By J1 Reporter Kyra McFadden
The hot lights are blaring down as each mic echoes throughout the theater. The crowd is loud and cheering, and a feeling of exhilaration and satisfaction fills each person on stage. Their many weeks of hard work has finally paid off, and the effect is eminent on each face in the crowd. As the curtains close, excitement buzzes in the air and opening night has finished.
This past fall, Marian and Prep students performed “Footloose” for the annual fall musical. Months of preparation and practice led up to the 4 days of performing in front of an audience while singing and dancing live. Though many may not think much effort is needed, each performer definitely needed a lot of energy and endurance to last over an hour of straight performing.
Learning dances for the musical was nowhere near easy. “We would immediately dive into going through the steps. Each song was divided into sections that we would work through,” lead John Heldridge says, giving insight on dance rehearsals. “It took many hours to get everything down and memorized!” Heldridge said.
Outside of musical rehearsal, additional time was needed to prepare for their big performances. “Collectively, I think almost all featured dancers spent an hour a day,” junior Chloe Reynek, a featured dancer in the fall musical, said.
Performers had to balance their school work and jobs while fitting in enough time for extra dance practice. “You were trying to manage your school work with 2-3 hours of practice each night,” featured dancer, junior Mariana Vazquez, reveals.
Although some of the featured dancers had past dance experiences, not all were so fortunate. Reynek, who has been dancing for 14 years, mentions how, “the process can be very long, especially with people who have never danced a day in their lives. It can take them a long time to pick up the choreo.” It was especially hard when people missed rehearsals. Heldridge tells the worst of it by saying, “they had to somehow catch up on a rehearsal that only happened once!”
However, with both the costumes and lights, performing on stage could get very uncomfortable. For some of the performers, it was their first time performing on stage. “At Marian, it was my first musical. I was stage manager for the last musical. It felt really good to be on stage, and it’s a great community,” Reynek said.
As the curtains close, a somber feeling fills the air. It was their last day of performing “Footloose,” and for some, their last musical at Marian. Having spent so many hours together, it’s hard to finally say goodbye. This was the beginning of a long journey for many, but the end of a memorable adventure for others.