Monday, June 23, 2014

I think I can dance

There's nothing to make you feel old than to have your dance partner/choreographer mention that he wasn't even born the last time you did a show. (My last ACT show The King & I was 1990 and Dylan, the choreographer, is 20.)

Don't get me wrong, I love doing it and I WILL do it. But I'm sure it is this reason that I have to ice my right knee each night after rehearsal.

Most people, after seeing my uber-smooth dance moves, are shocked to learn that the full extent of my dance training consists of one year of ballet class in high school and the tap dance lessons I received when I did Anything Goes in 1988. Oh, and having a best friend who was a dancer and taught me the five basic ballet positions.

My understanding of choreography comes from ice skating - carriage, extension, timing, footwork, etc. So each time Dylan uses a dance term, I ask him to demonstrate it and my skating brain converts it to something I understand. Not everything converts, so I have to make up names for moves that provide me with a visual cue, such as the 'crab crawl.' And I'm sure my knee would be happier if I was gliding on ice instead of hopping up and down on 2" heels.

The dance number is 'Easy Street' and there are three of us - Dylan who is playing Rooster, Cheyenne (Lily) and me (Miss Hannigan) - who are singing and dancing. 'Easy Street' is also the only song/dance that Dylan does in the show, so it's Dylan's single opportunity to show his stuff. (Can't blame him) However, I keep watching the other songs in the show to see if he's giving the other actors choreography beyond moving from one side of the stage to the other. (The orphans 'Hard Knock Life' doesn't count - their average age is like 9.)

So, now you have to come to the show. Why? Because now you're curious to see my 'crab crawl.'

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