As told by VOU dancer and teacher Sharleen Ali
Three weeks, seven 40 minute shows, 22 dancers out of which 7 were completely new to the dancing scene and staging all these shows continuously over 2 weeks. I didn’t know how we were going to accomplish this, but I knew it wasn’t impossible either!
Organization played a huge part in these 3 weeks. We were split into two groups with 2 lead choreographers. Each show was assigned a director who took charge of everything for that show; from choreography, set, props to music, and costumes. They then delegated tasks for each of the dancers in that group. In times like this, the dancers really came together and demonstrated team work and created a positive space around the studio; this helped tremendously, especially due to our hectic schedule.
Walking into our first week we thought we had it all under control, but then the plot twisted and we realized that as well as all our rehearsals we also had close to 6 performances each week. So we had to juggle learning all the new material and then practice our repertoire as well as performing the various shows in Suva or Nadi!! WHAT?!
Each day our rehearsals would start at 9.30am and continue till 5pm; with an odd hour or so for lunch in between. Even though our day would officially end at 5, most dancers would remain at the studio to finish up, clean choreography or start on costumes till late in the night; eat, sleep then repeat, while the rest would be performing. Seven times a week, all day, every day for 3 weeks this is all we did. It was so damn exhausting but at the end of the 3 weeks, the accomplishment and fulfillment we all felt was so much more rewarding than all the stress, over-worked and over exhausted minds.
But it wasn’t over yet, we still had 7 shows to perform over 12 days!
Over these 12 days, we performed 3 special shows created exclusively for Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Years’ Eve and 4 main shows that we performed at least twice. It was hectic! Each group performed for 3 days straight then had a break for a few days while the next group performed.
Each day was quite intense; practice at 9.30am till mid-day then lunch, pack and travel to the venue. Around 3pm we had a full space run through which then lead to our next phase; getting ready for the show and channeling our Energy! Spirit! and Mana! 6pm we sneaked in a quick fun photo shoot and set up the technical components and at 6.30pm on the dot, the preparation, the commitment, the energy was all put to the test; the show began.
Our passion and commitment didn’t go unnoticed – the appreciation that all the dancers received from people made us all realize once again why we love dancing. All the hard work, stress, late nights and tedious rehearsals were all worth it in the end.
Three weeks, seven 40 minute shows, 22 dancers; all performed over 2 weeks came to an end. We did it, we accomplished this intense period of dance, and we all came out as successful team players and dancers. So bring it on 2016 – these last few months show we can rise to the challenge 🙂