The team has had a rough few weeks. It started with the ridiculous amount of snow that was dumped onto our campus over the course of two weeks. Apparently, the roof of our Sports Complex (affectionately called the SpoCo) wasn’t equipped to handle the snow and closed after worries that the roof was about to collapse.
Our captains pulled together and scrambled to find a place for us to practice. We had a fundraiser show coming up, not to mention that Nationals is, oh, like two months away? We practiced in common rooms of three different residence halls and in Alumni Hall. We were scheduling extra practices outside of our normal three a week to try to get pieces put together for the fundraiser and going to the basketball games to support the men and women by dancing at halftime and during the time outs.
Early this week, I received a text from one of my dance professors explaining she was working on the schedule now for the dance team to reserve space and could I please tell her when our practice times were. Sure, no problem, I texted her back and she let drop this doozy during her reply: “The SpoCo is closed the rest of the semester.”
According to my professor, the SpoCo had six twisted beams from the weight of the snow and therefore was likely to implode. The SpoCo contains the school’s only dance studio and is therefore the only space on campus with a mirror. Sure, we could find space to practice, but having no mirror would make cleaning our Nationals routine (which was looming in the background amid our frenzied preparation for basketball games and our fundraiser) extremely difficult. One of the most important aspects of dancing on the team is dancing together and making it look as if there aren’t 19 different girls on the floor, but one dancer cloned over and over again. You can imagine this would be difficult if we weren’t able to see what we looked like.
But, there was good news attached to the catastrophic news. The school had agreed to convert a staff conference room in the dining hall into a dance studio. After I heard this news, I went immediately to the conference room to scope it out. As I stood in the room, I tried to imagine it without the tables, and with marley, mirrors, and barres. It would work. In fact, it might be even better than our old studio which was oddly shaped and notoriously difficult to reserve for practice time.
Feeling less panicky, I called one of my captains.
“Bad news or good news first?”
“Bad news,” she said.
“The SpoCo is closed for the rest of the semester.” I knew what this news would do to Lisa, who’d been frantically rescheduling our practices under the assumption that the SpoCo must be re-opening. “Okay, now breathe and I’ll tell you the good news.”
I explained how a new studio was being put together and that our practice times wouldn’t change that much. It was going to be okay!
With that fiasco settled, the team buckled down for two more nights of practice (one in a common room and one in Alumni Hall) in preparation for our fundraiser. Our captains and coaches have been doing endless behind the scenes work securing hundreds of loose ends, none of which came together easily, in order to make this show a reality. Even now that the show is happening tonight, I still have residual stress from the past few weeks. Last night, I had a dream we had to resort to doing the show in my driveway, using my garage door as a curtain.
So, after weeks of preparation by every member of the team, extra rehearsals, and being relocated time and time again, the team is ready to present our pieces at our fundraiser performance tonight and tomorrow!
And, here is my shameless plug:
Come see the dance team at Martin tonight and tomorrow at 7pm! $5 – pay with your hillcard! The show will only be about 45 minutes, so take a break from whatever you’re doing and see us dance!
In all seriousness, the team seriously needs support. Every year we are desperate for funds to cover our costumes, our choreographer, our flight, our hotel rooms, registration and other fees associated with going to Nationals to represent our college. Every year we pay hundreds of dollars out-of-pocket despite our best fund-raising efforts and I’m sure this year will be no different, but we would really appreciate it if you could come out and support us. Every little bit helps, but more than that, knowing we have the college community behind us would really mean a lot to the team.
See you tonight! 🙂