This is what my past week looked like: six and a half hours of tech rehearsal and dance practices from Tuesday to Thursday. Extra two hour practice for a dance on Thursday at the ungodly hour of 8 AM. Five hours on Friday and Saturday night spent on prepping, changing, chilling, and stressing before taking the stage. And then the hours after were spent mindlessly studying and working for the upcoming three midterms this week (and one of them took place this past morning!).
That’s right- it was the Culture show weekend hosted by Tufts Association of South Asians (TASA), featuring the dance teams Bhangra, JumboRaas, Pulse, Tamasha along with a guest act, and four other dance numbers that were actually perfected the week of, if not the morning of, the performance.
Last year I only participated in the one dance for JumboRaas. I thought this year I could out-do myself and partake in another one that was called “Bollywood In Time” (as cryptic as the name is, it is basically dance numbers through the ages of Bollywood, so in time). And luckily for me, the dances were spread a song apart. This meant that right after I finished dancing for JumboRaas, I would have one song to get out of the JumboRaas ensemble (including the cinnamon or cinnabon hair- whatever fancy thing it is called), get all the pins and needles out of my head and body, and get myself into the costume for the other dance. I may sound like I’m complaining. I am. I just didn’t want you to get the wrong idea. Just look at the featured image and know that the struggle is real.
Since my Tangled-esque hair required a lot of pinning to my head, getting out of it for the next dance meant to getting it out of the bun. The pony tail remained intact, and in retrospect as I should have looked into a mirror or into someone’s eyeballs, my hair was split into two long curls that just slapped my face anytime I moved. I got a lot of “awesome dance, you were so good!” and “That hair!!!”. So people do notice things when you’re on stage.
Dancers back stage also have a temperament of their own. If we’re not hogging the mirrors in the bathroom, we’re looking into our phones to check how we look, procrastinating getting into our costumes, studying for every second that was free apart from being distracted by someone else pulling my hair, or just taking a multitude of selfies for later review once its posted on Facebook. At least, that is what I did.
I realize that I sound bitter about this whole experience. As much work, hours, effort, and my ability to wake up early was called for, it was an experience I am very happy and proud to have been a part of. Once you’re on that stage, either dancing, talking, or performing in some way, everything changes. All those frustrated hours dissolve and you just focus on the performance. It is the greatest feeling ever. And might I add the amount of team bonding that happens in those enclosed areas backstage just make you realize how weird, strange, and awesome your dance team members are.