I have been dancing for five years now, and next month I'll be starting year six. I take all the available extensive classes for my age. My studio offers a combo class which teaches ballet, jazz and tap. The extensive classes are hip hop and prepointe, but they have pointe instead of prepointe for the older girls.
The classroom has a large wood dance floor, long, huge mirrors everywhere and a carpeted area to change dance shoes. The teacher has a desk up against the wall with the attendance book and a huge radio on it. There's blue curtains tied back all along the walls, speakers up on the wall, a string of lights all around the dance room and two barres shoved up against the wall which we pull out onto the middle of the floor for class.
For each class we have to do some sort of warm up or stretch and then we do harder dance moves or we work on our performance routines.
In October we usually we start working on our Christmas recital dances. Each class gets one dance for the recital. We start working on our recital dances in January or February. Combo classes get three dances, prepointe and pointe classes get one, and the hip hop class gets one and sometimes two.
Recitals are one of my favorite parts of dance. For a recital you have to wear a lot of makeup and anyone who is in the combo class, prepointe, or pointe has to put their hair up in a bun. The hip hoppers have it easy, they just have to do a ponytail.
There's a huge area backstage. We do our recitals in a high school. The little kids are in the hall, the combo classes and prepointers are in one huge room together, and the hip hoppers are in another hall. There's an area we have to wait in before we go onstage; it has counters and sinks where we sometimes touch up. Then finally there's the huge stage area. The stage is huge and there's at least one hundred people in the audience. It's very cold onstage and around the stage. Onstage it's very bright and loud. It's fun being onstage.
A few months before recital we have to get class pictures done. We have to wear our costumes for each class, wear makeup, and do our hair. They hire a professional photographer to do our pictures and we can get our pictures in the recital program. We can get our pictures by ourselves and with our friends too.
The week of recital we have dress rehearsals. We have one rehearsal where we come in one of our costumes, with makeup on and our hair up, and all the classes have to sit in the auditorium and take turns with the other classes practicing the dances onstage. Then the day before recital we have a huge rehearsal where we have to actually sit backstage and dance in all of our costumes for the first time.
We always have two recitals. We have one on a Friday night and one on Saturday morning. Our huge end of year recitals are always either at the very end of May or the first few days of June. Our Christmas recitals are a few weeks before Christmas.
One time a bunch of classes including mine got to perform in front of JCPenny's in the mall for a Christmas sale. We had to change costumes in the JCpenny's dressing rooms and dance in a cleared off area in front of the store. It was very hectic.
I love dance and I can't imagine not doing dance! I think dance is the best thing ever and I plan to do for as long as I live. I want to be a dance teacher when I grow up.
Thanks for reading,