Well, summer is right around the corner! Some people are going on vacation, having guests, getting their life together, or like me, all of the above. I absolutely love summer because that means that our annual recital is coming soon and we finish one more dance exam. As good as summer may seem, there are some cons. For example, all of the students are not on the same page because we are all going on vacation at different times. Another bad side of it is that there are exam stresses because as you go to the higher levels, the exams are taken more seriously. Anyways, hope you all are doing okay in the last few weeks of chaos!
May is… well many things. We have sol testing and AP exams as well as finals. Yeah, not fun, but I do love the end of may because we get to celebrate Holi. This is one of my favorite things because there is good food and I surround myself with my amazing dance group. Now, to others, we look like maniacs because we are throwing color at each other and taking interesting pictures for memories, but I would not trade it for anything. To those who do not know, Holi is the festival of colors in honor of Lord Krishna. I would say that this is the event where we truly bond as a group because it is stress free ( well maybe not stress free from all of the weird stares we get, but it is still fun and worth it!) Happy Holi!
As we all know, any sport is time consuming. In May, everything piles up; tests, sols, AP exams, sport season championships, upcoming job opportunity interviews, and all other crazy things. However, it is still important to go for practice so that you are caught up and have one less thing to stress about. In the ideal world, we would have time to do everything and still have time to sleep and be with friends, but that does not always happen. Most of the time, you would choose one or the other. My guideline is simple: if there is no game or peformance, go and have fun! Happy May!
Practice is sometimes annoying. I get it. You would rather be somewhere else, but it is important to think about the fact that your parents (or in some cases, you) paid money to be a part of this, missing practice does not benefit you, it is just adds to the stress that you might already have from school. So here is my guide to deciding if you should go to dance or skip.
If you are sick- do not go if it is contagious. If it is a stomachache or a headache, take some medications and go to avoid missing anything.
If you are injured- it is recommended that you go unless you are on bedrest. I personally would go but notify you instructor about what is going so that they know that you are going to sit out and watch or help the instructor with other paperwork. This shows that you are committed!
If there is an event- you should try to come for a part of practice and leave early or come late. In some cases, there is absolutely no way you can be in 10 places all at the same time. You should let your instructor know about a class before if this happens.
If you have an upcoming test or have something due- Now you need to ask yourself whether you are willing to go to practice and still have enough time to work. If that is a no, do not go but let someone in the class know. If that is a yes, or “I have a little bit of time” then go, you will be less stressed out about everything and you can have some fun.
March is the time to start studying for upcoming exams and SOLS. For people who play year-round sport, it is time for championship. For dance, it is the same way, we start preparing for our Annual Recital which is usually during late summer, but this year our instructor has signed us up for our first competition. Since December, we have been taught a dance for both the recital and the competition. It is a lot more complex compared to the choreography that we have done for last year’s annual recital. Due to my health, my doctor has told me that I can’t take on a lot of pressure from school and dance and that I have to commit to one until I can give my 100% to dance. However, I am really proud of the team who will be dancing, I know that it won’t be possible to get 1st place because it is our very first competitive performance, but we will improve!
I sometimes question myself as to why I chose to dance instead of all of the other activities I could do like soccer, swim, or track. As a reader, you would assume it is because of my interest in dance, but in reality it was because two of my close friends were going to dance class. Eventually it stuck with me and I continued to do it after one of my friends moved and the other was in another dance class in the same academy. After a while, we could not do it in the same place, so my teacher rented a studio and classes got merged. I was reunited with my friend and we met new friends. I like to think that the other reason why I continue to dance is because of the group and I get the opportunity to learn about the history of India, I am not a big fan of history but the myths in India are fascinating.
Now, we are all procrastinators in some way. It may be from school work or simply just getting out of bed in the morning. For my dance group and I, it is choreographing a dance and making it look presentable. During practice, I admit, we are a mess, but on stage we are collected.
Have a reasonable deadline- if the song is four minutes long, do not expect it to be done within a week if you spend five minutes a day doing it and then constantly change the steps. It is important to give you and your group time to review and learn.
Take it slow- Not all of your group will get the steps immedietly. You must take it slow and teach it carefully and correctly, because if you get frustrated, your dance will not be performed the way you imagined.
Be open to opinions and ideas- You must remember to take input from everyone. If one person in the group states that they do not like a step, you should ask them if they have another option and once you agree with a choreography, you should be fine.
Communicate with the instructor- if you have an issue about the dancers or a step, talk to your dance teacher for her opinions and her options. You must get their approval before you proceed. As mentioned in step one, setting a deadline is important, but you should plan out everything before continuing.
Persist- work hard and make this dance worth it!
It is also good to know that things change, last minute things come up. Do not get frustrated because one day that person might be you.
I wanted to throw it back to last summer where my friends and I had the best team bonding. According to the title, you probably assumed that this was on July 4th. Not entirely correct , it was actually July 3rd. My friend lives in South Riding which means that it is a 40 minute drive to get to her house, so my friend and I carpooled. It was a little party and a sleepover.We started the party by attempting to take aesthetic pictures at the local park using the golden hour to our advantage. I wish I could tell you that the pictures were decent, but unfortunately they were not, we did not have that natural glow that you would expect for a golden hour post. No, we looked like carrots in red, white, and blue.
But there is a first time for everything! Am I right?Anyways, we headed back and cooled off and ate delicious food consisting of two different types of pasta and garlic bread and a lot more food.We went back outside and took pictures with sparklers and the pictures were amazing. It was about 10 pm, so we used the flashlight from our phone to make sure everybodies face and hair was visible. After that we watched the best bollywood movie called Chennai Express. It is a really funny movie especially the facial expressions of the lead actor.At three in the morning, we ate dessert which was a cookie cake. And we also encountered a spider, I will spare you the details.We fell asleep at four and went back home the next day.
In five years, I want to remember that there was a day where I was free and had the time of my life. It was better than homecoming and the beach blast combined. Once college starts, we will not be able to meet up that often, but these memories will always be there. I decided to write about this because as a rising junior you start stressing about college or what you want to do with your life. Just remember to still have fun and cherish the time you spend with your friends and family.
It is shocking to most people when I tell them that I have exams in dance. It is not necessarily an exam, it is more like an evaluation that most dancers take every year.
Now, how do exams work?
Well, there are two parts: the actual dancing part, and the knowledge.
The dancing portion of the exam is basically you showing the skills you have learnt through a series of prayers and dances that your group has been working on. You typically perform this with your group who are in the same level as you. This part is treated exactly like a performance, the only exception is that you have to answer questions and you may redo a step if you messed up.
The knowledge part is like a test full of short answers. There are about seven options, you choose five and try to add as much detail as possible. There is no issue with this part, except the memorization.
It is said that the mind can fit five times as much as all of the information in wikipedia, but it is not easy. You create the essay and remember it and you have about three hours to write it on the paper.
The difference between an exam at school and an exam in dance is that you are allowed to speak to the people in your group during the exam, but you have to paraphrase so that you all do not end up with the same answer sheet.
Happy New Year´s to everyone! I hope all of you had a good and relaxing winter break.
This post will be about problems that some dancers face with accessories and the costume.
Maang Tikka- In Kathak, there is this type of jewelry that is called Maang Tikka. It is a piece of jewelry that is placed just under your hairline. The issue is that it is a loose piece which does not stay in place. About a year ago, my friend found out that using clear nail polish on the maang tikka before putting it on helps it stay still. I found this very useful while spinning. The problem with this was that it took sometime to remove the remaining nail polish off your hair and forehead.
Itchy Dress- I remember my first dance dress. It was not a good memory. This dress was red with silver leafs and the top was a beige color. It may sound nice, but it was itchy. Luckily we grew out of it and now we have a comfortable dress.
Ghungroos- The bells are required every time you dance. However, underneath your tights or leggings, it is important to wear some padding to make sure that you do not receive any marks. The marks hurt for a little bit but they are removed very quickly.
Make up- I hate wearing make- up especially while dancing, on stage I feel conscious that the lipstick or mascara is smudged or some other scenario. It is common to feel that way, but I dislike the feeling of sweat and makeup mixed up on my face.
Last but not least- hairstyle: my baby hairs always get in my eyes while spinning on stage. During practice, I generally keep my hair in a high ponytail, but no matter how short my hair is, it will always slap me in the face. My layers make it more painful.