…has come and gone!
I literally started typing this post on Monday of this week. Things DEFINITELY picked up around here for week 3! Featuring a slow start to one of our mornings when we were locked out of our rehearsal site…
We’re moving rapidly through the show and there just isn’t a lot of down time right now that I’m not spending in a practice room, running to get groceries, or getting my coffee fix because I’m so TIRED. My week has been full of late nights (sorry, not sorry) and days are full of cramming more show content down our throat. We put on our 2 biggest numbers this week with a LOT of drill, and just when we think we might get the hang of it our choreographer comes in and adds some choreo to what SEEMS like every count of the music.
There’s also less time for me to post because (and I’m not mad about this) things are picking up socially as well. We’re finding more things to do together, many of us have started opening up and talking to each other about things back home or how we’re feeling. When we got here we were all friendly, but now there are some genuine friendships forming and I’m enjoying working with these people even more. It’s hard to prioritize writing in a blog when you have real life (and AMAZING) people in front of you to hang out with!
Kevin Ford came in 2 days ago with 88 pages of drill to learn for one of our pieces. Yes. 88 pages. It included holds and subsets in that number, but that’s still a LOT of drill. It was very interesting watching the process for learning… a little different from what I’m used to seeing in the marching band world. Definitely more high paced. But, the end product is INCREDIBLE. I definitely think watching the development of this piece will help me when writing drill for indoor groups in the future.
Speaking of indoor groups, I missed my Carolina Gold family a lot last weekend. I’ve spent the last 8 Fourth of July holidays marching in parades with various drum corps. From 2008-2010 I was with Crown, and 2011-2015 I was with at Carolina Gold. This would have been the same, except now I can say that in 2016 I was at Blast. No parades, just rehearsal, but still band! My Carolina Gold family traveled north over the weekend for their first show of the summer and a weekend of parades. I got some snaps from them throughout the weekend that made me miss them even more. Videos of the hornline and guard telling me HIIII and they loved me and missed me, and more snaps from drenched individuals after they got rained on in one of the parades, but still smiling. I keep getting messages from the staff telling me how special this group is and I’m so sad that I’m missing out on this summer. Don’t get me wrong, I’m living out my life’s dream and I’m where I’m supposed to be, but it’s hard to leave a group of people that you’ve spent so much time and invested so much into. It was nice to see they miss me just as much as I miss them.
We’ve had a new choreographer with us over the past week or so and I’ve REALLY started to warm up to his way of doing things, especially in the past few days because we’ve started our morning stretches and movement blocks with him. He focuses a lot on the contraction and release of the body, so a lot of his ‘exploratory’ across the floor exercises require us to fling our bodies around like we don’t have any bones. The dancers look INCREDIBLE doing it, somehow, while us marching band kids are fighting years of training our bodies to be rigid. Johnny said today that he’s seen a lot of improvement in our approach in the hornline, and even when we don’t know what’s going on with our bodies we’ve at least learned how to adjust our faces a bit and make it LOOK like we know what we’re doing! Today was the first day I didn’t feel IMPOSSIBLY awkward while doing the exercises he asks us to do. I tend to struggle because I get caught up in the details of ‘which foot goes where, what is my arm doing, etc’ kind of questions. I realized through our training sessions with Johnny that my chance of success is WAY higher if I just try to feel it and imitate what I see. Once I stopped worrying about what foot I was on and thinking so hard about which way I’m turning and which arm is going up and how to do a freaking passé while turning and then doing a ‘kind of a chassé’ (note: I CAN BARELY DO A CHASSÉ, let alone something that is KIND OF LIKE one!) all after flinging my body back and forth like I’ve been pulled under water at the ocean and am being tossed around by intense undercurrent. Sorry, I shouldn’t say it all that way… because the reality is that I’m having a LOT OF FUN tossing my body around like a rag doll, and I can feel improvements just based on how much less awkward I feel during our movement blocks. Notice I said how much less awkward I FEEL, not how much less awkward I actually AM!
I’m going to leave some pictures here and go ahead and post this before I get busy doing something else again!