Recently I found myself sitting as an audience for an Annual day that I had choreographed along with others from The Danceworx academy.
What I really found astonishing was the eagerness to know the position . On Day 1, when I simply asked them to spread out to give each other space to dance,the kids from 6th-11th grade would only ask me if they were standing in the same position as they would stand on stage. I told them let me first teach you the choreography and just a few days before the show, your positions will be given. They smiled with a little bit of unrest in their heart which I could see in their eyes. And I turned my back towards them continuing with the choreography, I sensed the same unrest that I felt during the Summer Workshop.
It was mid April 2016 when I had just got promoted from the Beginners level in Jazz to the the next level- Basic Elementary.It was a new level, obviously tough for me. It was during the same time that I joined Probation.
The Summer workshop is The Danceworx’s annual showcase wherein all the students of the batch, along with the Probationers and the Company members perform on stage after learning and rehearsing for almost 6 weeks, showing what they had learnt during the year. Now I got promoted just a month before and I found myself struggling with the speed and sharpness of the routine. Of course I knew I was doing terrible, so I would take time out to practice more and more. Listen to the music whenever I had the time- from the way to the studio to the breaks in between, I would mentally and if possible,physically, do the routine whenever I got the time. I would always ask for feedback to know how I can improve more and if there was an improvement from my instructor after every class. Of course as a Beginner student who was just promoted, my instructor told me that I was progressing. I was happy about my growth, but that was just an absolute comparison. As compared to the group, I guess I was still sucking at it.
The final week came and I wasn’t good enough to be placed in the first row,which I could see coming, so I was okay with it. My instructor placed me in the corner,towards the end,which was kind of a shocker for someone who has always danced in the first row-centre. Obviously I was not happy. My mentor had once mentioned in his class that the auditorium is designed in such a way that the people who are sitting in the corners can never see the centre properly so each and every performer will be noticed by different people. And as long as you are enjoying, it does not matter where you have been placed.
I was mature enough to understand the logic. So I gave my full at the back with another girl who was the same case as me! But was still not happy by the fact that I was not Stage Centre.
Coming back to the school, there was this girl who,during the last week would keep coming to me and telling me that she wants to stand in the front. At first, I told her,”Let me see you do better, give me more energy and then I will see.” Later on, her friends came upto me and started telling me that she is very upset. I explained them that the position is earned through hard work and she has not caught my eye yet,so I just cannot simply place her there. It became an issue when the teacher’s also had to get involved to make her understand. I then told her the same thing that my mentor had told his class during the workshop.
But ofcourse, she did not really understand and pinged me just a few hours before the performance to swap her position. I stood by what I had said,unmelted by her words. I empathised with her but I felt she needed to know nothing in the life ever comes easy. And if that is understood early on, you will put in more efforts in whatever you do in life.
I ended the conversation saying that I need you to give me your full during the show as it is your last year here AND Do not forget to smile. She sent a smiley saying”Ok,Miss”. She also said that she would miss me a lot on the School’s dance group on the last day.
I only hope we learn and understand what goes behind to coming in the centre. Ashley Lobo, our director, also says that he started off from the last row.
And just look where he is now!
I just wanted to share this message with every dancer, every parent who’s child goes on stage that it is really not about the position. It is more about the process and the growth that you have experienced to go up there!
Work Hard,Keep dancing!
Let me know your thoughts as well 🙂