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Recital 2024: Dance Drive

The internal motivation to push ourselves to the limit.

Article by Jennifer San Miguel

Photography by Jennifer San Miguel

Recital season is always a busy one- organizing costumes, picture day, t-shirts, parent volunteers, decorations, programs...It takes a lot of effort from the studio, from dancers, and from parents to get it all put together. It can feel overwhelming at times, but on May 16, 2024, we were feeling it come together and preparing for dress rehearsal the next day.

Little did we know what would happen that evening. Dancers sheltered at the studio as the tornados swirled around Houston and took down power lines. Other dancers were heading home from their final practice at the studio, and still others were at home with no power, watching tree branches fall around their neighborhoods. Many of us went to bed that night with no power, no internet, and very little cell phone reception. We were not certain the extent of the damage around us. We didn't know if the show could go on, even though as performers we are trained that the show must go on.

Receiving the message on Friday morning that the venue was open for business as usual brought a flurry of feelings. The normal nerves for dress rehearsal, sure, but also overwhelm for the work that had to get done in creative ways to work around not having internet. And...excitement and relief. Knowing that in just a few hours, we could be with our dance family doing something we love (while enjoying air conditioning) made us felt grounded.

This brings us to our recital theme for 2024: Dance Drive. This theme was all about our inner motivation to keep going, keep creating, keep pushing ourselves even when it feels impossible. When this theme was chosen last year, we didn't know how true it would end up being. We couldn't give up on ourselves or others; we had to do what felt was impossible to pull off our recital as scheduled.

We created, reciprocated, and shared energy to make this show happen! We had dancers ages 2-50+ sharing the stage to demonstrate everything they had learned this dance season. We had dance teachers in the wings to share hugs and high-5s with dancers who came off the stage breathlessly exclaiming, "THAT WAS SO FUN!" We had an audience who clapped, cheered, giggled, and let out a big, "awwww" when our littlest dancers came on stage. We overcame tough obstacles. Together.

As our recital intro stated, "We are built. We are fueled. We know the road." So we began healing the best way we knew: dancing, breathing, and being together.

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