Well, We did it! We completed the first inaugural season of Raw Inspirations Dance Company. It took a lifetime to dream this adventure into being, and a short year to watch it develop into a reality. If you have been following our amazing story you will know that this has been a childhood dream of the director's come true. In 2014 the first auditions for RIDC were announced via the wonderful world of Facebook. A single event created that was the first tiny step to begin a journey that culminated in a performance that translated that journey into dance.
On Friday May 22nd 2015, the members of RIDC filed into their rehearsal space at Madison Ballet to begin work on their end of the year show set to debut the week of June 22nd. One short month stood between these dancers learning an entire 13 dance first act, and re-staging of all 6 of their competition group pieces. The 7 dancers, and 3 faculty members had a task in front of them that they gladly accepted. And that night "Still I Rise" began to take form.
Long hours of extended rehearsal times, tired feet, messy buns, all became par for the course. Piece by piece our story started to take shape. RIDC wanted to provide a not your average performance for their end of the year gala. They wanted to share their story with their audience, and that mission never wavered, no matter what obstacle that came up.
Part of being an artist is learning to be flexible, and part of being a team is sticking together no matter what life throws at us. Through some re-staging of dances, to even relocation of our performance space, RIDC and all of its members, including the parents, were determined to make this years performance memorable.
As the director I always say there is no way that we can do this alone, and I remain thankful every day to all who believe in RIDC and make what we do possible.
A busy weekend approached as it was 2 days before the show. A very full costume rack rolled into studio 1 of Madison ballet and in walked 7 tired, but excited dancers. A stop watch, an awkwardly shaped futon, and a ladybug waited ready to start the day. The dancers took their mark and for the first time the faculty go to sit and watch the entire show from start to finish. With tears in my eyes as the first act ended, I said to the girls "you did it, you brought my dream to life, in every way possible" Then came the hard stuff, timing Act 2's costume changes. With only 7 members we needed to keep the show flowing, and they literally were the only ones performing. They did it. (show time costume changes were under 60 seconds....talk about professionals)
On Monday June 22, 2015 the dancers and teachers arrived at their performance space, McFarland High School. We set everything up (costumes back stage lit by small back stage lighting), and began setting the lights for the show, curtain was in 3.5 hours and we had to do a complete dress rehearsal before our audience had started to arrive. It's amazing to see how quickly that 3.5 hours passed, and before you knew it, I was back stage hugging the 7 young ladies that had grown up before my eyes, and brought to life a a dream a younger version of myself at one time only thought would ever be a dream.
I pressed play on the slide show that included family photos of each dancers families, and baby pictures of them, and then the curtain came up. With a headset on my head and a shaky finger I pressed play for the first track of Act 1. The 1.25 hour show went so quickly I have thought I dreamt it. And as I walked on stage to thank our audience for coming, I had the pleasure of letting them know that they helped us raise enough money to sponsor 4 Ladybug Comfort Bags. RIDC and their amazingly caring audience had raised $1150.00 for Atia's Project Ladybug Fund. I couldn't believe it.
I am forever grateful thinking back on that night. We are so lucky to be able to do what we do. Our inaugural season taught us so much, and through it all these seven girls created memories for a lifetime. We are also fortunate enough to have the entire event captured and available for endless repeat watches on our Vimeo page. Thank you so much to Natalie of Natalie Armstrong Photography for capturing this ever so special event.
"Whatever we accomplish belongs to our entire group, A tribute to our combined effort" ~Walt Disney.
Peace Love and Dance