on Saturday night. Though this was not the case for me since I had the great misfortune of dropping my fan prop at different points in the song on both nights. I asked friends who watched both performances about it, and they said they didn’t see it happen. Phew! It really helps when you have dancers that are more graceful than you are to distract the audience at those times. ;)
One thing that’s great about An Explosion of World Dance & Music is that everyone is welcome to dance. You don’t have to be stick-figure thin with years of dance experience. Ammena welcomes all ages, shapes, and skill levels. Lise-Anne is very accommodating, and encourages everyone with an interest in dance to join the company and learn. This is what attracted me Ammena in the first place.
Everyone who has a dream to be on stage and dance has a place at Ammena Dance Company.