It was a long hot month of practice in the summer of July 2016, my dance team and I were getting ready for a long 4 days of camp at Oakland University.
When we arrived there were about 20 different teams on all different levels from all around Michigan, the head advisors welcomed us and took us to our first station right after we warmed up. It was a pretty small gym to have 20 teams warming up in.
After warm ups we had to get ready to learn dances so that we could be ready to perform first thing on thursday morning, which is awards day. I could already tell that this was going to be the longest 12 hour day of my life. It took about 2 hours for the advisors to teach us the dance we needed to know. After, we moved onto skills. We all came into the gym to practice skills. We then had a well needed 1 ½ hour lunch break after. We immediately got back to dancing. Soon after, we got ready to perform our dance that my team and I had been working on for a couple months. Eventually it was time to go home, after a long day of dancing and barely getting any breaks I was so excited.
The next day was definitely the worst out of all 4 of them. It was already a bad start to the day because I was already sore from the day before. We did pretty much the same thing as the first day, they welcomed us back, we warmed up, and went to our dance groups so we could perfect the moves for thursday. Later on that day we had a professional hip hop dancer who has worked with nike and adidas in the past years come in and teach us a hip hop dance to the song “Panda”. It was a very difficult dance, you could tell that it was for more advanced dancers there. She started talking about her dancing career and when she started dancing and what classes she took. She then started teaching us the dance, we all got into big lines and did a couple warm ups to get ready and she taught us some of the harder moves that were going to be in the dance. “This isn’t going to be such a hard dance after all” I thought to myself. But I was wrong.
She turned on the music and everyone was dancing at such a fast pace i couldn’t even blink without me missing half of the dance. I thought about giving up because I didn’t care at that point, I was tired and wanted to go home, but i didn’t. I tried my best and thought about all of the cool moves I could learn if I kept going. We then came to the end of the dance that she taught us and we performed the dance in front of her, she was so impressed. We then came to the end of the day and took off to go home and rest for the next and last full day of camp.
I woke up in the morning and wasn’t that sore, I think that I have gotten used to it enough to not really pay attention to how sore I actually was. When we arrived we went straight to the gym and the lady who taught us the dance that was there the other day was there again to teach us some of the basic hip hop moves. She showed us a move and then told us go give it a shot on our own. She showed us about 5 various moves and exercises, we tried the exercises with a partner to get more strength for the moves because you need a lot of upper body strength to do them. She then had to leave and we all moved on with the rest of our day. We got into our groups again to practice our 2 dances we learned so we could be ready to perform it that next day. Later that night we had a crazy night. It's where you and your team dress up as whatever the theme is, which was the olympics. My team and I had to dress up as tennis players. We then did some activities together, all 20 teams were in the gym competing against each other. While doing these activities someone from a different team got hurt, so we had to stop and get together with our teams so we could wrap up our day since there was nothing else planned for us.
It was the last day of dance camp at Oakland University. I was so relieved! The announcers, who were with us since day one of camp, came in and welcomed us back. They told us how the performance was scheduled. We got into our groups that were assigned the first day of camp once more to practice what we have learned over the past few days. My group was first. I was so nervous, but I knew that this was the time that I had to give everything i've got. During the dance, I felt like the pressure would get to me and I would mess up completely, but it turned out to be a success. I was awarded a blue ribbon, which is the highest point ribbon. I was more than happy at that point, I was ecstatic!
During the second dance I performed, I was even more nervous; the dance was in a higher level category than the first dance. I wasn’t the best, but I didn’t care, all i knew was that I tried my best and gave it a shot. For that dance, I was surprised with a red ribbon, which is the second highest point ribbon. I was thrilled! I didn’t think I would do as good as I did. We then got team awards for how well our performance was during our team dance. My team and I got 4th place out of 20 teams which was amazing. We all jumped up with cheer and coach gave us all big hugs and said that she couldn’t of been any prouder. It all finally came to an end. “No more waking up at 6 in the morning” I thought to myself. We thanked the advisors for such an amazing experience. This is an experience that i will never forget.