(Trash Boat)– Tonight at 7:30, BunniesAreNom, andsometimesY, and I are dancing in the Amherst Dance Spring Show in Kirby Theater. For those of you who don’t know, Amherst Dance is a club that puts on two dance shows each year. It is run by a group of student dancers who choreograph a variety of dances, from ballet, to modern, to hip-hop. I’ll be performing in the West African Dance tonight.
Many of the dancers—especially the choreographer—are pretty incredible. But a good amount of students who participate in Amherst Dance have little to no dance experience. Yet, the club still manages to put on a very impressive show. This aspect of Amherst Dance is definitely my favorite. Partially, because it’s the reason why I can partake; I have no dance experience at all other than when I’m alone in my room, blasting Mariah Carey.
But I also love that Amherst Dance accepts everyone because it allows people who would regularly not get the chance to be a part of something excellent. The Amherst Dance Show isn’t some rinky-dink talent show that’s just thrown together; it’s the product of hard work, time sacrificed, and some inspiring levels of creativity. And anyone can be a part of it!
I find opportunities like this rare on campus. The standards of performance are set high; you find many events that have been half-assed. This may have to do with the fact that most students don’t have time to join lots of extra-curriculars. So when they have to choose, they choose to participate only in the things that actually matter to them. And usually, what matters to you is what you’re already good at. So we have this trend of high-quality, moderately-competitive, and sometimes high-stakes activities on campus.
Amherst Dance manages to maintain the high quality, while leaving competition out of it. This special characteristic of Amherst Dance allows students to take chances. You can move way outside your comfort zone. And it’s not like you just dance for each other with the blinds pulled down; the shows are big! Lots of people sit in the audience…just waiting for you. To actually get on stage and dance for all them (when dancing is not your forte at all) takes real guts.
In fact, I think performing on stage is an important life experience everyone should have. It forces you to put yourself in a situation where you are completely vulnerable; you’re just offering yourself up for scrutiny and ridicule. Yet it also forces you to present yourself as completely comfortable. You can’t just walk curl up on a stage and hide. Your audience expects you to exude confidence. Surviving through that kind of pressure makes you realize what you’re capable of; and it makes you realize how powerful you can be in a space where you are completely exposed. Because even if you do something wrong on stage, if you convince your audience it was right, than it’s like the mistake never even happened.
Come out, and support everyone involved in Amherst Dance! Our first show is tonight at 7:30, and our final show is tomorrow at 4:00.
Thanks for the read!
Doin’ me since 1991,