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Chan - Being part of a student show is an amazing experience. Having been in a few, I have to say it's opened up a new perspective and appreciation of what dancing Brazilian Zouk can be. It's different from going to class, learning moves, improving technique, trying to apply them on the dance floor. Being in a student show exercises a different set of disciplines, requires more concentration and diligence, practice and consideration. Being acutely aware that people will be focussing on you, you're obliged to pay more attention to areas that need improvement. You think more about the music, routine and group as a whole, and in particular what's needed to make make your partner and colleagues do their best. So they're the challenges... what you get out of it is a huge kick of excitement and burst of pride when it goes well.
When it doesn't, it's disappointing, but you realise that you've put yourself out there, tried your best and what a significant accomplishment that is that no-one can take away. It's not for everyone but if you want to fine-tune your current skills and develop completely new ones, and like the idea of being part of a group effort celebrating this beautiful dance, student shows are a great way of exploring this.
Denise I wanted to break the daily routine and do something different. I’ve been dancing with this cool bunch for a while so when Sarah suggested a student show, I could not pass up the opportunity. I knew she would create something special and she did – the choreography flowed effortlessly and played to our individual strengths - so I could not help but sign up for a second show. For me it was more about the journey rather than the end results. I took great pleasure in teasing Chan every time he got things wrong in rehearsals, knowing that he would never dream (or dare) to return the favour being the perfect gentleman that he is. I’m sure he is hard at work plotting his revenge though. Bring it on, I say, in our third choreography together!
It was amazing watching Sarah create the routine as we go along, guided by our combined energies and particular moods on the day. She made us feel a part of the process, always asking for our constructive opinions and more often than not getting a cacophony of harebrained ideas in return. I can still hear her say ‘Calm down, kids, you are both right, there is more than one way to interpret the music. How about this...’ and she would then come up with the perfect dance sequence to appease us all. It is the little moments behind the scenes that make me forget all the hard work it took to deliver a competent performance and keep me coming back for more.
Siu-Wai I am an aubergine. Like many other vegetables, you are not expected to be able to dance. But I guess anything is possible if you give a real go. Who would have thought an aubergine would do a performance in zouk ?!
Sarah has been a very good teacher, and extremely tolerant with us in putting the show together. I think she must have aged years mentally in the process of shaping us for the group performance. Each one of us is so different in our own vegetable way, our body movements, our different influences in dance styles, attitudes, expectations, and many more. Credits to her in every way.
Daniel I have been dancing for a while and after taking a lot of classes and attending a few congresses I thought that a performance would be the next logical step.
After seeing the performance, some people asked me what it was like. My answer was that the rehearsals and the preparation was by far the most fun and interesting part of the experience. The audience, unfortunately, gets to see only the final product.