Our journey began about 4 months ago, when we first started auditioning for items to perform for this year’s Festival of Arts (FOA). I remember being a little disappointed every time I wasn’t chosen for an item. But that was just the start. As time flew past, and how time simply went by, during all that time spent in my own world in the dance studio, just doing my best to catch the choreography Andy was teaching us, I eventually secured 2 or 3 items for FOA.
After our mid year exams, practice intensified. There was more conditioning, more choreography to be learnt under less time than we would’ve like to have. In the final 2 weeks everything got really intense; incomplete choreography, items which haven’t been choreographed, plenty of cleaning up to do. Oh yes, the pressure was heating up. Fortunately, it was a type of pressure I’d rather be put under, rather than the one I’m feeling right now.
And now, just last night and the night before, we enjoyed the fruits of our labour. We, Dance Venia, put on the show of our lives for 2011 (apart from SYF for the Yr 6s). Voyage Redux, kickstarting with J.Lo’s On The Floor and treating the crowd to Michael Jackson’s Dangerous, Janet Jackson’s If, locking tirelessly and spectacularly to Boogie Nights, charming the audience with the jazz-spiced Show Me How You Burlesque, powerfully displaying the emotional contemporary piece Breathe Me, taking them on a carnival ride with salsa to the beat of Arranca En Fa, touching the tender side of every individual in the crowd with Andew Lloyd Webber’s All I Ask Of You in a sweet musical dance, rounding off the night with an adorable Broadway act of Chorus Line’s One and of course, the Yr 6s breathtaking SYF item.
From how I attempted to described the 2 shows we put up, I think you my dear reader, can somehow feel how wonderful this FOA experience is for me. I really loved it, every single second of it. All the effort, sweat and tears we put in didn’t go to waste. It was the 2 nights of our 2011 lives~ And I was really really happy to see my friends who came down to support me. Hearing from them how they enjoyed themselves was really more than just a cherry on top for me. Performing to the crowd was awesome. Performing WITH this group of dancers, is a blessing.
I haven’t felt this bonded to a group apart from the youths in church. Sure, there are still occasions I feel that I’m not liked by a number of dancers, that I don’t really belong to this dance family, but THIS is the magic of FOA. It has brought me closer to these dancers, whether they like me or not. FOA has given me a common experience with a wonderful group of people. Oh all the dramatics that took place in the dance studio after our performance, I’ve not cheered and laughed so much in a long time. I really appreciate all the dancers in Dance Venia. I really appreciate this cca and dance itself. It has no doubt been 1 of the ways I can escape from all my problems and to retain my sanity. Dance has brought me great joy, through this art itself and through the friendship and bonds forged.
I’m really really gonna miss this FOA. Post-FOA blues have already hit me, and quite hard actually. I really want to rewind this whole FOA experience and live it out again and put it on repeat. I really want to experience the whole magic of FOA again, but I know I can’t. Reality beckons and awaits. I have SO much work to do, I’m so helpless I don’t even know how to start. Even if I do, I don’t know how to keep up the determination to carry on. I’m really, really afraid for my studies.
I prayed for God’s help, for God’s guidance. I pray that God, who blessed me with such wonderful company in Dance Venia and the awesome FOA performances, will bless me as I take on my academic workload, trials and expectations.
On this day, God wants you to know
“that God is there for you to hold on. Hold on to what is good, even if it’s a handful of earth. Hold on to what you believe, even if it’s a tree that stands by itself. Hold on to what you must do, even if it’s a long way from here. Hold on to your faith, even if it’s easier to let go. Hold on to God’s hand.”
Tonight’s message is very apt for me, isn’t it? So, as I move forward on to what awaits me in reality, I’m gonna hold on to the wonderful memories of FOA, the friendships I’ve developed with my fellow dancers, and this message regarding God, to give me strength, to take on whatever’s gonna come at me.
I’m sorry I couldn’t go to church today, but from the bottom of my heart, Thank You God, for FOA 2011 Voyage Redux, for DanceVenia, for every blessing.