The Student Scoop Series: We want to provide a platform to encourage our dancers to share their individual growth, experiences and insights as they bloom as dancers in our community.
This is Nirupama Ganesh (Grade 3 + JDC) sharing with us her experience on attending our 2018 Summer Intensive, ‘Adventures in Neverland’.
“Get out of the house more often!”
This was what I heard all summer. I sighed as I looked at my unfinished to-do list of summer activities.
“Motivation…” I muttered under my breath. “That’s what I really-“ *Light bulb flash*
I looked up at the poster for the Summer Intensive at TLFCB HQ, themed ‘Finding Neverland’ and grinned widely at the prospect of having something fun to fill my days, and pleasing my parents by getting out of the house, all at the same time. “Perfect.”
– Cut to the end of the first day of Summer Intensive –
The music faded as we all curtseyed and slowly limped towards our bags. We were sweaty and tired, sore and hungry (did I mention sweaty?), but as we left the studio, I couldn’t help but notice the exhilarated smiles on everyone’s faces. As someone who usually dances an average of 3 ½ hours per week, I knew that a 3 hour class would be exhausting (and I was right – a hot shower has never felt so good!). What I didn’t anticipate was just how much fun I would have in the process.
The intensive was held over a period of 2 weeks, with classes for ballet, body conditioning, jazz, musical theatre and the basics of stage makeup. The ballet lessons were, as expected, extremely challenging. We attempted steps that were far above our own grades, which would have been intimidating if not for the contagious enthusiasm exuded by the younger kids from the Primary ballet grade. Their ‘can-do’ attitude definitely inspired the rest of us to give our best shot at mastering those steps. The body conditioning section consisted of a Callanetics class for those in grade 2 and above (which includes me). I had guessed that it might be some form of “workout”, and while I was right, I could never have imagined in my wildest nightmares just how gruelling it would be. The long holds in uncomfortable stretches forced us to use muscles we didn’t know we had, and often left us incredibly sore for the rest of the day. However, in retrospect, the Callanetics sessions were definitely a highlight to the intensive – nothing was more rewarding that the euphoric waves of relief and satisfaction that swept through us when we were done.
“Jazz classes were filled with explosive energy; the style demanded the performer in us to step up, which was an enjoyable challenge.”
It was made better by our gleeful grins whenever we heard the phrase “DON’T turn out!” The finale of our show was set to the song ‘We’re all made of Stars’, from the Broadway musical Finding Neverland. I had heard it before, but Ms. Elina’s “Motivational Speeches” made us truly believe that we could, indeed, be ‘anything we wanted to be’ as the lyrics proclaimed. No matter how tired we were, we always had smiles on our faces by the end of the upbeat, cheerful number.
As the day of the show dawned, a buzz of excitement and anticipation filled the air as we prepared to show our families the results of all that we had learnt in the past two weeks. We helped each other get ready, applying all the tricks and techniques we had learnt in the makeup tutorials; at the end, our faces were a far cry from the black smudged monstrosities our parents had faced on the first day. Although the show (and the applause that followed) was over in a matter of minutes, we knew the memories of the event would linger in our minds for a long time. This Summer Intensive was a testament to the truth behind the statement, “The journey is more important than the destination.” The techniques and skills that we learnt and the precious bonds of camaraderie and friendship we formed will definitely last us for a while—at least until next year, when we will hopefully return for the Summer Intensive of 2019!
“This Summer Intensive was a testament to the truth behind the statement, ‘The journey is more important than the destination.’ “
[Grade 3 + JDC]