My first dance competition in 9 years was yesterday. I woke up at 9, showered and loaded my hair full of styling product, packed up my Caboodle, threw on my Dancin’ On Broadway hoody, ate breakfast and hit the road at 10:30 am. The competition, Legacy, was at Kennedy High School in Bloomington. We weren’t on until 2:45, but I wanted to get there early to watch some other groups perform. I stopped at the gas station and picked up a box of raspberry Nutrigrain bars, a Diet Coke and a banana for sustenance since there wouldn’t be any concessions at the school.
Once on the highway I realized I didn’t have any pants to wear while stretching out, so I turned around and headed back home. 10:40 am and I was out the door again. It felt strange to be driving myself to my first competition. In the past I never had to think about all this nonsense of when to leave, how to get there, etc. because Randy took care of everything. Fortunately the drive was easy; two highways and then onto Nicollet. The Google map said 32 minutes, but it only took 20 (not including the turn around of course). I’ve had competitions at Kennedy before, but none of it looked familiar anymore. I found the dressing room (cafeteria) and dropped off my stuff. No one from my class was there yet so I moseyed into the auditorium to watch the dances that were going on. Since I didn’t know any of the other classes at my studio (DOB) I had to look around at the people who were cheering the loudest and see what studio logo they wore.
The biggest change from back in the day that I noticed was hair and jewelry. We wore earrings my senior year and I think barrettes for pointe too, but now it seemed that everyone had earrings, rhinestone chokers, barrettes… There were even classes where the girls with belly button piercings wore matching danglies. High school kids didn’t even have belly button piercings when I was that age. One girl in my class had hers pierced, and I remember thinking that was really weird.
The hair styles are different too now. When I danced before the styles cycled through curly ponytail, long curly banana clip wig, short curly banana clip wig, then tight slicked back style a la bun or French braid with tail tucked under, in that order. Buns were always in style of course. Now it’s straight pony tails adorned with rhinestone pony holders, or hair down and straight, and giant back combed poofs as well. I saw one class with short curly pony wigs, and they almost looked out of place.
Anyhow, after watching dances for about an hour I headed back to the dressing room to do my hair and makeup. Then some stretching took place, followed by putting on my bright pink jazz costume and a little group rehearsal.
Jazz didn’t go as well for me as I had hoped. Nerves got the best of me and I blanked out for about 4 counts. My turns hadn’t gone as well as planned either. I was too overstimulated to think about things like pulling up my knees, tightening my core and spotting. It wasn’t horrible by any means, just not my personal best. I’m going to blame it on my first time back out, as tap went just fine. I had a lot of fun on stage, it felt like the class had a good vibe going on, and I don’t recall messing up. I will have to get a new pair of tights though. In the past I’ve always cut out the waist bands, can’t have unsightly mid-stomach lines you know? Unfortunately once the waist band was missing from my low rise (yet another style difference) tights, there was nothing holding them up other than my costume and I could feel them slipping to the mid-butt area. Oh well, lesson learned.
There were less than ten performances after us, then it was time for awards. We won gold for both dances, as well as high score in our category for tap and 2nd high score for jazz. Of course, we weren’t actually competing against anyone, so I guess the high score awards are really not that impressive. There were about four studios there and hopefully next time there will be someone in our age bracket. The ladies got platinum for both of their dances, as well as a couple other DOB classes that danced in the Sunday afternoon competition. Golds were a popular award, but I did hear a few silvers get called. The judging must be more strict these days because it seemed like the dancing was a lot better, but with much less platinum awards given out. We also got bracelets color coded to our award. You know those rubbery bracelets with the words imprinted in them? Yeah those. I think they say Legacy. It’s kind of cool. Not that I’ll make them a accessory to my next outfit or anything, but typically the dancers don’t get anything, so it’s a nice little souvenir. DOB also took some awards for best choreography and high scores.
It was a fun day. It felt good to be back on stage again. I think next time will go better since I’ve got a feel for it again. Hopefully the nerves will go away and only excitement and anticipation will remain!!