April of 2010. Boot Size 10/11
Greetings my readers,
I began into my tale of performing in Disney last session, and now we come to its conclusion. It started with my singing performance, and it was the day before my school had to go home when my other performance occurred. My last day in Disney was also the day I was to march down Main Street in the Magic Kingdom as a colorguard performer.
Now colorguard may just look like dancing around with flags and not all that hard, but that would be where you are wrong. What it is, is training one’s self until a synchronized performance with four-to-six foot poles that are top heavy due to easily tangled pieces of look easy and beautiful. It’s not easy. Many bruises and headaches are the result of botched attempts at new moves or trying to get your muscles to remember the exact form of each trick. And all of this is perfectly timed to music.
I had also spent months upon months of practicing and training for this one parade. I won’t lie; our colorguard group is grossly underfunded, and only allowed one practice a week. Suffice to say, if you were skilled and made sure to practice, you were safe. But if you didn’t make sure to practice, well we weren’t the best at even showing up to practice on time so it isn’t hard to see why we weren’t the best team out there.. But I loved it nonetheless.
This whole time in Disney and Universal Studios had been a blast. But it was my last day to spend in Disney, and the parade was coming up.
And I had a fever.
Oh my goodness I felt horrible. I was sweating like no other, and a full body ache. Yes, it could have been worse, but when you’re in ninety degree weather, even a low grade fever felt terrible. But as the saying goes, the show must go on. I got ready, dressing in light, easy to remove clothes. We weren’t allowed to change into our uniforms until we got behind the scenes. Because I also had a choir exercise that day, I was one of the two performers that took a taxi as opposed to the bus. The drive was long, considering the area, and I took my time absorbing the nature-y bits of Disney World.
Now, due to certain laws and the secretive ways of Disney, I can’t tell you what the behind the scenes actually look like, other than the marsh-y areas around the roads (many alligators… so cute!!!). Disney is secretive about how their magic works, and while they can sometimes act crazy, they make a crud ton of money by making their parks look magical, so hiding their secrets is essential in keeping the money flowing. So unfortunately, I won’t risk describing what the parade behind the scenes looks like it. Just know that it is pretty damn fantastic and eye opening.
Changing involved gathering fifty other females into a small cramped, room that easily contained the heat of chattering females. Living in New England, our uniforms are wool in order to combat the cold weather of our state. We don’t have the funds to get lighter uniforms, so everyone was allowed to wear just bathing suits under the very stifling uniform. On the other hand, I was in colorguard meaning our uniform was much lighter in order to leave us free and open to perform. I thank my goddess in that our uniform consisted of light pants and a tank top.
We formed up, with our school banner in the front, then us (the colorguard), and then the actual band. We stood there lined up all nice and proper at the gates the opened into the little circle at the beginning of Main Street. The drum line started to tap out our base beat. One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight. The only numbers that exist in a colorguard routine are those eight, keeping the moves short, simple, and quick to perform. Our feet started to mark time in keeping with the beat, and for my team, our flags started to move up and down to the beat and to our march- up for the left foot, down for the right foot. With a soft creak, the gates began to open, and my heart began to race. The drum line went from tapping out the beat to starting their introductory song. Then slowly but surely we began to move.
My head was spinning. Whether from the extreme lightheadedness from my fever or from excitement, I’m not 100% sure. Sure I was burning hot, but the performance began to fuel my body, and we marched.
For all the time my group has mucked up from lack of practice, funds, and commitment, never had our team performed better. We moved as smooth as silk, and stayed perfectly together and in sync. The music of American Dream (artist unknown) and Anyway You Want It (Journey) kept up moving through the streets. I could feel the heat pounding down on me, further stressing my fever but at that point I did not care. I was so focused on the music and moving and twirling and spinning. It was a phenomenal, strengthening feeling. Adrenaline rushed through my veins, powering me to move forward.
When we got to the end of the parade, everyone was eager to strip out of their wool uniforms into just their bathing suits, then into light clothes. I was panting, both from the physical excursion and from my fever. I had a pounding headache but at the same time I had never been happier in my life. I will never forget this experience for the rest of my life.
What is there to learn? That no matter what, do not give up on a one in a lifetime experience. Because that experience alone can carry you through the day no matter what might get in your way. Even an intense fever.
Until my next adventure,