Well it feels a little bit strange, as this week has started the same as any other week of term for me. I have been sat on the computer for the majority of the day, syncing the social platforms, sifting through paperwork and sorting out timetables. But usually this would be the busiest week of the year for us, as if it could get any more hectic than usual!
Saturday would have been our official last day of half term, but yesterday we would have moved straight into our production week, starting with our run through. For those of you who have not been involved with one of our productions before, run through is where the whole dance school gathers together to run the entire production for the first time. As many of our backstage volunteers attend the run through as possible, as well as lighting technician, stage manager and sound technician. It is an exciting day, where we can finally see how everything is going to fit together, as well as what areas still need ironing out! The children all get to see each other perform and for many it might be the first time that they have had an audience watch them dance. The senior pupils are able to practise their quick changes in addition to their choreography and some parents, too, enjoy watching the run through, as there is still an enormous leap to go until curtain up on the Friday evening and the transformation can be quite remarkable at times.
After Sunday, I usually spend the next three days in total chaos: props usually need finalising and collating; last minute costume alterations and accessories need organising; all dressing room registers and running orders written out; toys and entertainment ready for the junior school backstage; stage makeup and hair boxed up and ready to be packed on the van; as well as many more jobs. Then I have our lighting technician, John, move in with us for the whole of production week, as he now lives in Spain. So behind the scenes it is extremely busy, before we finally move into the theatre 10am on Thursday morning. This year's get-in would have entailed additional lighting to transport to theatre, as well as wind machines and our projection kit. We then spend the entire day programming the lighting into the desk in the sound box, which normally creates an atmosphere of intense pressure, as it is an extremely longwinded process and we have such limited time before the dancers start arriving to rehearse in costume for the first time.
Dress rehearsal, on the Thursday evening, can be a frustrating time, as it is a stop/start process, where it is the first time that dancers, lights, props, effects all come together and the full team is working on the production simultaneously. However, we would rather all the obstacles and problems occurred at dress rehearsal, otherwise the performances might be jinxed! After this extremely long day, which normally ends around 1am for the main production and backstage team, we then move into our first day of performance. However, depending on the success of the Thursday, we very often return to the theatre at 10am once again to continue programming lights and ironing out final blocking and effects. Once it reaches approx. 4pm, we hope everything is in place and ready, as the dancers start to arrive to get into costume and full stage makeup, the technicians do their final safety checks and programmes and merchandise arrive ready for the audience to start arriving....
Sadly, this is not to be this year, but we look forward to a time when we can endure this exciting, but extremely intense week again, and we hope you are all too. But in the meantime, we would like to thank you once again for your support and we are so happy to see so many of you have kept on dancing. This is why we have continued with a limited timetable during half term, including some of our most popular lessons such as flow and senior ballet. You may have also seen our posts yesterday regarding the choreography challenge for the junior school: we would love to see your home videos with you moving to your favourite songs! Also keep a look out for some fun posts during the week where we take a look back over shows from the past - get involved and respond to the posts, as we would love to hear from as many of you as possible.
In the meantime, don't forget to sign up for our online subscription, which starts from 1st June (summer 2 term). Although we would have loved to continue to bring all of these classes to you for free, we have had to make the decision to start the subscription service for the summer 2 term, as we are unable to return to our usual classes. We hope this will just be for the months of June and July and that we can start planning a return for September. We kept all our services free for as long as we could to support all Attitude families and also honour the two weeks remaining from the spring term that most of you had already paid for. We were never expecting that after ten weeks of online lessons we would still be in a position where we couldn't see you in person and that is why we have had to adapt, yet again, to the current situation. But please keep talking to us. Your feedback is so important and if we don't hear from you, we don't know if the current classes are accessible for you and what your thoughts are moving forwards, so please let us know.
I hope you enjoy some of the fun activities that we have planned for this week. Enjoy the sunshine and #keepondancing