OK, so some of you might already know this, but just in case you don’t I am a member of UCC Dance. 2 years ago I had never taken a dance class before, but then I decided to bite the bullet, test myself and dance and I can honestly say that I have never looked back since. After 2 years of taking classes in UCC I have finally grown the courage to choreograph for the first time and now I can officially hold my hands up and say, “My name is Pádraig Power and I am a dancer.”
So, as I said, I have now began to choreograph pieces of my own and last night I chose to put myself out there to the extreme by performing a piece in front of a judging panel and an audience of hundreds with my partner AnnMarie by my side.
This all occurred at UCC Dance’s annual event, UCC Goes Dancing. Let me begin by explaining the show. The premise of the show is for a dancer in the club to take a well-known face from the university who has never danced before, choreograph and piece for both of them to learn and then perform this on the night in front of an audience and judges, both of whom vote for the winner and, considering it’s my final year in university, I couldn’t let the opportunity slip away.
Thankfully I lucked out and got my friend AnnMarie as a partner for the show. Not only is she my friend, but she’s also a former gymnast so it goes without saying that I certainly used that to my advantage.
After 2 weeks of constant training, choreographing and re-choreographing it all came down to yesterday and needless to say we were both feeling the pressure. When the day began everything seemed great. We rehearsed a few times, decided what we were going to wear and enjoyed watching all of the other couples and dance classes practice for the big night. When it came to our turn to practice on stage however the nerves quickly settled in. I know that there were only a few people watching and that most of them had seen it before, but looking out from centre stage and imagining the bright lights and judges staring at us put a sizable knot in my stomach and created a nervous tingle in my joints. The same could be said for my partner. Because we were both nervous I bucked up, pretended that I was fully confident and went along with the show, just to give her some confidence. The rehearsal went down really well and was well received in the end which added some pep into our step as we prepared for the ultimate showdown.
Finally, the clock struck 8 and the show began. If our nerves weren’t bad enough anyway we were the last couple to perform which led to the butterflies being intensified by the dance. Eventually the time came where it was our turn to perform and while we were waiting in the wings right before the couple ahead of us finished I can honestly say that my heart had lodged itself firmly in my mouth, but then all of a sudden we were on stage, the music was beginning and all of the nerves flew out of my body. This was the moment, this was what it came down to and there was no point in messing it up. The dance literally flew by and we gave it everything we had. My face lit up every time I heard cheers from the crowd or saw a judge clapping along and all of a sudden when the dance finished the crowd erupted into cheers. Then the MC came on to ask questions and all of my words had left me (he literally got one-word answers). When he was finished with his questions we looked at the judges and I was absolutely delighted with what I saw. From left to right each judge held up their scores and I read them one by one, 8, 9, 9, 9 and 10! Yes 10. I was bursting with pride for both of us, especially for AnnMarie who had never danced before, but then put herself out there and owned the stage. Later on in the night they announced the results and we won 😀 So all in all i think I can safely say that my first time choreographing was definitely a success.
Afterwards the celebrating began. A half litre of vodka and some drinks in the club later and a very drunken Pádraig could be see shaking his ‘thang’ on the dance-floor with everyone who performed on the night.
The main reason that I’m posting this is just to thank everyone for last night. I’d like to thank the UCC Dance committee for letting me be part of the night, my partner for being better than I could have ever hoped, the other couples for dancing amazingly and of course all of the judges and the audience for cheering us along.
Also, if anyone who reads this is contemplating dance as a hobby, a way to let off some steam or just randomly for fun every now and again: do it! Honestly, you will never regret it. As the next picture says, ‘Never miss a chance to dance’.
Thanks for taking the time to read this,