Friday, January 31, 2014

Dance Auditions

Okay, so every semester, Colgate University holds this thing called "Dancefest" on the chapel stage. It's where all the groups on campus (which, at such a small liberal arts school, is quite a large number of groups) perform a routine. Last semester was the first time I both watched and took part in (I'm part of the Colgate Ballet Company) Dancefest, and OHMYGOD. 10/10, would recommend (as my friend O.T. would put it.) The talent level was ridiculous

And out of all these amazing groups, my favorite was "DDT." No, I don't mean that pesticide component known to reduce the thickness of bird eggshells. At Colgate, "DDT" stands for "Doin the Damn Thang." Picture them on the wooden stage: a group in white button downs and black shorts. The music starts, music with a strong beat and hip-hop flair, music so fast, it's crazy that anyone would try to dance to it. But they do. And they're all hella sexy. Body rolls so hot I can't even. Sass and attitude to the max. Popping and dancing and just doin' the damn thang!

So when I saw the purple poster, I knew I had to try out. 

Even though I can't body roll or pop, and I don't have that much 'tude. The purple poster with Beyonce doing a booty tooch and the words in ALL CAPS: DOIN' THE D* THANG AUDITIONS JAN 31st FRIDAY 3 PM RYAN 209, coerced me to obey its underlying commands. I marked the date straight away on my Google Calendar and set myself on going to my second ever dance audition (the first being my first day at the Colgate Ballet Company where I tried out for a role in the Nutcracker).

So today, I searched for this room in Ryan, a building I'd never been to before, and when I found it, I saw some friends, Ryan and Sharon, which was great because seeing familiar faces totally took the edge of my nerves. I also started stretching with a sophomore named Lauren from my Challenges of Modernity class. "We can be nervous together," she told me after I told her I was scared even though we were only starting the warm-up. 

Hip-hop blared through the speakers and filled the small dance studio room with bass and the n-word. About twenty people stood behind a DDT member who was leading us in stretches, all of us facing the mirror which spanned the entire front wall. 

I looked at my reflection. I was this tiny Asian girl with a lace hair bow, yoga pants, tennis shoes, and a black bro tank with a bright green dinosaur and the words "T-Rex hates push-ups." I kept looking at it as I followed another DDT girl as she started teaching us the routine. I was always half-a-beat late, tripping over my feet, or forgetting to do the arms with our moves. 

After a few practices, I still couldn't really remember the moves. Even during ballet, it would take me so much longer than everyone else to memorize routines.  "One-two-three-four-five-six-seven-eight. One-two-" I started mouthing the numbers along with the leader. "One= drop low" "In-Out-In" until "four." "Five-six-seven-eight" is the soldier steps (don't forget the arms!) Then step, clap, scissors. Arms to the side. Jump Jump. Arms to the other side. Jump Jump! "One" starts when you body roll. At "six" do the coffee grinder! Switch to the other side. Step four times. Right leg back. Right forward. Arms down. It was a lot to think about. Plus, I needed to add attitude and my own "style."

They divided us up into groups. I was in Group 2 with Ryan, Lauren, and two other girls who's names I didn't quite catch; we were all pretty nervous. 

We were going to do the entire minute-long routine once with a DDT leader, and then do it reference-less as a group. The first two measures of eight were freestyle. Ryan and I both did Zumba together last semester, so we decided to do a Zumba move (left arm back, right arm back, then do the sprinkler) for old time's sake and to show we had personality. Then after those moves, I started doing the Bernie, and Ryan looked over and burst into laughter. 

When it was time for our group to the routine on our own, I just did the damn thang! I didn't even think about it, really. It's like, I wasn't even present mentally, solely physically, feeling this rush of movement, bass, and excitement as I body rolled as well as I possibly could, let my shoulders do whatever, and let the dancer inside of me take over. It was seriously one of the best experiences of my life; I felt so alive

Even if I don't get into DDT this semester, I'm definitely trying again next year. Their group is totally laid-back and sexy and so fucking good at dancing that I can not describe how good they are without throwing in an expletive. 

 and here's a picture of me with the poster because I'm obsessed and I'm allowed to steal it since auditions are over 

Anyway, yay for trying new things! And Happy Chinese New Year c:

♥ Angel 

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