Movement Innovation

May 25, 2011
By Neha Ali BRONZE, Carrollton, Texas
Neha Ali BRONZE, Carrollton, Texas
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

The lights fade and I take my spot on stage. Someone from the audience coughs as a fellow dancer shifts silently in her spot. My anticipating eyes are blinded when the familiar spotlight turns on. Soon, I am whisked away by the music and choreography. Run, leap, turn, collapse. All too soon, the music fades into silence and darkness takes over the stage. Thirteen dancers quietly shuffle to the front of the stage and try not to stumble or giggle. Lights on, feet together, and bow. Breathless and barefoot, I stand on the stage with an inerasable smile on my face.

When I first signed up for dance during my freshmen year, I was unaware of the influence dance would end up having in my life. Dance was just going to be an easy way to complete my P.E. credit. However, the elegance of contemporary dance caught my eye. I loved learning new choreography. I loved challenging myself to perfect complex moves. I even loved running to class after spending too much time dancing. This is when dance became apart of me.

Soon my goals grew beyond learning my splits or hitting a double pirouette; I now wanted to be a member of the Moving Ground Dance Company. This goal kind of made me laugh. The first time I had seen Moving Ground perform was at fish visit. They performed some crazy dance with something that seemed like a sacrifice and all I could think was, “what the heck!” Never did I ever think that I would want to be one of those crazy dancers, but I did. I finally understood the meaning behind this seemingly insane movement. I finally saw the beauty of contemporary dance and wordless expression. I finally understood movement innovation with an edge.

My excitement for the audition paralleled one of a preschooler getting ready for her first day of school. Neatly, I filled out my application and showed up on the day of the audition. Everything was perfect from my tight ballet bun to my rough dancer’s feet. Confidence was not absent as I walked through the gym doors, almost positive that I would be on company next year. A smile stayed on my face as I finished the difficult audition. However, that smile soon faded as I found out that I had not made company. I was shocked, dismayed, and gloomy. Right then, I decided that I was going to quit dance; I hated failure and not making company was failure.

My mindset stayed the same all throughout summer, schedule pick-up and even as I walked through the blue doors on the first day of junior year. But one conversation with my dance teacher in the hallway was all it took to make me change my mind. I joined dance again and kept the same goal, Moving Ground. Before the audition, I spent countless hours stretching, turning, and leaping to improve my strength and flexibility. Calluses covered my feet after turning on the rough wooden floors that lay across my hallway. After practicing handstands, a move that was always included in the audition piece, my palms ached. Every morning, as I forced myself to get out of bed, I felt my sore muscles resisting further movement, but I kept going. This year I was going to see my name printed on the name of the dancers that had made Moving Ground. Rejection was not an option.

When I arrived at the audition, I was ready to show off how much I had worked. I stayed concentrated on learning new choreography and ran the piece until I could no longer breathe. Every bit of my down time was dedicated to practicing the difficult jumps that were apart of the audition. Although I felt as I had done well at the audition, I left with butterflies in my stomach and doubt of what the results would be. My hard work finally paid off the next morning when I found out that I had made company. I could finally say that I was a Moving Grounder.

This year on company has been an amazing and challenging experience. Everything from musical to crazy concerts has helped me improve my strength as a dancer. Additionally, I have formed memories with my dance company members that will forever live through the numerous pictures and show gifts that I have received. It’s crazy to think that I almost quit dance on an emotional whim. Dance has played a pivotal role in my high school career and has taught me more than grace or expression. Through dance, I’ve learned to persevere. Also, dance has taught me how to be patient and work harder than imaginable to make my dreams come true. The lessons that I have learned from my high school dance career will stay with me through every performance, every audition, and through my journey in life.

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This article has 1 comment.

sana93 said...
on Jun. 21 2011 at 11:45 pm
Your passion for dance is really reflected through this piece! Wonderful job. =]


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